The emergence of Australian solo euphonium repertoire: a brief historical background, analysis of selected major works and annotated catalogue

PhD Thesis


Mitchell, Fletcher. 2020. The emergence of Australian solo euphonium repertoire: a brief historical background, analysis of selected major works and annotated catalogue. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/02eq-r220
Title

The emergence of Australian solo euphonium repertoire: a brief historical background, analysis of selected major works and annotated catalogue

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorMitchell, Fletcher
SupervisorMcNeill, Rhoderick
Forbes, Melissa
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages395
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/02eq-r220
Abstract

This thesis is a major resource for euphoniumists that canvasses the history and development of the euphonium in Australia as a solo instrument, that describes and evaluates the growing solo repertoire written for it and that provides a complete annotated catalogue of all known Australian solo euphonium works.

Twentieth-century Australian euphonium repertoire was largely restricted to the work of two dominant composers writing for non-specific brass instruments, Percy Code and Helen Johnston. Since 2000 there has been a remarkable surge of some 60 works specifically intended for the euphonium by 32 different composers. This newly emerging Australian repertoire for solo euphonium is marked by a wide variety of composers writing in diverse styles who have redefined and extended the perceptions and the technical limits of the euphonium as an instrument and the soloists themselves. This has challenged the notion that the euphonium is principally a band instrument.

Chapter 2 of this thesis will explore the history and development of the euphonium and its antecedents; the role the euphonium plays in varying ensembles; the development of the euphonium as a solo instrument; the emergence of solo euphonium compositions internationally and how the euphonium fits into the culture and context of brass and wind bands in Australia.

The Australian solo euphonium repertoire itself will be discussed in Chapter 3 covering three main areas of repertoire; education and student repertoire (predominately Australian Music Examination Board syllabus works), repertoire played by euphoniumists prior to 2000 (non-specific Bbrass instrument repertoire), and repertoire since 2000 (works specifically written for solo euphonium). Triggers that led to the emergence of solo euphonium compositions by Australian composers will be considered, focusing on Barry McKimm’s Concerto for Euphonium (2000) which was the first major work for euphonium by an Australian composer and how this and later repertoire has been driven by the advocacy of key Australian euphonium soloists. Chapter 4 presents the highlights of this repertoire with detailed analyses of five selected major Australian solo euphonium works by Alan Lourens, Brendan Collins, Brenton Broadstock, Michael Forsyth and Lee Bracegirdle that demonstrate why these works are worthy of attention.

The final chapter summarises the narrative concerning the euphonium and its music in Australia and how current positive trends can be consolidated to overcome the inertia of the previous 160 years of tradition and culture.

An annotated catalogue which provides a comprehensive guide to the Australian euphonium repertoire for performers and brass educators is included in the thesis as Annex A. Previously there was no complete list of works with the majority of repertoire remaining unknown to both euphoniumists and educators. This collection, documentation and critical assessment of Australian euphonium works thus provides an important reference for euphonium players, teachers and for future researchers in Australian classical concert music.

KeywordsAustralia, music, euphonium, solo, repertoire, emergence
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360306. Musicology and ethnomusicology
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q6401/the-emergence-of-australian-solo-euphonium-repertoire-a-brief-historical-background-analysis-of-selected-major-works-and-annotated-catalogue

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