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Trombone Trios and Quartets

Trombone Trios – New listings
Mountain Music - arr. Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50532001  
We don’t usually think of trombone players playing Mountain Music, but why deprive them of that privilege! They will enjoy two familiar tunes: Sourwood Mountain and Old Joe Clark. Both songs are in the key of F, and although some independent counting is required, most of the rhythms will be not present a big challenge. Range is perfect for developing players. Staccato marcato style is necessary to catch the spirit of the music, and some glissandos are included to let you know this is for trombones. This trio is also available for French Horns.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot - arr. Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50532002  
African American spirituals are uniquely American. They speak to us emotionally by instruments as well as vocally. This arrangement for trombones also includes the challenge of interpreting jazz which emerged from the spirituals. The top range is basically high F but there are several high G’s. Each instrument will have short solos. The challenges of this trio will be well worth the effort.

Trombone Trios
Dance Suite - Hall            Score sample           MP3
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A all mvts, B any 2  Publ. Code: 00408  
This original suite of dances is a challenging piece, and well worth the effort. All three movements are written in the style of the 18th century dance forms for which they are named. The first movement “Gavotte” is full of moving independent rhythms. Even though the style of the “Sarabande” is traditional, the harmony projects the richness and sonority of the trombone sound. The third movement “Gigue a la Canon” is quite challenging regarding technical facility, and all three players are equal because it is an exact canon. The upper range demands in movements 1 and 3 are up to high Bb, and movement 2 calls for a good full bodied high C. Keys are Bb major for movements 1 and 3, and the Sarabande is in G minor. Total duration is a little over 5 minutes. The trio was written for the Mansfield Symphony trombone section to perform in a recital. Competent players will get a musical and technical challenge and will enjoy this trio immensely. Treble clef parts are included for Euphonium.

Elijah Favorites - Mendelssohn/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00410  
”Elijah” is an oratorio telling the dramatic story of this well-known Old Testament prophet and his battle with the pagan gods. It is considered one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works. Included are two familiar selections from the oratorio - a chorale, “Cast Thy Burden”. and “Lift Thine Eyes”. The tessitura of the first part lies high with high A being the top pitch. Total duration is just under 3 minutes. Good tone and musical phrasing are of utmost importance in these two beautiful pieces originally for voices. Treble clef parts are included for Euphonium.

Olde Tyme Songs - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00414  
The two original tunes in this publication are patterned after two 19th century styles. Waltzes were in vogue in the mid 19th century when the tunes were labeled as being sentimental, hence the title “Sentimental Waltz”. Ragtime hit the charts at the very end of the 19th century and early 1900’s. The second movement is titled “Rambunctious Rag” and the third trombone part has some characteristic glissandos which trombones effectively do, but euphoniums can imitate. This trio is also listed under low brass ensemble, so treble clef parts are provided. Parts are well marked to indicate style, articulations, phrasing and dynamics which will give direction for rehearsing. Range is very playable, from high F to F below the staff. This trio is lots of fun to play and excellent for concert and contest.

Reflecting and Rejoicing - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00409  
This trio was written as a compositional challenge. Both pieces are exact canons which naturally requires three players of equal ability. “Reflecting” is a lyrical piece and “Rejoicing”, in contrast, is fast and technical in 3/4 meter played one beat to a measure. All three trombonists also must match the style of the others in each piece. Range includes a number of high G’s, and endurance is somewhat demanding because there are very few rests. However, the total length is only about 3’30”. For three trombones of equal ability this trio will be lots of fun. Treble clef parts are included for Euphonium.

Stephen Foster Songs - Foster/Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20532417  
Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) composed over 175 songs which have become America’s folk songs because they express in melody and lyrics the 19th century life of the common man. Many of his songs were written for minstrel shows as is the case with the first song in this suite “Ring, Ring the Banjo”. “Old Folks At Home” is the best known of all of his songs, and “Oh, Susanna” became an immediate hit. It was picked up by the forty-niners and sung all the way to California by those involved in the gold rush. These three pieces contrast in style and make use of the glissando, a trademark of trombone playing in the minstrel style. Range is between high F and F below the staff. This is an outstanding addition to chamber music for the trombone.

