The Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method

A practical method for teachers and instrumentalists

Torbjörn Hultmark

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A practical method for teachers and instrumentalists


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Composer Torbjörn Hultmark
Year of Composition 2022
Duration -
ISMN 9790570684137
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-b-th1thtm3


The Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method (THTM) is a practice method for teachers, conductors, coaches and instrumentalists as well as anyone from elementary to advanced level who wants to further improve their intonation skills. The exercises are primarily written with brass teachers and players in mind but just about any instrumentalist or singer can benefit from this method. The practice of long notes, scales, arpeggios articulation and listening skills – the basic building blocks of THTM – will also be useful more generally in maintaining and developing playing skills and tone production.

The starting point of The Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method is that of providing a methodical approach for the practice of intonation. Since we are here mainly dealing with intervals, the aim is not primarily that of learning intonation in harmonically more complex orchestral or ensemble situations [for an ensemble-based approach, see Tuning & Balance Exercises, publ. Composers Edition] but you will find that the skills aquired in THTM will form essential building blocks for a more complete control of intonation in many of the situations that musicians encounter in their everyday work. The method can over just a few weeks dramatically improve a player’s ability to understand, correct and avoid tuning problems in rehearsals and concerts but, overall and for the longer term, listening and intonation skills should be seen as a beautiful lifelong quest to do with musical creativity.

We all know that it is essential for any musician to master the important skills of intonation. How to achieve this, however, is often left to individuals to work out with little more than the usual ‘listen and use your ears’ type of advice. On the one hand this is probably the single most useful instruction that any musician can be given but it is true to say also that there is a lot more to it than this and for most of us it doesn’t go very far in helping to acquire a deeper knowledge and control of tuning and intonation. Many of us have developed as musicians during our early formative years in school bands and youth orchestras where intonation sometimes has been ropey at best. Since we learn through listening, and bearing in mind that intonation even in professional contexts will by necessity be a compromise, how are we to learn to learn what good, acceptable or desirable intonation sounds like, and how do we learn to control it? These issues will become more clear through practising the exercises of this book in a focused and methodical way.

A couple of milestones in my own development in this area spring to mind. The first was during my teens when the conductor of my youth orchestra looked at me with a grimace, pulling his ear as if to say “it sounds terrible, you are out of tune”. It was both humiliating and unhelpful since I had no idea what was wrong or what I was supposed to do. The other occasion some years later was as a professional brass player when one of my colleagues came up to me after a rehearsal saying “you play sharp”. This was rather more helpful but it came as a complete shock since I hadn’t noticed that anything was wrong. I started looking at tuning much more deeply and this turned out to be a personal turning point.

The Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method represents a part of my approach to this area of musicianship, developed over many years through playing, teaching, coaching, and conducting and it has been of great help in my work. I believe that you too will find it useful.

Audio files for the Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method are available from

A bass clef version of this book is available here.