The Tubist’s Guide to the Brass Quintet: A Survey of Historical Developments and Performance Techniques

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Since the standardization of the modern brass quintet in the middle of the twentieth century, extensive research has been dedicated to the history of the genre, ensembles which have promoted and advanced brass chamber music and the growing body of original brass quintet repertoire. Such scholarship has provided practical benefits to performers and reflected the increased validity of the brass quintet as a chamber music entity equal to that of its string and woodwind counterparts. No instrument has benefitted more from the progress and recognition of the brass quintet than the tuba. Despite this fact, relatively little scholarly activity has been devoted to the specific demands and applications of the tubist’s role in brass quintet performance. The current study serves as a performer’s guide for the tubist in a brass quintet. Following a brief introduction, the second chapter provides historical context by studying several ensembles and individuals who developed the genre of brass chamber music and the tuba’s function therein. Based on writings, interviews and recordings of these and many other preeminent chamber musicians and pedagogues, Chapter Three includes an overview of equipment considerations and elements of tuba performance unique or relevant to the brass quintet setting. Chapter Four applies these performance elements to Victor Ewald’s Quintet no. 1, op. 5, demonstrating a model for repertoire-specific research and performance preparation. By examining the history of the tuba in the brass quintet and performance aspects related to playing tuba in a chamber music setting, this document serves as both a reference for advanced performers and a pedagogical tool for students.

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  • 02/02/2018
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