THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AMERICAN SOLO TUBA REPERTOIRE

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2010

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Abstract

A very good case can be made that no other instrument has experienced as dramatic an increase in artistic solo repertoire as the tuba in the past sixty years. Prior to 1954, the mainstays of the tuba repertoire were trite caricature pieces such as Solo Pomposo, Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep, Beelzebub, and Bombastoso. A few tubists, seeing the tremendous repertoire by great composers written for their brass brethren, took it upon themselves to raise the standard of original compositions for tuba. These pioneers and champions of the tuba accomplished a great deal in the mid to late twentieth century. They structured a professional organization to solidify their ranks, planned and performed in the first tuba recitals at Carnegie Hall, organized the First International Tuba Symposium-Workshop, indirectly created more prestigious positions for tuba specialists at major universities, and improved the quantity and quality of the solo tuba repertoire. This dissertation focuses on the development of the solo repertoire for tuba that happened in the United States because of the tremendous efforts of William Bell,

Harvey Phillips, Roger Bobo, and R. Winston Morris. Because of their tireless work, tuba instrumentalists today enjoy a multitude of great solo works including traditional sonatas, concertos, and chamber music as well as cutting edge repertoire written in many genres and accompanied by a variety of mediums. This dissertation attempts to trace the development of the repertoire presenting the works of American composers in varying genres and musical styles from 1962 to present through three performed recitals.

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