What has changed since your last visit?
If you visit Odds & Ends you will find a link to a YouTube video of an exciting piece for seven trumpets and timps! I've also written you a note about what is happening next on this website, now that the school year is over. That's on the newest card at the page top – please go and take a look.
Well, it IS the summertime, right? So, at Odds & Ends you will find a YouTube link to an unbelievable, wonderful performance by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, two of the greatest-ever jazz artists, of this monster song written by George Gershwin, clever bloke that he was. Please go and give it a listen: your socks will explode with delight.
Run, don't walk to the Odds & Ends page for the very very popular and well-known Largo from Dvořák's New World Symphony. If you're playing it and anyone says "ah yes, the Hovis advert," please just smile politely and carry on with great dignity. Thank you.
I've been doing some very necessary tidying and sorting out. Please read on to see what has changed.
There is a new computer performance of This is my Wish at its page here, or if you just want to hear it directly without going to the page, the audio button below will do it for you. The old one was a bit horrible; this new one has better synthesized instruments and sounds more realistic. We can't do much about the computer voices: they just sing "ah" because they don't know the words!
I have tidied up the page about the postcard with horn music and added some minor but useful stuff. There is also a new question for you on the page: what does "op 31" mean there? Dojos for an answer!
Two more amazing performances of our Brass Ensemble tune, one from Ike and Tina Turner and the other from Maynard Ferguson. Please join me in being amazed by what this song has inspired people to do.
You will find these two new-but-from-1974 performances in the Other versions section of our Living for the City page.
Living for the City was getting a bit big for the main Brass Ensemble page, so it has moved to its own page where it has nore room to grow.
I've added another link, to a great live TV performance of the song – all the way from 1974!
We've started a page celebrating the Canonbury Primary School Brass Ensemble with music old and new and some information about the ensemble. It's early days yet and there is lots more to come, but you should certainly look at, and listen to, what is there now – whether or not you were in it before the lockdown! Pop along and visit the Brass Ensemble page for the latest information.
I've added a lot of new content about the postcard that I introduced yesterday. You can go to Odds & Ends to see the introdution and to hear the tune, but maybe you might like to go straight to a new page about the card with a big picture and lots more information. Enjoy!
Today on the Odds and Ends page you can see Christopher Bill, a man with great trombone
I'm sorry about the one moment of mildly bad language – please read the note about this on the Odds & Ends page. Thanks.
Michael Munzert clones himself and his blue plastic trombone to produce an impressive and quite bizarre video. Please hop along to Odds and Ends where it is currently the top item. Don't miss this one! Also there are two questions for you, and everybody likes questions, yesno??
A very very short and quite funny piece of modern classical music for trumpet, piano and squeaky plastic pig by William Gustav Morris. It's played by a great trumpet player called Aneel Soomary and his excellent colleagues. If you want to see it please visit Odds and Ends where it is the first item today. When you get there please carefully read the content warning and make sure that you are OK to watch it. If not, please just skip it.
Moving forward in musical time, we now have a link to a fantastic album by the Jamaican trombone star Rico Rodriguez. It's on the Odds and Ends page – at least till I get something better set up. Please go and listen to at least one song there – or the whole album, if you like.
To follow up on my talking about and playing the cornetto in my last two videos, I have added a YouTube link on the Odds and Ends page so that you can watch an absolutely top, genius player performing on and explaining this unusual instrument. Please go to the page and have a look: she is amazing.
With backings for p. 51 of Simply Brass now online, that makes the book sort-of finished. You can choose to play any page you like from 3 to 51 and we will have a backing for you.
The website will go on changing and improving. I will talk about this more some time soon. Simply Brass might be "finished", but Canonbury Brass is not!
Simply Brass page 50 is all about scales: seven altogether – that's three major, three minor and a surprising slinky chromatic. Now you can play them all with helpful backings at a good steady speed. Nicer than bunny-wunnies, and incredibly good for your playing skills!
Page 49 is the last Simply Brass page that has an actual piece on it – after that it's scales and warmups, and, sure, they are important, but they are not what I would play to impress my Granny. So please go and have a look at p. 49 and see what you could do with it!
With p. 48 of our Simply Brass book we get backings for March from Carmen, which everyone has probably heard at least once, even if they don't think so, and Rooty Tooty, a swing tune with a special growl for you to work on.
Please click the photo, or this link, for a bigger version so you can see the detail better.
On Simply Brass p. 45 you'll find a Time Trial which you can start slowly then play faster … and faster … and faster … how fast will you go?
After that is a rather good Gavotte, a posh, stately, perhaps even courtly dance. Well worth a look.
All of Simply Brass page 43 and most of page 44 is just one tune, the epic Castle Keep March. This exciting and grand duet is perhaps what p. 5's Castle March wanted to be when it grew up! To finish off, p. 44 ends with a wiggly lip slur exercise for the wiggly lip slur experts amongst you.
Simply Brass p. 41 is a bit of a monster, inroducing the tricky but excellent 6/8 time signature. But I talk you through it then give you huge long backings to just play around with, for as long as you like, so please have a look. The good news is that you can then play For He's a Jolly Good Fellow using your new skills.
