The Beginning Brass Quintet Series is designed for younger brass players getting their first experience with a
small ensemble -- as well as weekend warriors who may not have the time to keep their chops at a professional
level and professionals who like to keep some less taxing arrangements in their concert book. Instrument
ranges are written to Level 2 guidelines, and there are no sixteenth note rhythms. Many phrases begin with
several instruments starting in unison to help young players feel confident and find their partials before moving
into harmony with the rest of the quintet. These arrangements are very straightforward, not too lengthy,
and use a minimum of close harmonies (in other words, the French horn and trombone won't spend the whole chart a
half step away from each other). Despite these guidelines, the pieces all sound very professional and are
suitable for any concert setting.
This collection of Scott Joplin Rags is a perfect introduction to ragtime music. All of the arrangements
closely follow the original feel of "stride-style" piano with the tuba mimicking the left hand and the other
ensemble members filling out the rest of the keyboard. Most of Joplin's rags had a number of different
sections. In order to keep the performance time of each arrangement to about two and a half minutes, some
less recognizable sections have been left out (though we don't think your audience will notice). The Entertainer:
The most recognizable of Scott Joplin's rags, this is a fun arrangement to play as bits of the melody are
occasionally passed from instrument to instrument. Everyone will have a couple licks that will need to be practiced.
Maple Leaf Rag:
Most of the heat in this one is on the shoulders of the first trumpet. There are also a couple of wide
intervals in the second section of the tune that will be a challenge for your horn and trombonist.
This piece uses the simple syncopation of a cakewalk (eighth note, quarter note, eighth note) and was actually a
collaboration between Joplin and Arthur Marshall. The title supposedly comes from the original cover art,
which pictures a young boy who looks like he just swiped something.
The Easy Winners:
Both trumpets, the horn, and the trombone get pieces of the melody in this one. The difficulty level will
depend on the performance tempo you decide upon.
Some may recognize this piece which was used in the movie "The Legend of 1900".  It has a march-type feel to it
and pits the two trumpets against the trombone and horn (with a couple short tuba solos to keep things interesting).
Listen to The Entertainer.
Listen to Maple Leaf Rag.
Listen to Swipesy Cakewalk.
Listen to The Easy Winners.
Listen to Peacherine Rag.
Check out the other selections in the "5 Easy" series on sale here.
5 Easy Classical Favorites
5 Easy Spirituals
5 Easy Dixieland Standards
5 Easy Stephen Foster Songs
5 Easy Christmas Classics