Re: Practical playing range

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Posted by Jay Bertolet on November 27, 1999 at 12:24:07:

In Reply to: Practical playing range posted by Neil Dwyer on November 27, 1999 at 11:25:13:

My guess would be high F or Eb over the staff might be the practical limit IF you're trying to allow players on BBb to access the piece. I believe the trick is not the range but the context it is used in. For example, I suggest to all my students that it is foolish to play the Vaughan-Williams Concerto on a BBb tuba (even though I did it myself in high school) because the context doesn't lend itself to a bigger instrument. Aside from one Ab over the high F, which is optional, the V-W Concerto has a top end range of high F. Playing that 2nd movement on a BBb tuba is just really difficult because of the softer dynamics and the general "finesse" nature of the music. On the flip side, I do the Penderecki Capriccio on a CC while most use an F or Eb tuba and that piece has several high G's and a couple of notes above that. Same situation with the Kraft Encounters II. In both pieces the context is conducive to using a large tuba, in my opinion. So I think the range issue has to go hand-in-hand with how you use it. Good luck!

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