Posted by Jay Bertolet on August 20, 1999 at 13:48:32:
In Reply to: Eb Question posted by Brian on August 19, 1999 at 22:24:18:
Me personally, I always enjoy playing in groups that employ this technique because it has distinct advantages over more traditional sections. My thinking is that the octave pairing can have alot more carry to the sound and thus gives more clarity and power. Of course, a very high priority must be given to intonation concerns as bad intonation will ruin the projection benefits. I remember seeing a concert given by "The President's Own" Marine Band and they were using, with 5 players, three CC's and two F's and it had a similar effect. I think you get two main things: a larger and lusher mix of overtones and more of a connection between the bass line and the next octave up. It is really kind of strange because you get better projection of the bass line and a more homogeneous overall ensemble sound. I prefer having a fourth between the tubas instead of a third so your mix of BBb's and Eb's should work great! Having three players on BBb and only one on Eb should be very versatile. I'm sure you'll be able to incorporate 2 + 1 + 1 configurations quickly, as your top player becomes more familiar with the Eb. I can tell you from experience that there is nothing that cuts through the band like tubas spread across two octaves when you double the bottom part.
I would encourage you to proceed with your plan. I would suggest a larger Eb, something like a Besson 981 if your budget can afford it. The Willson Eb is great but financially prohibitive. Please let us know how it works out!