Here at the Reference Desk, you can access multimedia articles and other entertaining and educational materials on a variety of musical themes.  A brief description appears below each title along with any content advisories for that link.  Bookmark this page and be sure to visit often to see the new Word of the Week, Joke of the Fortnight and Tip of the Month.

Learning Center

Rep Deck Games Manuals and Answer Keys

Rep Decks Orchestral Series Games Manual
Rep Decks Studio Series Games Manual

Rep Decks Orchestral Series: Starter Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Orchestral Series: Undergraduate Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Orchestral Series: Graduate Edition Answer Key

Rep Decks Studio Series: Flute Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Piccolo Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Oboe Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Clarinet Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Bassoon Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Trumpet Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Horn Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Trombone Edition Answer Key
Rep Decks Studio Series: Tuba Edition Answer Key


Bringing in a Brass Chamber Ensemble
Whether you play in a brass trio, quartet, quintet or sextet, an important technique for a group leader to master is the cue that brings the ensemble in at the beginning of a performance.  This multimedia article teaches a method that the Empire Brass has used for over three decades and has taught to hundreds of other brass ensembles.
Because of the online video demonstrations throughout this article, it is best view using a high speed connection.  The video clips are in Flash format.  If your Flash plug-in is outdated or not installed yet, you may be prompted to download the most recent version.  Due to Microsoft’s update of Internet Explorer in April 2006, you may have to click on the video once to “activate” it and then click on it again to begin playback.

Diversity in Phrasing
The elegant and imaginative shaping of a musical phrase requires the use of many techniques.  This article describes these techniques and how they may be applied to create a more rounded performance.  An even broader understanding of when to apply the techniques described here can be gained by first reading its companion essay, Intelligent Design.

Gate Checking Your Large Musical Instrument (or Case)
If your instrument or the case you’re using (i.e., double, triple or quad-case) is too large to be considered a carry-on item, you have two choices when you fly in the United States: check your instrument as baggage or buy a seat for it.  If you fly often, purchasing an extra seat on every flight may not be practical.  So how do you minimize the risk to your instrument when you have to check it?  Try gate-checking it.

Intelligent Design
Playing what is written on the page is good.  It is also the least that is expected.  Capitalizing on the more hidden expressions in music requires that a performer first be able to find them.  The search for such moments often requires more than instinct but open-mindedness and objectivity as well.  This article examines the things to look for when mining a of piece music for hidden expressive opportunities.

Musical Chairs
The seating configuration of any wind ensemble does not have to be fixed.  In fact, moving instruments around for certain pieces may make more sense both practically and musically than one may think. Presented here is a perspective on seating configuration for bands and wind ensembles as well as a discussion of its many benefits.

Click here for Rep Decks Studio Series:Flute Edition and more...

Rep Decks - Studio Series: Trumpet Edition

Subject: The deck of musical repertoire playing cards that allows you to play over a dozen fun and exciting games that test, challenge and improve your knowledge of classical trumpet excerpts. Play everyday card games and then download the free Studio Series Games Manual and Answer Key to begin using your wits and knowledge of music repertoire to play clever Rep Decks games like Rep Recall, Team Rep Recall Relay, Rep Recall Challenge, Rep Russian Rummy, …and many more! (The Games Manual and Answer Key are not included with the deck of cards but are free to download/print at anytime.)
Style: 54 play cards featuring 54 different musical excerpts
Price: $7.95 Quantity:
More info...


Short Stories

How to be a Jazz Critic
Bill Anschell tells gives you all the catch phrases you need to know to become a first rate jazz critic.

Jazz Jam Sessions: A First-Timer’s Guide
Experience the comedic musing of writer/pianist, Bill Anschell, as you learn the proper etiquette and hidden dynamics of a jazz jam session.
This short story contains adult themes and language that some readers may find objectionable or offensive.  Readers’ discretion is advised.

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute
This short story by Bill Anschell takes an inside look at the death-defying life of a staff musician aboard the S.S. Norway.
This short story contains adult themes and language that some readers may find objectionable or offensive.  Readers’ discretion is advised.

Searching for Glory at the Cookin’ Cadenza
Here’s a humorous tale about struggle of trying to be a “real” musician in the midst of mediocrity.
This short story contains adult themes and language that some readers may find objectionable or offensive.  Readers’ discretion is advised.

Careers in Jazz
A clear and concise dissertation on the structure of the jazz world and the interactions of its constituents.

Click here to see Concerto for Tuba and other tuba sheet music

Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band

Composer: Kenneth Amis
Instrumentation: solo tuba and wind band
Price: $170.00 Quantity:
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Word of the Week

notes inégales (Fre.) = unequal notes.  This term is used to describe a performance practice, prevalent in France from 1690–1780, in which pairs of notes written with equal rhythmic value are played with unequal duration, usually by slightly lengthening the the first note and shortening the second.  A similar practice reappeared in the twentieth century with the development of jazz.

Featuring the voices of Patricia Yeo (New England Brass Band, baritone) and Douglas Yeo (Boston Symphony Orchestra, bass trombone)

Joke of the Fortnight

Emergency Fix During the Tour de France

Tip of the Month

Most audiences like it when a performer speaks to them at some point during the program. If you have trouble speaking loudly and clearly to a crowd, just remember…
Click here for the London Trombone Sound CD and other trombone CDs

London Trombone Sound

Artist(s): The 16 Trombones of The London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, The Orchestra of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Symphony, Academy of St Martin In The Fields, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia
Instrumentation: trombone choir
Price: $10.00 Quantity:
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The London Trombone Sound CD

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