Review


Sigmund Hering
Thirty-Two Etudes for Bass Trombone:
Bass trombone

New York, New York, United States
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Date of Publication: 2016

Etude book

Genre: STUDY MATERIALS

Trombonists have long recognized the value of study material originally written for other instruments or voice. The method for cornet by Jean-Baptiste Arban, the vocalises of Marco Bordogni, the violin studies by Rodolphe Kreutzer, and the horn studies by Georg Kopprasch are representative of this kind of work. Sigmund Hering (1899-1986) played trumpet in the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1925-1964 and wrote fifteen books of etudes for trumpet, the first of which was his Thirty-Two Etudes, published in 1943. Hering published the etudes in an edition for trombone in the same year, transposing them down a minor ninth from the trumpet version.

William Stanley, trombone professor at University of Colorado, Boulder, has arranged Hering’s Thirty-Two Etudes in lower keys to make them more accessible for bass trombonists. Stanley’s editorial approach is to simply transpose the etudes without adding additional commentary. He sensibly eschews suggesting slide and valve positions/combinations for low register passages, leaving those choices to the player. These etudes are useful if rather pedantic, and they fail to rise to the level musical interest of Oskar Blume’s 36 Studies. Stanley’s approach to keys in this new edition seems to be based on keeping the etudes in and below the staff, but only two of the 32 etudes are in sharp keys in contrast to six sharp key etudes in the trombone edition and 14 in the original trumpet edition. These exercises focus primarily on developing skill in articulation, and players will have to look elsewhere for study material that assists mainly with development of slurring and legato. The layout of this book is clean and clear, the best this writer has seen from Carl Fischer since the publishing house began producing computer generated materials several years ago. We can be grateful that William Stanley has provided bass trombonists with a medium/low register version of a book that has been widely used by tenor trombonists for decades; this is a welcome addition to any bass trombonist’s library. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Douglas Yeo
Review Published January 31, 2019