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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

Bridge: Sections 11-13

BBeginning at section 11, the bridge between the exposition and the development presents us with an interesting combination of themes, reminding us of what has gone before (subjects one and two) and giving us more hints about what is to come (remember that little theme buried at the end of the first subject – bars 43-48?).  An extract from the first subject (slightly amended) is played briefly by the tubas and lower woodwinds in E minor (the original was based on a tonic A, remember?).  This is followed immediately by the second subject, played this time by the oboes, first clarinets and (later) the horns in its original key (E major). 

Section 12 introduces yet another interlude built on a B major seventh -- the “tear jerker” chord we first heard at the end of the second subject.  In performance, I think that the major seventh (in this case A# in the piccolo, B# in the clarinets and so on) should be similarly emphasized. Sustained Bs in the lower woodwinds and (eventually) the horns prepare us for the key of B minor.  Section 13 returns to that mysterious theme we heard briefly twice before (once at the end of the first subject and once in the bridge).  Its incarnation here begins with the flutes at bar 110 and is echoed immediately afterwards by the oboe and then the clarinets and bassoon, producing a sort of cascade effect:

Soon afterwards, however, the music builds to a crescendo and it seems that something is really going to happen.   The composer, however, cuts the theme short once again with a headlong rush into the development section.

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