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Tuba Magna!


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During my time at the ole' console, I have grown fond of the trumpet and the tuba stop and developed a taste/preference towards loud and festive pieces on the organ. I know many organ fanfares feature the loud Tuba or Trumpet stop but I am sure that there are many other pieces out there which use the tuba/trumpet stop.

Are there any pieces you know that feature the trumpet/tuba stop that I am missing out on?

Some tuba/trumpet stop pieces I know:

Tuba Tune, C S Lang

Archbishop's Fanfare, Dr F. Jackson

Tuba Tune, N. Cocker

Tuba Magna, J. Madden

Festive Trumpet Tune, D. German

Trumpet Tunes, D. Johnson

Te Deum, Charpentier

Trumpet Voluntary, Jeremiah

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Various marches, etc, in A Walton Organ Album

David Bednall Fanfare-Processional (in The Organists' Charitable Trust Little Organ Book)

John Cook Fanfare

Healey Willan Chorale Prelude on Gelobt sei Gott (no.4, Six Chorale Preludes)

Percy Whitlock Fanfare / Paean

Francis Jackson Worcester Processional / Fanfare (op.18)

Andrew Carter Trumpet Tune

Paul Edwards Turvey Tuba Tune

William Mathias Processional / Recessional

Stanley Vann A Fancy for Tuba

Arthur Wills Praise him in the sound of the trumpet (or tuba, or whatever) - yes that is the full title!

Pretty much all British. As to other repertoire, Gigout Grand Choeur Dialogué would be the main one, and there are opportunities in the final page of Mulet Carillon-Sortie and Alain Litanies.

Paul Walton

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"A Trumpet Minuet" by Alfred Hollins is a must when considering this sort of piece.  Less difficult than Cocker, more difficult than Lang - there are one or two tricky moments, but generally it's not frightening.


Percy Whitlock's "Fanfare" from "Four Extemporizations" is a fine piece (a favourite of Ian Tracey's for showing off the party-horn at Liverpool), although not as easy to play as it might at first appear.


Percy was keen on his Tuba and cheerful noises in general, and the "Paean" from "Five Short Pieces" is another worth trying.


In the two Whitlock collections, you should also play the gorgeous quiet pieces, "Fidelis" and "Folk Tune".  Blasting away on the Tuba is fun, but one shouldn't indulge to excess, and the softer combinations are nearly always among the most beautiful on any instrument.

Thinking about Trumpet Tunes of the Jeremiah Clark type, there are a lot of these, with editions presenting either the original for manuals only or various transcriptions which will appeal to different tastes (or not, as the case may be).  John Stanley's Trumpet Tune is a good one:


And Henry Ley's arrangement of "Two Trumpet Tunes and an Air" seems to be back in fashion if, indeed, it was ever completely out of it.  It seems that the first Trumpet Tune ("Cheer, boys, cheer, me mother wants the mangle") is, like Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary, actually by Jeremiah Clark.  The second Trumpet Tune is "called the Cebell".  I had often wondered what a Cebell was and when I finally got round to looking it up found that it was "a type of trumpet tune", which left me no more enlightened than I was before.

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Regarding the Lang Tuba Tune, the middle section has repeat marks half-way through.  Lang's organ at Christ's Hospital has a west end section including a big Tuba played from the fifth manual and I think that perhaps he had in mind the effect of alternating between east and west.  For those of us who lack the luxury of having a Tuba at both ends (as it were), I feel that it's better to omit the middle repeat marks and just play the whole page twice. Just a thought....

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Through the fanfares, I have come to appreciate the works of Whitlock, who shares the same enthusiasn for the tuba stop as myself and Dr Francis Jackson of York Minster. I discovered Fanfare for John Bradley in an old OUP music collecting dust at the loft and went on to discover more of his fantastic works.

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There's a super little album called Fanfares and Processionals which was published by Novello in the early 60s. All the pieces require a Tuba at some point and none of them are too difficult. Particularly recommended from this is the Fanfare by Arthur Wills, but, really, most of the pieces are worthy, useful, and enjoyable to play. You can listen to the Wills here - it only lasts a couple of minutes! Well worth laying hands on this album - it is still available.

In your dusty pile of OUP albums, you may discover a green volume called An Album of Praise. There are three pieces in here which, in my opinion, are worthy of attention and two are not too complicated at all. One is Festal Flourish by Gordon Jacob - a wonderfully arresting start on the Tuba and some great concluding chords where you can couple it up! Another is a piece by Flor Peeters - (it might be called Festal Voluntary or something like that) - he doesn't specify a tuba, but you could use one to solo a few obvious passages. And finally, there is another Paean by Peter Hurford. I feel that this is a piece that has never really caught on, and I confess to finding it a bit tricky, but it's there and anything by Peter Hurford is worthy of respect and attention. (You might like his Two Dialogues - not really Tuba pieces, but the first, though over in a few minutes, is very exciting.)

There are also some splendid Tuba pieces in all sorts of Kevin Mayhew publications composed by June Nixon. I have enthused about her before on this forum - she writes wonderfully well for the organ and her fanfares are excellent. I will be more specific about where these are to be located amongst the dozens of Kevin Mayhew if you want.

Antony Baldwin is another composer to watch whom I have only just discovered. His Three Tudor Cats is reviewed very favourably in the latest Organists' Review - though these are not Tuba pieces. However, seek out his Mr Theo Saunders - His Trumpet Tune, published by Banks. Well worth it! 

And finally, another new discovery - what about this?! 


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I do have the old OUP An Album of Praise. I am doing Peeters' work for my examination. Half way through the first page, the repeated section where the right hand plays two chords while a melody is played with the left hand, I was told to use the trumpet stop for the melody. The Tuba stop is very loud and the situation of the stop doesn't really help because it is situated right across the old choir stalls which is on the second floor (more of an elevated platform with the organ/organ console/choir stalls). The tuba stop blares right behind you and towards you from 10 feet away.

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On 24/08/2018 at 13:39, OrganistOnTheHill said:

There is the Copland Fanfare for the Common Man, which has been made playable on the organ. There is a fantastic performance of it at St John the Divine in NY using their State Trumpets on the 'west end'. (I cannot recall if it was east or west end).

this one ?   


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