Chorale, Waltz and March - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20532419  
This is an original composition to showcase the talents of a developing trombone ensemble. All three sections are melodic and treated in a contrapuntal manner, and all three are in contrasting styles, offering a wide range of experience for the performers and interesting listening for the audience. Range is limited from high Eb down to G bottom line of the staff and keys are Eb and Bb major, making this an excellent choice for players with limited experience. Total duration is 2’45”.

College Glee Club - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00415  
”Aura Lee” and “Good Night Ladies” are both songs from the late 19th century which were very popular with college glee clubs, especially of mens voices. Male chorus music adapts very well to trombones because it is in the same range, and even the quality and sonority of sound is similar. Technical demands and range are not excessive. It was written for young players, but will sound equally well with more advanced players. Since “Aura Lee” is a ballad it will require legato playing which is often a challenge for young players, but also can be a valid learning experience. Range is from D above the staff, just down to Ab bottom line and the key is Bb major all thru the piece. All parts have a chance to play the melody as the trio progresses. This is an excellent choice for a young group for concert and contest.

Crusaders Variations - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20532418  
”Crusaders Hymn” is one of the best known and most loved hymn tunes in the world. It is a folk tune of unknown origin having nothing to do with religion and was first published in 1842. The editor reports hearing it being sung by haymakers in Silesia (now a section of southern Poland). This arrangement consists of a statement of the theme with some individuality of parts, followed by two short variations, first in a Viennese waltz style, and culminating in a march style in 3/4 meter somewhat resembling a polonaise. Range is quite limited from Eb above the staff down to Ab bottom space making this an excellent choice for developing players. It is in the key of Eb major all through with a duration of 2’15”. Parts are well marked for style, articulation, dynamics and phrasing to aid in playing it musically.

Spirituals About Nobody - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00411  
Spirituals are truly American music and are a great contribution to our heritage. The music, as well as the text, expresses the sorrows and the joys of the early African-American slaves. Bible stories were taught thru singing spirituals to those who could not read. Even when the works are not sung, the emotion of the message can be felt. This trio arrangement includes two familiar spirituals, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray”. Both legato and marcato styles are needed. Range is limited to Eb above the staff down to Ab in the staff and keys are Ab and Eb major. There are two more trios based on spirituals listed below. This trio is perhaps the least difficult of the three. However, all three are musically demanding but quite rewarding. All have treble parts for euphoniums.

Spirituals from the Old South - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00413  
Spirituals are truly American music and are a great contribution to our heritage. The music, as well as the text, expresses the sorrows and the joys of the early African-American slaves. Bible stories were taught thru singing spirituals to those who could not read. This short suite is a medley of three familiar spirituals - “My Lord, What a Mornin’”, “King Jesus Is A’Listenin’” and “My Lord Delivered Daniel”. Both legato and marcato playing are required to express the mood and spirit of the music. Range extends from high F to low F with the exception of one low E natural. Keys are F, Ab and Bb major. There are two other trombone trios based on spirituals above and below this listing, all musically demanding but quite rewarding. All have treble parts for euphoniums.

Steal Away Little David - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00412  
Spirituals are truly American music and are a great contribution to our heritage. The music, as well as the text, expresses the sorrows and the joys of the early African-American slaves. Bible stories were taught thru singing spirituals to those who could not read. This trio rather obviously includes two familiar spirituals, “Steal Away” and “Little David, Play On Your Harp”. Both legato and marcato playing are required to express the mood and spirit of the music. Range extends from high F to low F. Keys are F and Ab major. There are two other trombone trios based on spirituals described above this listing. All are musically demanding, but quite rewarding. All have treble parts for euphoniums.

Trombone Quartets
Gaudeamus Igitur - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 00416  
”Let us Rejoice” is a free translation of the Latin title “Gaudeamus Igitur”. It is a college song, originally from Europe, and often attributed to the great romantic composer Brahms, because he used this tune as the theme in the finale of his “Academic Festival Overture. This arrangement is a set of three variations on the tune which follow a statement of the theme. Range of the first part is up to high Ab. A full range of varying styles are included. Keys are Ab, Bb and Eb major and total duration is three and a half minutes. It can also be performed by Euphonium Quartet. Treble clef parts are included.

