Nineteen Skeletal Duets for Euphoniums

Medium: Chamber Music

Nineteen Skeletal Duets for Euphoniums is a set of duets of easy to moderate difficulty specifically for teachers and students in private lessons. The first 15 duets are arranged from Fifteen Safari Duets for Tubas which was composed in 1989 for playing with my tuba students at Berklee College of Music. They are at different levels of difficulty and in various styles so that we always had duets to play no matter what was the ability of the student. The additional four duets were added in 2020 for this set. The title of each duet is also a name for a bone in the human body, hence the name Skeletal Duets. There is something in each duet for students to learn: the basics of tone production, rhythms, melodic phrasing, jazz, graphic notation, etc. Most are sight readable and some have been performed in concerts. Nineteen Skeletal Duets for Trombones are the same duets but in bass clef. Twenty-two Skeletal Duets for Horns uses the first 19 as in the euphonium set with three additional duets added. Some of the euphonium and horn duets are in the same key so they can be played together. 1. Cranium This duet presents the cantabile “singing” style as studied for playing the trombone. I find that this duet helps the student much like the melodies of Borgodni (Rochet) etudes. 2. Stirrup This duet provides an opportunity to read basic rhythms and articulations. I find that the more advanced students can read in a faster tempo where the less skilled students work best in the slower tempos � a common choice for all of the duets. 3. Humerus This waltz helps the student match phrasing in a cantabile setting. There are a few instances where the teacher (playing the first part) plays a phrase then the student plays a similar phrase. 4. Vertebra This is in a “rock” style with syncopated rhythms with cantabile melodies. Articulations are especially important in this duet. 5. Axis Legato scales and syncopated rhythms are the features of this duet. 6. Tibia This duet alternates in rock style and swing. Articulations and manipulation of �swing� rhythms are important. 7. Clavicle The key of A for this duet provides variation for the students. 8. Fibula nd This duet uses the easiest of rhythms and range, especially for the 2 9. Scapula This duet is non-metric and uses graphic notation. This was a favorite duet of my students as many had never experienced this notation before. 10. Atlas nd This is an Invention in the Bach style. This is probably the best duet to play when the 2 part is played by bass trombone or to work on low range for euphonium. (student) part. 11. Radius This duet is in a “Medium Swing” jazz style. Each part has a chance to play a little bit of a “walking” bass line. Articulations and manipulation of “swing” rhythms are important in this duet. 12. Femur This duet works on double time and half time tempo changes. 13. Patella This is another duet that includes graphic notation. In this duet �Free rapid legato lines� are used. 14. Anvil This gallop displays different types of articulation. 15. Hammer This duet is in the style of a fanfare. 16. Rib This duet is a melody, “Magallon Blues”, that I originally composed when I taught at a summer music camp in Magallon, Spain. In that camp each of the students would practice playing a jazz solo. This duet also has jazz chord changes so you can add piano or guitar. The use of drums is also an added option. 17. Sacrum This duet is a short arrangement of Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusic”. 18. Ulna This duet is a short arrangement of the traditional Irish folk song “Londonderry Air”, more commonly known as “Danny Boy”. 19. Ilium This duet is a short arrangement of the Beethoven’s song “Ode to Joy” which represents the triumph of universal brotherhood against war and desperation.