Tuning & Balance Exercises (brass band version)

for brass band

Torbjörn Hultmark

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for brass band

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Composer Torbjörn Hultmark
Year of Composition 2020
Duration -


Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-th1tabe4


It is essential for any musician or ensemble to master the important skills of good tuning and balance. How to achieve this, however, is more often than not left to individuals to work out best they can with little more than the usual ‘listen and use your ears’ type of advice. Whereas this advice indeed is probably the single most useful instruction that any musician can be given, 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 understand the mechanics or to acquire a deeper knowledge of tuning.

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 horrible, you are out of tune!”. It was both humiliating and unhelpful since I had no idea of 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 too 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.

‘Tuning and Balance Exercises for Brass Band’ represent part of my approach to this area of musicianship, developed over many years through playing, teaching, coaching, and conducting. I hope you too will find them useful.

Special thanks to John Wallace CBE and John Miller (RNCM) for their invaluable and generous advice during the writing of these exercises.

This work is also available for symphonic brass, brass dectet and brass quintet.