Disclaimer: Although this section is utilizing the Bach cello suites for their effectiveness in learning to control lip-multiphonics, they are intended as a teaching and practice tool. This is meant to fit into the traditional use of Bach's cello suites in trombone pedagogy and is not intended to imply that the author is advocating their use in public performance. Aside from the debate on the value of performing the cello suites on trombone, many of the possible lip- multiphonics used will create distractingly extreme changes in timbre and therefore their use is for a more theoretical application than a directly musical one.
In an attempt to demonstrate the concept behind this, the majority of the 2nd Cello Suite has been included in this text with suggested split-tones and interpretations of various multiple sonorities included1. The complete movements of the Allemande and Menuets are intended to provide practice for quickly and accurately hitting split-tones as a quick direction change within a larger phrase. It is often difficult to incorporate split-tones into a cohesive phrase without their attack or release bogging down both the player and the music- these movements provide an excellent way to address this issue. Try to blow through the split-tones in the same way a cellist can integrate a double stop smoothly into a larger phrase and compliment his/her playing with it.
The inclusion of the Preludé and Sarabande come with some what loftier goals. Given the slower speed and style, these parts provide an opportunity for a player to strive for an integrated sound that is focused not just upon immediacy and accuracy, but also attempting to truly create a beautiful, harmonic sound with his/her split-tones. In the Sarabande, try to draw the split-tone out of a lush tone and focus on a timbre that matches one's monophonic sound. It can be helpful to play the split-tones with as much of an 'O' phoneme as possible. Often, the more open the phoneme one can play with while maintaining the center, one can achieve an unclouded split-tone that has more room to be perceived as a simple dyad. This type of music is an ideal situation to develop a gentler, more controlled and elegant touch with one's split-tones.
The included excerpt begins at the
end of Prelude, where the first dyads appear.
Obviously, many of the split-tones written into this cello suite are more theoretical than practical and their production has the potential to be immensely unmusical. Their inclusion is intended to be a practice method to develop an immediate attack and remove the stationary feeling many players associate with the creation of split-tones. Try to approach it in this way while continuing to strive for the highest musical ideals in one's playing. Holding a technique to the highest possible standards, even if they may be unattainable, is a practical method for raising the bar both in one's own playing and one's definition of possible. This application is much like a player working to develop his/her high or low range well beyond what is required by the repertoire because of the security it adds to what is demanded on the job.
1The notes for the Bach suite is derived from: Bach, Johann Sebastian. Suites for Violoncello Solo BMV 1007-1012. Ed. Ulrich Leisinger. UT 50133 ed. Wien: Wiener Urtext Edition, 2000. 9-13. Print.