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#1658026 - 04/11/11 02:26 AM Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help!
Jared Hoeft Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 174
Loc: Hutchinson, Minnesota, United ...
My roommate let me borrow his music history textbook for the semester. In exchange, he asked me to compose a piece for his Junior saxophone recital, a intermediate level piece for saxophone quartet. I've written for saxophone before but never for a sax quartet (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone) and I don't really know much about the musical idiom of the group. I'm trying to find music on youtube to study, but I'd love it if any of you knew of any great sax quartet music I could listen to!

Secondly, I could also use a whole bunch of pieces to listen to for symphonic wind band. I'm beginning a huge project for the symphonic band at my college and the more music I have to listen to, the better. Also, do any of you veteran composers have any tips for writing for either of these ensembles? They're both quite new to me and I'd love to hear any constructive input regarding composition for them! Thanks smile

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#1658067 - 04/11/11 05:46 AM Re: Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help! [Re: Jared Hoeft]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1229
Loc: London UK
Whatever the textbooks may say about range, keep them between written middle C and the C two octaves higher. If tempted to write higher, get your room-mate to demonstrate the sound.

You may find that the acedemic culture of your institution requires a new composition to "explore the possibilities" of the instruments rather than just writing music. But go easy on the unusual playing techniques and, again, get a player to demonstrate.

Search YouTube for "saxophone quartet". Also http://youtu.be/oJHeDcuvhzs (and other versions of the same tune)

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#1662920 - 04/19/11 12:40 PM Re: Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help! [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Jared Hoeft Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 174
Loc: Hutchinson, Minnesota, United ...
Thanks! I know I could write something fairly basic without exploring the possibilities of saxophone sound, but what I don't want to do is write a piece that could be played by any quartet. I'm not writing for string quartet, I'm writing for sax quartet, and I want to utilize the specific timbre of the instruments at least a bit. But I certainly don't want to go overboard! Thanks for the link smile

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#1663200 - 04/19/11 08:15 PM Re: Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help! [Re: Jared Hoeft]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
A friend of mine is in a professional sax quartet - check them out, they're incredible, and the music they have really shows off what a sax quartet can do:

http://zzyzxquartet.com/
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1663344 - 04/20/11 12:32 AM Re: Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help! [Re: Kreisler]
Jared Hoeft Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 174
Loc: Hutchinson, Minnesota, United ...
Thanks so much! This is some great music to listen to, and it sounds very new. Searching "sax quartet" on youtube, almost all the results were either jazz, or arrangements of Bach for the ensemble. This is unique! Thanks for the link.

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#1664611 - 04/22/11 02:49 AM Re: Writing music for saxophone and band, I could use some help! [Re: Kreisler]
scherzetto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Canada
Here's another composer seconding the thanks, Kreisler! Who knew a sax quartet could sound so intriguing? Both the performances and pieces were a pleasure to listen to.
_________________________
"Where words fail, music speaks." --Hans Christian Andersen

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