Posted by Patrick Sheridan on August 20, 1999 at 09:21:33:
In Reply to: Eb Question posted by Brian on August 19, 1999 at 22:24:18:
This style of "tuba voicing" is very common in wind bands. Especially in countries like Holland, Belgium, and Norway. In these countries, most of the wind bands are amateur bands. Not in the sense we think of in the US, but just meaning - not paid. The level is extremely high. I was at the Norwegian Wind Band Championships last March in Trondheim and the top three bands there could have easily given the best military bands in the US a run for their money! Truly!! Anyway, using Eb/BBb tubas in a section is a great way to create a cohesive and not too boomy tuba section sound. As far as whether to teach the student new fingerings or teach him/her to transpose remains the question. As a kid, I learned from the standpoint of different fingerings. I learned later to look at it from the standpoint of transposition. This is difficult in the US because most band sets are not sold with tranposed parts. In Europe reading transposed parts is second nature to most tubists and band sets are sold with Tuba in Eb (both TC and BC) and Tuba in Bb (both TC and BC) and Tuba in C. ...just teach them the new fingerings...they'll learn them quickly...
Regarding the octave doubling the Joe mentioned in old band arrangments...this was actually a short hand for copyists in that they combined the string bass part with the tuba part. Most of those old arr. are labeled as the "Basses" part. So an octave doubling usually wasn't what was wanted...HOWEVER...that being said...I can't remember a time during my short stint in the US Marine Band in which we didn't make an octave doubling out of nearly everything. (Mostly for our own adrenaline rush...)
Best of Luck!!