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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.

 

Support BBJ-Buy from my Store

Tone Colour

There is no such thing in music as a “pure” tone, in the sense of their being only one frequency produced.  Instead, the sounds made by musical instruments are in reality a complex blend of the fundamental note and various combinations of upper partials. This difference in blend produces different timbres or tone colors, enabling us to distinguish, for example, between the sound of a flute, oboe and a clarinet, even when they are playing at the same pitch.  The flute produces only a few, weak harmonics, which is why it has a simple, mellow sound.  The oboe, on the other hand, is rich in higher harmonics. The clarinet sounds reedy because it produces mostly odd harmonics.  Its higher partials are also fairly strong.

Modern electronic equipment is able to measure both the number and relative strength of these upper partials or harmonics fairly accurately.  This is how electronic synthesizers are able to imitate orchestral sounds.

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