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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusical Miscellany(Moderators: JP, BGuttman) Puccini, Tosca - circles over notes
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MoominDave

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« on: Jun 16, 2017, 11:50PM »

A friend just posted to Facebook the following images of a trombone part from Puccini's Tosca, asking what the circles over/under the notes mean:



My best guess is that it's similar to when English composers write (unnecessarily and not always well-informedly) "(pedal)" over a note - something of a request about tone quality. But I really don't know.

Anyone run across the answer to this one? I have played Tosca before, but if I found out the answer then, it hasn't stuck in my head...
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Dave Taylor

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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 17, 2017, 03:36AM »

I believe those notes are supposed to be "bell tones" because if I remember correctly they sound a little like church bells.  Maybe that's what the circles are?
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Bruce Guttman
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eightyeightH

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 17, 2017, 05:16AM »

On a natural horn, it means play it open (i.e. Not stopped). I can't see the relevance for a trombone.

If the previous notes were con sord, take the mute out. If they weren't, play the note without putting your hand in the bell.

I note the version on ismlp doesn't have these markings  Don't know
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robcat2075

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« Reply #3 on: Jun 17, 2017, 01:08PM »

I posted the pic to the Facebook Bass Trombone group. Perhaps someone will recognize it, although Bruce's answer sounds plausible.
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Robert Holmén

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robcat2075

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 18, 2017, 08:34AM »

Many answers suggested on the Facebook Bass Trombone group but none terribly satisfying.

The most likely seems to be that it is an orchestrator's mistaken notion for indicating a pedal tone, as if the written pitch was not enough?

In the full score these circles appear nowhere but in the trombone I,II,II parts and there are several low Fs that do not have the circles.

They also do not appear at all for the pedal Bbs and low Fs in the Bass Trombone part.

In line with Bruce's "bell" theory, there are church bells in the score playing Bb and F at these sections.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #5 on: Jun 22, 2017, 03:47PM »

Open plunger mute ?

Sorry, I'll get my coat....
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timothy42b
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 05, 2017, 06:22AM »


In line with Bruce's "bell" theory, there are church bells in the score playing Bb and F at these sections.

Try as I might, I am unable to make a pedal sound even remotely bell like.

Pray share the secret!

(I can make a pretty loud fart sound though.) 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 05, 2017, 07:40AM »

Try as I might, I am unable to make a pedal sound even remotely bell like.

Pray share the secret!

(I can make a pretty loud fart sound though.) 

My guess was that it's intended as reinforcement rather than duplication.  All the bass instruments are doing that Bb-F pattern and perhaps the hope was that they would all blend together with the bell sound on top.   Don't know
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Robert Holmén

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BGuttman
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 05, 2017, 08:34AM »

Try as I might, I am unable to make a pedal sound even remotely bell like.

Pray share the secret!

(I can make a pretty loud fart sound though.) 

Try on a bass trombone with a big mouthpiece.  Works a bit better.

Or use a Cimbasso where you aren't playing a pedal.
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Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
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