Vladislav Blazhevich (1886 – 1942)

Studies for BBb tuba

- arranged as duets for various pairs of instruments

- notated in several keys, clefs, and transpositions

by Klaus Smedegaard Bjerre (2015)


Tuba friends on FaceBook made me aware that the Blazhevich 70 Studies for BBb tuba could be downloaded for free:


It belongs to the story that I was a latecomer to the tuba after having been around other brasses, so I studied after Arban and after my own scale and interval systems (which are also available for free from this project). Hence I am not in any big know about traditional tuba literature.


So when I saw the Blazhevich #1, I immediately got the idea for a second part much like I made up, at sight, supporting parts for the etudes and melodic pieces my students played. As that idea could not be unique for me, I googled for editions of counterparts for the Blazhevic 70 Studies. I found a for-free edition of counterparts for the 42 first Blazhevic-etudes by Daniel Emerson Clouse in the form of a DMA dissertation directed by Dennis W. AsKew:


The music starts at page #62. According to Dennis AsKew the purpose was to make counterparts in the style of those made for Rochut/Bordogni by Tom Everett.


Eyeing through these counterparts and briefly comparing them to the original etudes made me like them, only they look like made for a bass tuba and they differ from my basic concept of my teaching years, where the 2nd part shall mostly operate below the original part with the purpose of anchoring and challenging the intonation and the rhythm of the studentÕs playing in form of consonances versus dissonances and representation-of-the-pulse versus syncopation.


Staying below the contrabass tuba etudesÕ lines all the way hardly will be possible. I donÕt even know whether I can make low range counterparts for all of the 72 etudes. But as I am not hunting for any degrees, I am not obliged to come up with a complete set or to work in any ordered sequence, so I simply decided to make a low counterpart for #1 and to write it into a playing score with the original etude. This actual low counterpart came out more difficult than the original etude, so a secondary purpose may be duetting between students at different stages of development.


The next etude within this project is #43, which proves the difficulty of mostly staying below the line of the original etude. Each etude will get its specific introduction discussing musical and pedagogic aspects as well as listing the available constellations of 2 instruments. A general principle will be that versions within the same folder are fully compatible as long as good balance is maintained. This will provide playing material for many non-standard instrument constellations. The 2nd parts have been written to match the original etudes within the same relative octave, but for players with good ears they might work when played in the octave below the one of (the transposed version of) the original etude.


The main musical and pedagogical messages are in the original etudes. The added counterparts are my personal interpretations, which could be said to be edited improvisations. Aside from the #1 made first the, attempted, plan is about making counterparts for the etudes #43 through #72. I hardly will work continuously on this project, as there are a lot of other projects calling for attention.


Kors¿r - June 9th - 2015


Klaus Smedegaard Bjerre                                             yorkmasterbbb@yahoo.com