Amazing Grace - Hall, arr.            Score sample           MP3
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00417  
”Amazing Grace” is one of the world’s best known hymns, yet the origin of the tune is unknown. The simplicity of the melody and harmony make it sound like a folk song. The familiar text was written by an English evangelical clergyman, John Newton, who began his career as a slave trader, but had a vision which changed his life. This arrangement was first made for male quartet with a piano accompaniment and later adapted for trombone quartet because of the similar range and sonority of sound. The piano part is provided although it is optional to the performance. Range is from high F (except for one high G) to low F and the set of variations proceeds thru several keys - Eb, F, G and Ab, each increasing the intensity of the emotion. It is dedicated to Jeff Shellhammer, Band Director at Gahanna Lincoln H.S. Ohio who has performed this quartet in church and also as a trombone choir in concert with 18 trombones. It has also been performed frequently in Ohio contests both with and without piano. Treble clef parts are supplied for euphoniums.

The Long and Short of It - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00329  
The sub-title is “Three Short Movements for Four Long Instruments”. Keys are in Bb, Eb and Ab major which will give the developing trombonists the opportunity to play in all slide positions, both long and short. Long also applies to the lyrical legato style asked for in the first movement titled “Lullaby”, “Slow Dance” and “Polka” both are to be played in the short style (staccato-marcato). Range is from high F above the staff down two octaves to low F. The use of glissandi in the “Polka” will give the players opportunity to experience the characteristic fun of playing trombone and add to the enjoyment of the experience for both them and for their audience. Treble clef parts for euphoniums are also provided.

Processions in Contrast - Percy Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: Jr. High  Publ. Code: 20537001  
This ensemble is an excellent choice for Junior High/Middle School ensembles. It is on the OMEA class C list for Low Brass Quartet (Tuba Quartet) but is equally effective for Trombone Quartet. Limited range and endurance. [Refer to Low Brass Quartet for more complete description.]

Proudly As The Eagle - Spohr/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: Jr. High  Publ. Code: 20413105  
This ensemble is an excellent choice for Junior High/Middle School ensembles. It is on the OMEA class C list for Low Brass Quartet (Tuba Quartet) but is equally effective for Trombone Quartet. Limited range and endurance. [Refer to Low Brass Quartet for more complete description.]

Songs of Joy - Spohr/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00419  
Louis Spohr is a lesser known German composer who lived at the same time as Beethoven. He was an outstanding violinist and is remembered mostly for his violin compositions. “Proudly As The Eagle” however, is a vocal piece from one of his operas, and it is well adapted to trombone quartet as it was originally written for male chorus. The second song of joy is “Vive L’amour”, which is a college song with a text that applauds the value of friendship and good fellowship. These two songs contrast and compliment each other in style. Range is from F above the staff to F below the staff. Coordination of slide and articulations is necessary for an adequate performance of “Vive L’amour” but less experienced players will master it because it is fun to play. Treble clef parts are available for euphoniums.

Two Auras - arr. Percy Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: Jr. High  Publ. Code: 20537002  
This ensemble is an excellent choice for Junior High/Middle School ensembles. It is on the OMEA class C list for Low Brass Quartet (Tuba Quartet) but is equally effective for Trombone Quartet. Limited range and endurance. [Refer to Low Brass Quartet for more complete description.]

Variations on Olivet - Mason/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00418  
”Olivet” is a hymn tune composed by Lowell Mason in 1831 to the text “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”. Mason wrote over 700 hymn tunes and this is one of his best known tunes. We can give thanks to Mason for being responsible for introducing music education into the school curriculum in the United States with an experimental program in Boston schools. This arrangement for four trombones (or euphoniums) presents the melody in three contrasting variations in traditional harmonies. Although the range demands are not excessive, the 4th part calls for good solid sounds down to low F, and the 1st player goes up to high G. Both legato and marcato styles are needed. Keys are Eb and F major. This is an excellent trio for performance in concert, contest or church.

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at www.adobe.com.


How to order:   Published music can be purchased from any reputable music dealer, including the following:
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43215, phone 1-800-42MUSIC.
Rettig Music, Inc., Defiance / Lima / Toledo / Westlake, phone 1-800-52MUSIC.


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