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MENC: The National Association for Music Education

An Appeal for Solos for Baritone Horn


Author(s): Leonard Falcone
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Music Educators Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Dec., 1939), p. 38
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of MENC: The National Association for Music Education
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3385556 .
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the childto clap or stamp,to marchor run or gallop in timeto


the music,or sometimesjust to sit and listen.
Amongthe recordssuggestedare such as "Soldiers' March"
by Schumann;"Run, Run, Run" by Concone; "Skating" (Victor 20401); "The LittleHunters"(Victor 20153); "The Mirror
Dance" (Victor 20399); "Songs for Children,"by Neidlinger
(Victor 20349B). "Small Songs for Small Singers"by Neidlinger (meantto accompanythe records); "MotherGoose Picture Book" by Berta and Elmer Hader; "Singing Time" and

"AnotherSingingTime" by Colemanand Thornare well chosen


collectionsof songs which Mrs. Coit has found helpfulfor
mothersto use withtheirchildren.
Parents who followthe general plan outlinedinvariablyare
delightedwiththe enthusiasmand interestwhichtheirchildren
show and the progressthey make. Certainit is that, if the
music startedso easily then is continuedthroughthe school
years,it will lead to the maximumbenefitswhich music can
affordthe individualduringyouthand adulthood.

Horn
forSolosforBa ritone
An Appeal
LEONARD

FALCONE

Conductor,MichiganStateCollegeBand,East Lansing

in the baritonehornhas long wonderedat instrument.Therefore,the masculinenatureof the instrument,