As it's a Bank Holiday today there's nothing new on the site, but I thought you might enjoy a quick excerpt from Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, a wonderful piece for brass and percussion. There's a big noisy start from the percussion, then the trumpets begin as in this short sample. The horns join them in a second line then more and more brass and percussion – it's a big build-up to a very exciting finish! I will play you the whole thing someday when we are back together.
Well it has been much talked-about, and often promised, but the Animal Pictures page has now started. I have more to do to it, as this is all quite new to me: it doesn't, for example, work on mobile devices yet. But it will! Enjoy.
Come to Simply Brass p. 39 for the new tune Road Runner, an epic melody taking up the entire page, with a lively backing by Mr Pring himself. It's a great tune and quite hard work, but if you ask me nicely I will record it for you!
New scales to learn – Bb and D majors will make you think! Also on p. 38 of Simply Brass we revisit the Can Can but this time it's in the higher key of D. Slightly more tricky but it sounds great! Finally, there is a rather good Warmup in Bb Major – lots of slurs, with a lovely waltz backing. Go and see!
Simply Brass Page 36 has a great, science-fiction-ish march, Red Alert, with a top backing from Mr Pring himself. Then Slippin' and Slidin' will let you test your fast driving skills at four different speeds from 100 to 160 BPM – that's fast!
How are your triplets? These tunes both need you to think Tri-cy-cle quite a lot. Warm-Ups is an amazing lip-slur exercise that slides down through 0, 2 and 1; Triplet Tune is, erm, a tune with triplets! It also has a slightly amusing musical joke in its middle 4 bars – it is a reference to a much more famous piece of music. Can you spot it?
Simply Brass p. 34 comprises just one tune – but it's a monster! It can be a duet or a solo, and if you need a duet partner I will make you a special recording. I play it, both parts, in my Class Dojo video for today.
Simply Brass page 33 offers you the jokey (or is it jokey-spooky?) Hootchy Cootchy with an Alan Pring backing, and then Run Around, a simple scale exercise in which I got a bit carried away with the backing ... enjoy.
Now have backings online for page 31 of Simply Brass and you can play the favourite Clementine from … several generations ago. We also have a bouncy tune full of the Tim-ka rhythm, and a tricky slurring workout that you can turn into a Mega Exercise.
Because of the Bank Holiday and the VE Day commemorations there's no new Simply Brass material, but I thought, in view of the significant date, that you might like to hear a military bugle sound Last Post.
You can listen to the tune in the sound gadget below, and along there → is a photo of that sort of instrument. If you imagine playing your cornet or tenor horn but without moving any valves, you'll have a good idea of what it is like. Try it!
It's a pity but I don't know who the bugler is in this recording: it's not me.
Hmmm. Well, I was thinking of stopping at p. 20, at least for a while. Take a look at it and see if you can guess why I felt I couldn't stop right there, right now!
(There's nothing actually wrong with the tunes there … well, not exactly … erm … go and look!)
Page 17 has come along to join us with backings for a very agricultural version of Old MacDonald, an old holey (but not holy) favourite, and a slurring study that will make you a mega-player*, in time!
*Terms and Conditions apply.
Safety note: do NOT do this with school instruments and your own pets. This photograph was taken, in 2003, under very strictly controlled conditions with a whole Hygiene Emergency Team on standby. Don't try this at home, kids.
With the Bank Holidays out of the way, let's have a look at p. 13 of Simply Brass where you can play the excellent Muscle Builder and, at long last, we have a proper backing for the classical megatune A Little Beethoven. Go and be that London Symphony Orchestra!
It's another Bank Holiday today, but the Easter Bunny is fitting in some brass practice.
Please click the photo for a bigger and (slightly) more heroic version
Today's Bank Holiday Sound Snippet is a brilliant horn solo, played by Alan Civil, on "For No One" by The Beatles.
It's a Bank Holiday today so let's all have the day off!
But before you go off and chill … just listen to this amazing brassy fanfare from the beginning of J. S. Bach's Easter Oratorio. It's played on old-type trumpets, with no valves, like the one in the photo.
External links – that is, pages outside this website – are being marked with this symbol:❗which means be careful, and please read up here if you need a reminder.
Please show what a sensible computer user you are by taking online safety very very seriously!
Page 3 is now online on the main Simply Brass page.
If you are one of those people who always wants to go back and play Acoustic Thing – this is your moment!
I've started an information page which will explain about the book and how we use it. There's lots more to follow.
Aaargh! What is going on? Why have people been lying to each other about Cs and B♭s and E♭s for, well, centuries?
Read a new article that tells you how someone playing another instrument at home might be able to match your notes!
Top Tip: they might want to get a Nice Cup of Tea first …
Newsflash: now with an exciting music notation version!
The new article above is the first on the Odds & Ends page, where I plan to bring you all sorts of, er, stuff …Click here for Odds & Ends
Added a portrait of a horse to the Warmups page. Just in case.
Go Prrrrrrrrrrrr for a slow count of 4 then do it again a couple of times. Don't forget to pause for a breath in between!
It looks nicer and works much better on mobile devices
I got a bit bored with the old one so I borrowed some valves from a free online art site and then put a nice splash of Canonbury Orange behind them.
I've put in links to some of the musical ideas behind our warmups. Have a listen! You can jump straight to the Warmup page to read "Warmup Inspirations".