Gig Book II - General Information






The PAXMAN Horn Quartet Gig Book II  -  by William Melton

Description / Beschreibung
​From the Foreword / Aus dem Vorwort
​Table of Contents / Inhaltsverzeichnis
Accessories / Zubehör
Programme Notes

© 2013
ee 213020
ISMN M-700196-71-4


>> Gig Book


The PAXMAN Horn Quartet Gig Book II is, like its predecessor, a one-volume solution for your next quartet gig. With chapters like I. SACRED MUSIC, II. OCCASIONAL MUSIC, III. THE HUNT und IV. LITTLE CONCERT PIECES, it covers a wide range of occasions from solemn to festive.

A few old favourites are included among the 107 pieces, but most are new arrangements that span six centuries of musical style. Also present are premiere editions of original works for horn quartet from manuscript sources, as well as others that have been out of print for generations.

What’s more, detailed programme notes for every piece can be downloaded and inserted directly into your own programme booklets, from Programm notes


The author William Melton is a career hornist with a German orchestra. Over the last forty-five years he has arranged horn quartets and played in quartet performances throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.


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From the Foreword / Aus dem Vorwort

‘Quartets! What joy! That is living in the very heart of music’.
Patrick O’Brian (The Wine-Dark Sea)

‘It is evident that the quartet of horns,’ wrote Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov in The Principles of Orchestration,‘presents every facility for four-part harmony, perfectly balanced in tone’. Few groups of identical instruments command enough octaves to deliver a wide repertoire, but horn ensembles have done just that since their beginnings at Charlemagne’s court in the early Middle Ages. What began as an adjunct to the hunt moved over the intervening millennium to centre stage with 19th century horn quartet collections by Gumpert and Diewitz.

The present volume stands firmly in this tradition, offering a large selection of arrangements that complement sacred, social and concert settings. Differences with older collections will be noticed: ‘old’ bass clef and complex key signatures have been banished, while ample courtesy accidentals and healing breaks from high register play have been added. The sound of four horns is a rich one and too much exposure can affect listeners like over-indulgence in dessert. But a varying menu of styles can help avoid audience indigestion, so selections here range from Guillaume Dufay (born about 1397) through Alban Berg (born 1885).

Beyond the many new arrangements (often taken from works that recreated horn sound on piano or voices and are here welcomed back into the horn fold) are pieces composed originally for horn quartet. Some, like those by Josef Spary, Emil Kronke, and Karl Goepfart, have been out of print for over a century. Others, including works by Louis Delune and Hendrik Willems, have slumbered as manuscripts in archives and are published here for the first time. Here’s hoping that they, along with the rest of this collection, offer the chance to take both performers and audience into ‘the very heart of music’.

Chapter V. gives full scores of two trios (one solemn, one lively) in the instance of a tardy quartet member. The present format is a compromise; small enough to fit into a horn case easily, but large enough to avoid squinting at microscopic noteheads. The ring binding assures that the pages will remain securely open during play. Extensive programme notes will be posted on the publisher's website, and performers are welcome to download and insert these notes into their programme booklets.


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Table of Contents / Inhaltsverzeichnis








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