interested
its wide dynamicrange,and
the composers'almostinexplicable
neglectof thebaritoneas coupledwithits technicalflexibility,
a solo instrument.In comparisonto the wealthof materialthat its warmtone,offerthe composera splendidmedium.
I shouldlike to digressfromthe subjectat handfora moment
the numberof
has been writtenfor the otherbrass instruments,
solos that have been especially writtenfor the baritone is and hope that I may be pardonedfor sayinga few wordsconnegligible. This lack has always existed,but the adventof the cerningbrass solos in general. To be sure,thereare a large
bothas to musical
the country numberof brass solos whichare outstanding,
innumerable
solo and ensemblefestivalsthroughout
conditioninto greaterreliefand contentand effective
has broughtthis unsatisfactory
writing;but thereis also a good deal of
the concernof thosewho are makingan effortto materialthatis decidedlytrivial. The musicalideas, the forms,
has stimulated
and the mannerin whichthe materialhas been handledleaves
developthis phase of musicaleducation.
Surely the neglectaccorded the baritoneby the composers muchto be desired. Is thereany real reasonwhybrass instruas a solo mentsolos shouldbe inferiorto the solos writtenforwood-wind
cannotbe due to its lack of the necessaryqualifications
instrument.For, indeed,anyonewell acquaintedwiththe instru- instruments,
merelybecause the brasses do not have quite the
mentcannotdenythatthe baritoneis one of the most,if not the rangeand fluencyof the wood winds-even if the latterfactors
of the brass
most,expressiveof the brass instruments.Then why this dis- shouldbe held as the excuse? The shortcomings
withtechnicalflexiregard? The onlyplausiblereasonone can thinkof is thatthe solos underdiscussionare not in connection
musicalideas and
in its heritageas have, for bilityand range,but concernthe uninteresting
baritonehas not been as fortunate
instance,the cornetand the trombone.The latterinstruments lack of ingenuityin presentingthe material. In this respect,
have had a largernumberof well-known
exponentsthanthe bari- some of the betterFrench solos may be cited as examplesof
tone. Herbert L. Clarke, Herman Bellstedt,Joseph Arban, desirablesolos for brass instruments.These solos do not make
technicaldemands,butthemusicalideas are always
W. M. Eby, Ernest Williams,and a host of otheroutstanding extraordinary
cornetistsnot only have made the corneta very popular solo interesting.If a solo is to be of an advancednature,it should
but these same men have also been able to make take accountin liberal measureof the technicalpossibilitiesof
instrument,
but thesetechnicaldemandsshouldbe employed
liberalcontributions
to the solo literatureof theirchoseninstru- the instrument,
ment. Likewise,the trombonehas had its luminariesin Arthur in such manneras to make their inclusionappear a natural
of the originalmusicalidea. Likewise,a solo of a
Pryor,Gardell Simons,Clay Smithand SerafinAlschausky,to development
mentiononly a few. It is true,the baritonehas had Joseph less advancednatureshouldbe made as melodicallyand technias possible. In otherwords,regardlessof the
DeLuca, Simone Manita, and FortunatoSordillo to extol its cally interesting
or simplicity
of thematerial,it shouldalways
glories,but thesethreemen have been practicallythe only con- degreeof difficulty
tributorsof solos writtenespeciallyfor the baritone. If this is be musical, and not just a displayof musicalgymnastics.
in the amountof solo material
the reason for the difference
We do not lack composersfullycapable of writingsolos emthenit is easilyseenthatthe field bodyingsuch meritsas have been described. But I am of the
availablefortheseinstruments,
of creativework for brass instruments
has been leftentirelyto opinionthat manywho have writtenfor the brass instruments
the virtuosiof these instruments.For some reason,composers (and thosecomposerswho have refrained
fromwritcompletely
have seen fitnot to enterthis field.
of establishedreputation
ing for brasses) have been laboringunderthe impressionthat
baritoneplayershave to borrow the range of musical expressionof these instruments
is too
As a resultof thiscondition,
solos writtenfor otherbrass instruments.They even make an limitedto permitserious treatment.A careful study of the
will reveal,I am sure,thattheir
occasional"invasion"intothe realmof the clarinetand cello solo "language"of theseinstruments
literature
in searchof adequatematerial. While somegratifying scopeof expressionis notnearlyas limitedas it appearsto be.
cornet
resultshave been,and are beingobtainedby transcribing
To returnnow to thematterof solos forthebaritone. Natursolos for the baritone,naturally,continuous"borrowing"alone ally,a sincereand inspiredmusicalworkdoes not admitof any
cannotbe expectedto bringabouta real solutionof theproblem- kindof dictation;butif I wereto be giventhe libertyof making
hencethecryingneedforsolos writtenespeciallyforthebaritone. a humblesuggestion,I would say that,in additionto the full
is, no doubt utilizationof the instrument's
Althougha playingknowledgeof an instrument
technicalcapabilities,greateruse
an asset to a composerwho wishesto writefor that particular shouldbe made of the baritone'snatural"singing"styleof playit is not by any means absolutelynecessary. An ing. This latterattributeof the instrument
instrument,
is perhapsits most
does notalwayspossessadequatecreative valuableasset. Stressingthis particularqualityof the baritone
artiston an instrument
ability; whereas, on the other hand, there have been many (whichhas not always been fullyutilized) mightbe the means
instanceswhere really fine composers,not having a playing of evolvinga new and distincttypeof solo literaturefor this
have writtenmusicof far greater instrument.In
knowledgeof the instrument,
fact,it mightnot be a disadvantagefor commeritthanthatwrittenby virtuosiof thatparticularinstrument.
in writingforthe baritoneto thinkin termsof the cello.
posers
the comOf course,in orderto writewell for an instrument,
that
theoreticalunderstanding These few thoughtshave been expressedin the hope
poser must have a good fundamental
and
talents
their
interest
more
of
devote
serious
may
composers
should
He
technical
facilities.
characterand
of thatinstrument's
medium. Since the
knowwhat will soundwell and whatwill not. For instance,in to the baritone-thusfar almosta neglected
of solo literaturefor the baritoneis practicallyin a virgin
field
such
be
should
various
the
for
baritone,
things
avoided,
writing
of this
to the development
as certain whole-tonetrills,and too wide intervalsin rapid state,the composerwho contributes
the fieldwill have not only everlastingappreciationand gratitude
slurredbrokenchords. Aside fromtheseminorrestrictions,
baritoneoffersa wide freedomof treatment.In additionto all fromthe numerousplayersand loversof the baritonehorn,but
to
contribution
of havingmade a noteworthy
the technicaldexterityof the brass family,the baritonehas an also the satisfaction
expressivetonal rangethat is not exceededby any otherbrass themusicalrealm.

ANYONE

Page 38

Music Educators Journal

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