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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

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Resultant Tones

Occasionally, resultant tones or "ghost notes" can confuse an unwary section or band director. Resultant tones are faint notes resulting from the sounding of two loud notes simultaneously. There are two types. The first, which is lower in pitch, corresponds to the difference in vibration between the original two sounds. The other resultant tone - higher than the original two sounds - corresponds to the sum of their vibrations. You can demonstrate the effect for yourself by asking two advanced flute players to assist you. with each flute tuned to A=440hz, ask one to play C a twelfth above (1056 hz) and the other to play the E flat above that (1267.2 hz) and tune them perfectly. Then ask both players to play simultaneously. When this is done, the A flat two octaves and a third below will also be heard. This latter note is a resultant tone or "ghost note". It is best to use flutes for this experiment since they produce the purest sounds, thereby maximising the possibility of success.
 

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