Euphonic Sounds

Scott Joplin – Euphonic Sounds
Brass ensemble arrangement available by clicking here

The temptation when making a brass arrangement of late 19th & early 20th century marches is to take the road more traveled – to “arrange” these musical gems from the original band parts by simply eliminating the woodwind voices. The result often still sounds ‘band-like’ and not in the good way. The arrangement will be too thick, too loud, too harsh, too many pointless doublings, and offer very little contrast; musical, tonal, dynamic, or otherwise.

Likewise, ragtime seems pretty straightforward – tuba plays the bass line (maybe doubled with bass trombone or euphonium), trombones and/or horns play the off beats, and the trumpets play the melody.

Yawn.

These seemingly simple tunes are an orchestrators dream – textures which remain static in the original form represent an opportunity to really play with color and registration. Work hard to write musical arrangements – give everyone something fun to do, and thin and vary the textures, thereby providing musical contrast for both performer and audience.

Euphonic – having a pleasing mixture of notes (Webster)

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