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Trombone and Euphonium Music Index (includes
music for bass trombone)
Trombone or euphonium ensembles
(An asterisk, "*" after the word "trombone" means that the part may also be played by a euphonium.)
AQUARIUS (2013) for three trombones* by Howard J. Buss showcases both the agility and the beautiful, sonorous tone of instruments. It is the second in a series of works by the composer inspired by the signs of the Zodiac. The 2 movements are At the Glow of Dawn and Ocean Blue. Aquarius explores a variety of sonic atmospheres and moods. The sophisticated musical language coupled with soaring melodies and intriguing rhythms makes it an accessible concert work as well as an impressive contest piece. (7’) Grade V.
AVE VERUM CORPUS by W. A. Mozart, transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This sensitive rendition of one of Mozarts most sublime works makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a wonderful musical offering in church. (330) Grade II-III.
BROM BONES for trombone octet by Howard Buss.
This riveting tour de force musically depicts the character and exploits of Washington Irvings dashing prankster, Brom Bones, in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The musical ensemble consists of 2 trombone quartets, each comprised of three tenors and one bass. The work is cast in 5 movements, the first two are interconnected:
I. Overture (2:00)
II. The Smoke Out (2.40)
III. The Schoolhouse Caper (2:00)
IV. Ichabods Romance (3:40)
V. Night Encounter (3:10)
Following the energetic and heroic Overture, in The Smoke Out tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabods singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his small band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The Schoolhouse Caper, combines very aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. Ichabods Romance begins as a beautiful unaccompanied ballad which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of brassy muted trombones, suggesting the whining of Broms mocking dog. Beautiful hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Broms annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful trombone solo. The intense final movement, Night Encounter, depicts Ichabods frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones in disguise. This is a must for the advanced college ensemble. Score & parts included. (14') Grade V-VI. B405 $38.50 Score Sample.pdf
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3 Score sample:
CROSSROADS(2011) for 4-part trombone choir and 8 percussion by Howard J. Buss was written during the summer of 2011 and is dedicated to Tom Brantley and Robert McCormick. The University of South Florida Trombone Choir and Percussion Ensemble premiered it in Tampa, Florida on January 21, 2012. The character of this music is strongly influenced by jazz and Latin music. The intriguing rhythms and soaring melodies combined with the implied theatre suggested by the staging, make this a sophisticated, yet accessible composition that is rewarding to perform and listen to. The 4 trombone parts may be performed with a quartet; however, it is desirable to have multiple players used on each part except in those areas where the score specifically specifies one player on a part for a particular passage. The unique instrumentation of this ensemble, combined with the prevalence of numerous colleges and universities that have trombone choirs and percussion ensembles, make this a concert work that is destined to become standard literature. (15’40”) Grade V.
Additional Information: Percussion setup page.pdf General notes and instructions.pdf
Sound Samples: Excerpt_1.mp3, Excerpt_2.mp3, Excerpt_3.mp3, Excerpt_4.mp3
View at CROSSROADS YouTube Video
DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual (the foot bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the...), by Howard Buss, makes a memorable concert feature as well as a rousing musical offering in church. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. This arrangement is hugely influenced by jazz. The composer wrote an extended two-part introduction which begins hymn-like, and then breaks out in a jubilant jazzy section. This is followed by a more traditional rendering of the spiritual; however, as the music reaches its climax, the jazz "licks" from the introduction are brought back as counterpoint against the main melody of the spiritual. The result is exhilarating, and for a bit of humor, just as the work ends, there is a "tongue-in-cheek" plagal cadence. (230) Grade IV. 2-page score sample.pdf
Dry Bones trombone quartet sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
Dry Bones brass quartet score sample: Excerpt.pdf
LEVI'S DREAM (2011) for trombone* quartet (3 tenors and one bass) or ensemble by Howard J. Buss. This colorful work showcases the agility and rich sonority of the instruments. The title refers to an imagined dream of Levi, the namesake of the Israelite Tribe. The Levites were known for their involvement in priestly duties and music. Although the composition is loosely programmatic, much of the music has a distinctly Middle-eastern quality. The soulful nature of the slower sections is enhanced by the expressive, luscious ambience of the ensemble. The composition features two sections with original tunes in the style of Jewish folk songs. One is slow and contemplative, the other jubilant. Levi’s Dream an audience-friendly work appropriate for the concert hall or in a house of worship. Sound samples: Excerpt_1.mp3; Excerpt_2.mp3; Excerpt_3.mp3 (7'40") Grade V. B428T $18.50
ODYSSEY (1987) for trombone quartet (or ensemble) by Howard J. Buss is scored for three tenor and one bass. (A tenor with an F-attachment may play the 4th part is no bass is available.) This riveting composition is an exciting musical excursion by one of the eminent composers of contemporary trombone music. Bold fanfare sections contrast with beautiful chorale-like passages. The writing is idiomatic and the ranges are modest. (Part 1 ascends briefly to an optional high Cb and part 4 descends to a pedal G.) No extended techniques are employed, yet because of the intriguing scoring and the tasteful, ingenuous use of mutes, the music sounds fresh and invigorating. (1010) Grade V.
