Reprinted from ITEA JOURNAL, Volume 30, Number 1, Fall 2002
1. Marching Tubas 2. Waltzing Tubas 3. Sailing Tubas 4. Twinkling Tubas 5. Tubas at the Circus tuba duet by Micky Wrobleski.
Chicken Scratch Press, 2002
Duets may be primarily for performance, such as the Wonderland Duets, or they might be primarily for educational purposes, like this set of five duets. These are chock full of educational tricks – unisons, octaves (my favorite), sixteenth notes in one voice while the other voice plays a dotted eighth-sixteenth note rhythm, trading melody between the voices, open fifths for tuning – need I go on? You will find all of these devices in these duets.
In the third duet, a familiar sea chant is passed between voices, followed by “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main” passed back and forth. There is a nice touch here in a duple vs. triple rhythm. The fourth duet is exactly what the title tells you it is. But when each voice plays a quarter note of the melody each, and never at the same time – well, is it a duet other than the fact that you see or hear two performers?
Although these duets are rather corny, if you use them with a junior high student or young high school student, you might get some mileage from them. The printing is attractive, but one case bothers me. When there is a quarter note on the “and of one” and the “and of three,” the rests in between are eighth rests. The other part has eighth notes on beat 1, “the and of 2,” beat 3 and the “and of 4,” with quarter rests in between. Either way looks very strange. Also, for your $15.00 you get a score and two separate parts. The upper part is labeled “Bass Tuba” and the low part as “Tuba.” This nomenclature I find difficult to understand. The range on the first part is CC to e flat’, on the second part BBB flat to d1.
Michael Short, Drake University