1. About

The modern concert band has almost supplanted the symphony orchestra in terms of new compositions.  However, the potential of the medium is untapped.  In fact, most of the music coming out now is utterly dull and colorless.

The blog is meant to serve as a guide for new and creative ways to score for the modern wind band.

Review from Thomas Goss

Help Support Bandestration!

10 thoughts on “1. About

  1. Hi! I can’t seem to figure out how to send you a private message, so I’m posting here:

    Do you know of any website like this that is for percussion? I need something that’s just as in depth as this for percussion, as it is a very unfamiliar field for me. Thanks!

  2. At some point, I do plan on including percussion. At least the basic percussion instruments. There is no way anyone can cover every percussion instrument. For books, I would suggest Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook and the Yehudi Menuhin guide Percussion by James Holland.

  3. Hello, Dear Newton. First of all, congratulations for this wonderfull work. My name is Natan Ourives. I´m a Brazilian composer and copyist of the main orchestra of my state (Orquestra Sinfônica da Bahia). There is a contrabassonist friend of mine that is interested to play your composition, the Concerto for Contrabassoon and Orchestra. It is possible? If yes, how?

    Best regards,
    Natan Ourives

  4. Niles Loughlin

    Mr. Newton,
    I cannot express how thankful I am to have come across your sight. It brings me great joy and reassurance, as well as a continued sense of optomism, that there are people like you in the world who believe in the innovation of the full spectrum of all wind and brass instruments, in the wind band and orchestra, and in the possibilities of music as a whole. Often times I find myself wondering about the same topics you have taken the time to put down in words and in writing; such as the lack of development of the double reed family, a comprehensive history and coverage of the sarrusophone, the creation of new instruments, and the possibilities of color and tonal blends with the experimentation and implemrntation of full wind families and instrumrnt combinations. Where I fall short is that I do not take the time you have so clearly dedicated to actually communicate these ideas to the public, as I simply share them with friends as they come across my mind. I believe what you are doing is important, and I understand the frustration that comes with having ideas that seem crazy or impossible to carry out (what’s so wrong about wondering what a mellophone sonata would sound like, what a violin octet family symphony would be capable of, or what a career as a tenor sarrusophonist would be like right?). I commend you for what seems to be tireless effort that has been put forth to study, research, conceptualize, and communicate your ideas in some way for people to reach them. I can tell you that it is heard and understood, at least by myself, and that I believe in what you stand for. I’m currently a junior (3rd year) undergraduate student at the University of South Florida studying clarinet and bass clarinet (my primary), through our school’s music studies program, as well as international studies as a double major. I hope to continue as a graduate student in music performance in the future. My hopes in you receiving this message is that you hear another voice that agrees with what I believe to be the future in the possibilities in music, and with proper funding (it’s frustrating to want to own all of the instrument families that exist in brand new condition to play, yet be confined to a handful of school instruments that you don’t even own) could be a reality someday. I wish you good luck in all of your future compositional endeavours, with time and proper circumstances I’m sure such unique pieces will be played someday (I know I would be an advocate), and feel free to keep in touch if you wish.
    Niles L.

  5. Thomas Pinschof

    I praise you for clarifying the terrible mixup of terminology with the family of Flutes! I have found one omission which is the Piccoletto in E-flat that is made by Jean-Yves Rosen and Pierre-Yves Artaud plays one. Also did you know that there is a Nightingale flute which is also known as flautino in g (an octave above the altoflute). There is also a descant flute in F made by Kotato & Fukishima (they also make the best low flutes all the way to the spectacular Subcontrabass in C that has the same range as a contrabassoon) which has an optional membrane as to sound like a Chinese flute. The Instrument that was colloquially called Contrabass in G started as a transverse model made by Christian Jäger in München and later improved by him to the same design specifications than the Pinschofon and all subsequent low flutes were built with this principal idea of resting on the floor.The Octobass by Jean-Yves Roosen was the next which started in a saxophone like version (The prototype of this belongs to Trevor Wye) and then he decided to use my idea of resting it in the floor and this is still how he makes it.
    Here is the Pinschofon that I presented at the Frankfurt Music Fair in 1971 in action:

    1. I immediately recognized your name from my years of reading articles about odd instruments on the internet. I’m currently working on a massive revision of the articles on the website that will for a small fraction of the book I’m working on. I’m actually working on the flute chapters now (some of the last to do before the volume is complete). Many (probably all) of the instruments you mention will be included in the text. I’d love to correspond more. If you’d like, e-mail me at bret.newton99@gmail.com.

  6. Alan Andrews

    Re Contrabass Clarinet.

    Another composer who wrote for the Fontaine-Besson instrument was Ernest Chausson in his opera “Le Roi Arthus”, written 1886-1895, premiered 1903. The strongly Wagnerian style may account for the obscurity of this excellent and beautiful work – it would not have been popular in France post-1914. The dates of composition relative to the appearance of the Fontaine-Besson contrabass clarinet may account for the fact that the instrument is not used until half way through Act 2 but thereafter Chausson writes adventurously for it, calling for a range of 2+ octaves from low D-flat (probably unavailable then) to F-sharp. There are several prominent solos, for example at the beginning of Act 3. Altogether the part has the flavour of a Wagner bass clarinet part, the composer clearly relishing its solo voice throughout the range.

    As I recall, the contrabass clarinet part in Dvorak’s The Devil and Kate is restricted to a slow one octave low-register scale of F major, repeated a few times, doubled on the 2nd clarinet part.

    I hope this is of interest.

    Alan Andrews (clarinets, contrabass etc, UK)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s