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: 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  If your Flash plug-in is outdated or not installed yet, you may be prompted to download the most recent version.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 Orchestral Series:Undergraduate Edition and more...

Rep Decks - Orchestral Series: Undergraduate 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 music repertoire. Play everyday card games and then download the free Orchestral 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 Hungarian (Rakoczy) March and other brass quintet sheet music

Hungarian (Rakoczy) March

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Instrumentation: brass quintet with optional percussion
Price: $23.00 Quantity:
More info...


Word of the Week

packaging deduction (Eng.) = This term refers to a deduction made to a recording artist’s royalties by the record company.  It was introduced by the recording companies under the premise that an artist (whose royalties are based on a percentage of the selling price of the recording) should not earn royalties on the cost of the packaging of the LP, 8-track, cassette, or compact disc.  In reality, this deduction (which is defined as a percentage of the SRLP) is far more than the actual cost to package a recording yet it remains a effective tool for the recording company to lower the amount on which the recording artist’s royalties are calculated.

Featuring the voices of Michelle Perry (Sydney Opera, Principal French horn) and Jay Wadenpfuhl (Boston Symphony Orchestra, French horn)

Joke of the Fortnight

Reach - A Lecture Musical

Tip of the Month

How to begin practicing with a metronome is somewhat intuitive, however,...
Click here for the London Horn Sound CD and other French horn CDs

London Horn Sound

Artist(s): Richard Bissell, Nigel Black, Anthony Halstead, Frank Lloyd, David Pyatt, Hugh Seenan, Michael Thomson and Richard Watkins, etc.
Instrumentation: French horn choir
Price: $15.00 Quantity:
More info...

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