Brass trio sheet music for Four Vignettes is available at:
Re-releasing Old Compositions
I’ve been spending a lot of time digging up some of my older pieces that haven’t been posted to Tiger Music yet. We changed platforms at the Tiger Music website and it’s been a struggle getting the old products relisted while still making time to compose new music.
Well, now a year later, I’ve decided we just need to get this done. So I’m going through the old stuff and not only relisting it, but also for some of them I am re-releasing them. What I mean by that is that I am investing the same effort into some of the older pieces as I have been for the newer ones. For example, writing a blog post for each piece so that there is more info about it.
Four Vignettes is one of the ones that needs to be re-released because it’s one of my best chamber music pieces. When I went through my database, I realized that this one isn’t even listed on Sheet Music Plus yet. In other words, it has been unavailable since I wrote it.
Four Vignettes for Brass Trio
The instrumentation for this trio is a little uncommon; trumpet, horn and tuba. This is the same instrumentation as Pearl, but Pearl was actually written as a sequel to the Four Vignettes.
Four Vignettes was a pivotal piece for me. Most of my composition work, from the time I graduated high school until about 2003 when, was written more intellectually and less by ear. Part of that had to do with initially getting educated. I think it’s normal, when you first learn theory in university, to write what you know instead of what you hear.
But later I was forced to write what I knew because I had no way to check pitches. From 1987 until I bought my first computer in 1993 I had no way to check the sound of what I was writing. I call those my “dark years” because I didn’t have a piano or anything to hear what I was writing.
For some reason, even when I got my first computer, I kept writing my ideas out, exploring my thoughts musically from a music theory perspective. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but intellectual work will never sound as good as music written by ear. That’s what I learned from the experience.
Four Vignettes was the pivotal piece in my writing. Just about everything after this brass trio composition was more ear oriented and less theory driven.
That doesn’t mean there is no theory involved, mind you. What it means is that I use the theory to help me find what sounds good.
Four Vignettes is a non-standard brass trio. More standard is like the Poulenc Sonata with horn, trumpet and trombone.
This reminds me of when I lived for a short time in Pittsburgh. My comp professor at UTEP, Dr. Joseph Packales, had given me the phone number of David Stock, who was the director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble at the time. Dr. Packales wanted me to give David Stock a call.
While I was on the phone with him, David Stock asked me what kind of work i had been doing as a composer. I gave him a list of my last ten pieces and he paused before he said, “You don’t like to get your pieces performed, do you?”
It had never dawned on me until that moment, that compositions with non-standard instrumentations were more difficult to get performed. I understand it completely now. In fiact, it was soon after that phone call when I decided to only write for groups I perform with. I was done writing “fairy-tale” compositions.
Four Vignettes is almost like that because it will be rare for anyone to search for this specific instrumentation. What is much more likely is that it will be programmed on brass quintet concerts and recitals as an opportunity to give two of the members some rest during the show.
Four Vignettes Skill Level
Four Vignettes is an advanced piece. Using our skill level system, it falls in the seventh and highest category, the Virtuoso category. While it’s not impossible for college or even high school students, the composition was written for pro level musicians.