The Ensemble Concert Book Series
The ENSEMBLE CONCERT BOOK Series -- Just take any five mixed instruments covering the range from soprano to bass, and read through one ECB book for a concert in a jiffy!
ABOUT THE ECB SERIES: Here's the easiest way you've ever seen to put together a concert with a small ensemble!
We all LOVE to play, we love to have people enjoy our music. There are many places to play if you have a small ensemble – nursing homes, retirement homes, hospitals, malls, background music for fund-raiser gatherings for foundations and other organizations.
With the ECB series, you just grab a book for each of the players in your ensemble, and go play the gig!
Types Of Tunes: The tunes we include in this series must meet two principal criteria. First, they must be tunes that most people in an older audience will recognize. This criterion can be waived for tunes that have outstanding musical value, that are tremendously fun to play and to listen to, and that we are certain almost everyone will like, whether they've heard it before or not. The second criterion is that the tunes must be in the public domain. In the early phases of these books, we're not going to bother with any copyright hassles, so we're sticking to tunes in the public domain. Don't worry, we have a list of over 200 tunes that meet both these criteria, so we won't run out of tunes for the books. Later on, if these books are successful and the demand is there, we will look into obtaining permission to arrange for tunes that are still under copyright.
Order of Tunes: Each (standard) book contains 12 tunes, enough to play about a 45-minute set. The tunes are in such an order as to provide an excellently listenable varied concert, even if you just start with the first tune and go straight through to the last.
Difficulty: The tunes are arranged to no higher than a high "Grade III" level, such that moderate musicians can play them with minimal rehearsal, and excellent musicians should be able to pretty much sight read the tunes.
IInstrumentation: You will need an ensemble of five instruments to play the tunes in the ECB series, covering the range from soprano to bass. ECB series books are available in just about any transposition, so you can mix whatever instruments you have available. Standard brass quintets or woodwind quintets can play the arrangements. Clarinet choirs, saxophone choirs, ensembles with strings, pretty much any group you want to put together. If you can't get five, there is also a piano book available, so you can play with any number of other players. There is also a drum book available, if you want to add a trap set.
Intended Audiences: The tunes in the books are the tunes that most people know and will recognize. Please see our PLANS page for some examples of the kinds of tunes we will have in the standard and specialty books.
The two main types of gigs you will play will be either as dedicated concerts, where people come to listen to you, and they sit there and pay attention to the music, or as incidental music, where your playing is background music to something else that's going on, such as when you're providing music for a fund-raising event for your local epilepsy foundation.
For incidental music, you can simply go from one tune to the next, and take breaks as needed.
For concerts, it is always better to have an announcer talk about the tunes before they're played. This gives life and interest to the tunes, and it also gives the players a bit of a rest between the tunes.
Narrator Notes: We also provide narrator notes for all the tunes in each standard book. These notes are printed in fairly large type (16-point) so the narrator can read them in dim light, or if he or she has lost their glasses.
Appendix Tunes: There are certain tunes that might be needed in any performance situation, so we put an appendix in each standard book (not in the specialty books) with the following tunes:
- The Star-Spangled Banner
- Three Fanfares (for when people are introduced)
- Good Morning To You (this is the 1856 tune from which "Happy Birthday To You" was taken) - two versions, plain and fancy
- Auld Lang Syne
- Take Me Out To The Ball Game
- Trio from The Billboard March
- Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight (chorus only)
- Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here (short version)
- Till We Meet Again
This brings the total number of tunes in each standard book to two dozen (although the appendix tunes are the same in each book).
RELEASE TIMING: (Updated) As of this writing, in August 2012, the project is getting off to a good start. We are on track to have the first standard book completed by May 2014. We have some volunteer arrangers on the project now, but more are always needed. Please see the Call For Arrangers page for more information on how you can help.