Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There is common repertoire for every instrument. Every brass player comes across Arban's Carnival of Venus, every alto saxophonist encounters Parker's licks. For some instruments - piano, guitar - the literature is so extensive that there may not really be anything common for two musicians to share. If you're into country blues or Segovia, you can play guitar for fifty years and never get to learn Purple Haze. On the other hand, every slide guitar player can play Rollin' and Tumblin'. For many other instruments, the book is pretty thin: every banjoist can pick Black Mountain Rag, French horn's got its Mozart Third Concerto and Wagner bits, for harmonica there's My Babe, bagpipers have a handful of Scottish/Irish tunes... and how much is written for gamelan or theremin? It takes a long, long time to build a literature for an instrument - which makes the euphonium situation all the more miraculous.

Euphonium is a wonderful but obscure instrument of the brass family (it's also got a twin brother called a baritone saxhorn - the difference is like trumpet and cornet, i.e. pretty much none). Looking like a dwarf tuba, it is a tenor-pitched instrument with a range similar to that of a trombone. I blame its obscurity on the fact that there was pretty much no repertoire for it - until recently. In the last decade or so, an interesting thing happened: euphonium book spontaneously expanded and engulfed a most unlikely style - the video game music. A cursory search on youtube reveals hundreds of young euphonists (euphonimists? euphists?) bashing out this or that Mario theme, Zelda's Ocarina Of Time etc.etc. It's not like there's a music school somewhere with a particularly geeky/open-minded low brass professor - the players are from all over, Europe, UK, US, wherever. It seems like the idea of picking out a videogame tune on a euphonium or tuba is the most natural one.
Hereby, I present my case:

A one-man brass orchestra:

A one-man euphonium trio:

Final Fantasy 6


Here's one for three tubas

No less than five overdubbed euphonium parts - notice it's the same guy as the first video, euphonium07, Anthony Caillet - check out his youtube channel!

And this one must be the coolest videogame music interpretation ever - not on euphonium, though.


  1. Hello,

    Just a quick word to let you know that you are featured in our blogroll on Radio.Video.Jazz

    Please check our site. If you like our work, do link back to us.

    If you feel like contributing, let us know.

    A lot of thanks.

    The Radio.Video.Jazz Team

    PS : you can also check our other website Radio.Video.Trad

  2. Cara, que foto é essa do logo?
    Please, what kind or history about the logo photo?
    Parabens pelo blog

  3. Mursi tribeswoman of Ethiopia