PRAYER (2015) for 12-part trombone ensemble by Howard J. Buss is a beautiful, meditative work designed to be performed in a concert venue or as a musical offering in a house of worship. Its reverent quality is enhanced by the rich sonority and organ-like quality of the large trombone ensemble. The musical language is sophisticated, yet accessible to general audiences. It begins with a lyrical 12-tone melody that is symbolic of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The dodecaphonic reference also relates to the instrumentation: In the concluding section, the twelve pitches of the opening melody are presented with each player assigned to one pitch. A reverent atmosphere permeates the musical tapestry throughout. Prayer is accessible to amateur and high school-level players. (5’10”) Grade III-IV.
Sound sample: Excerpt.mp3 - Score Sample.pdf
(A version of this work for tuba-euphonium ensemble is on our tuba page.)
PRELUDE AND INTRADA (2007) for four euphoniums and/or trombones by Howard Buss. This quartet features lyrical writing and spirited rhythmic drive. The Prelude is an interesting combination of fanfare and lyrical sections as well as tonal and polytonal harmonies. The festive Intrada is in an ABA-Coda format and features crisp, energetic rhythms and lyrical contrapuntal writing. It works well as a memorable feature number or an impressive contest piece. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. (515) Grade V. Score Sample.pdf
RICERCARE ON C by Andrea Gabrieli (1510-1586) transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This late Renaissance work is written in a stirring imitative style. Particularly interesting are the meter changes involving metric modulations, a trait found in much of the dance music of the day. It makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a wonderful musical offering in church. (230) Grade III. 2-page score sample.pdf
Ricercare on C for trombone quartet sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
Ricercare on C for brass quartet sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
SHOWDOWN for 10-part trombone choir by Howard Buss was composed during the latter months of 2009 for Nathaniel Brickens, The University of Texas-Austin Trombone Choir, and the 2010 International Trombone Festival. This entertaining work is a musical depiction of two opposing groups of cowboys. Each group is comprised of a soloist and 4 “companions.” Following the initial fanfare, the groups individually showcase their musical prowess. Eventually they clash in a riveting sonic “gunfight.” Showdown mixes Buss’ unique style of soaring lyricism, energetic rhythms, and colorful harmonies with forceful and idiomatic writing for the trombones. The result is sure to please both the audience and performers! (10’30”) Grade V. Score Sample.pdf
Showdown sound samples (from live concert) Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
TROMBONE GRAFFITI for trombone quartet or ensemble by Howard J. Buss was composed in the fall of 2016 and is dedicated to The American Trombone Quartet. While writing this work the composer envisioned trombonists creating graffiti, not in the usual manner with paint and chalk, but with sonic gestures. The composition is musically sophisticated, yet is designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences. At times the music is characterized by bold, colorful swoops of sound, often with idiomatic glissandi. In other sections, staccato passages suggest a pointillist approach to creating the graffiti. Throughout, an undercurrent of edginess and electrifying tension permeates the music, as if to suggest the graffiti artists face the risk of getting caught in the act of producing their art. (7’14”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3
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