Sound! Euphonium – Episode 03

Taki-sensei is my hero!

– Man, watching them set up chairs in ensemble seating got me all nostalgic. Rehearsal arrangements and meetings were always such fun.

– Sectionals! It’s really cool to see them delve into more of the inner-workings of a concert band and their rehearsal techniques. All the info provided here is spot-on.

– I like how the percussionists were practicing on drum pads. They likely do this in the school when they practice to cut down on the noise, which can be very distracting in their environment. It doesn’t look like they have a dedicated band room, so it makes sense.

– Also funny is that animation started Right-Left-Right-Left, the proper hand order for general ensemble when starting on the beat. Early players are taught this as one of their first lessons. The girl that messes up (on the left side) started with the wrong hand!

– It’s nice that the percussion doesn’t have to move, haha. Depending on the school, it can be a major pain in the ass to set up and tear down every day.

– Clarinet cleaning cloooooooottttthhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! It’s even got the string on it and everything!

– Let’s also talk about the dissection of that clarinet. Wow is it spot on. The girl cleans the mouthpiece WITHOUT the ligature on. They even drew in the cork properly! And the disassembled clarinet on the desk is on all the proper pieces too, with correct sizes, cork in the right places, lacquer placements, octave key, key placements, right amount of parts, and even the ligature is sitting on there. Most woodwind players will lay the other pieces on a cloth or in their cases while cleaning them out, and this is replicated here!

– I thought it’s funny that they’re using the cheapy personal practice stands. You can tell because of how thin they are, and because the backs are open, instead of solid.

– Dude, even the digital tuner/metronome has amazing detail on it, all the way down to the individual lettering above each button. There’s the correct flat/in tune/sharp indicators with the correct light colors on top, the sound adjustment, tempo changing, and even the digital layout of the screen is proper. When those metronomes sound for tempo, there is really a ghosting-like effect on the screen (of like 3 lines); even those are drawn in here!

– One omission is the lack of a time signature on every line of the music in this same still (around (02:58). They do have the key signatures carry over. The ending/repeats are done correctly too!

– Woah, they’re practicing circular breathing. Even doing proper breathing exercises, body posture for breathing exercises, breathing from the diaphragm; it’s all here. Personally I was never too good at real circular breathing (hard for french horn players who do lots of bass parts that need to be loud), so I made up for it by having a lung capacity of almost 8 liters! Okay maybe this scene wasn’t so much circular breathing as it was just breathing exercises! They’re quite important for wind musicians!

– That instrument storage room is great. It’s all laid out like one should be. They even compensated for space on the horn shelf correctly.

– That being said, for a small band program, they sure have some expensive looking instruments.

– There are people who do name their instruments. When I was in high school I played a really silver mellophone for marching band that I nick-named Pablo. Even almost 10 years out of high school it still has that name. I know this because apparently I passed down a legacy when a graduate, and when I go to alumni events all the young students know who I am by name because I founded that section for the marching band, and the french horn section for the wind ensemble/concert bands! Apparently i’m like a god to them, the one who gave rise to the section, haha!

– Even the proper reflection (the way the displacement works) for looking into the reflection off the instrument is well done. And that Euphonium/Tuba/CB visual-porn is just hot. So hot.

– The b-flat Asuka plays when getting them to stop discussing sounded like it came from a french horn, not a euphonium. Given the registers of both instruments, the exact pitch she played would be much to far out of the comfortable euphonium range for a casual blow (it’s right at the very top of comfy playing range), but in the moderate lip pressure area for a french horn. She did however have the correct fingering for that b-flat (the first b-flat above middle-c). This isn’t to say they can’t go that high, but I think the breathiness of the tone coupled with how the euphonium would sound at the pitch would give credence to the fact that it was indeed a french horn.

– I can’t believe they even have the Marine’s Hymn sheet music correct. Though, I hope by the time I hit the credits I can see which composer’s arrangement they’re using (because it looks like an easier one).

– Girls crushing on their band directors is nothing new lol. If they didn’t mention that at least once in this show i’d be worried. It’s super commonplace for any ensemble, more than you would think. A lot of (not all) band girls really get into that stuff!

– The whole march thing is actually pretty accurate to other “sitting-down” band competitions. For standard competitions all bands usually play a march (9/10 times it will be a Sousa march as they are super easy to judge on technicalities and performance levels), and the second piece is usually the show piece, used to show off the level and skill of the ensemble. This is all present here!

– Carrying big band instruments really sucks lol. It’s accurate that they wouldn’t be carrying the CB and tuba home. Most schools will give them practice instruments to take home so they can practice both at home and school without having to move them all the time. I’m not sure if Japanese schools would do the same, but I imagine so.

– Lips hurting and calloused fingers; all that endurance training is tough at the beginning.

– Kumiko’s sister preemptively complaining about the noise was funny.

– I loved that they made the distinction between rotary oil and valve oil. The tubas on the show are rotor tubas as opposed to the standard beginner valved tubas, so to see that mentioned and then to see the rotor oil actually be in the correct form factor was awesome. Even applying it to the instrument was correct, though they didn’t show them taking the caps off and oiling those too, which should also be done!

– More notes being played with the correct fingerings! Also I love the way they distinguish between the amateur sounds and the sounds of the more seasoned players. The little details go a long way with someone like me!

– Also notice the “phone” and “input” indications on the metronome. Such awesome attention to detail. Usually string instruments will make use of that, particularly bass (bass guitar and CB) and guitar (all kinds) players. The higher string instruments don’t usually use them because their harmonics are easier to hear and tune due to the way the open strings are arranged.

– That french horn was layed on the table correctly!

– Watching these guys get their comeuppance for not practicing and sounding bad was amazing. Watching Taki-sensei let them go for as long as he did was hilarious, but he was super-lenient with them. He let them hang themselves and it was great.

– That proper concert band tuning order!

– That look on the faces of the band members after that poor start was great. I know that feel, haha. They depicted it so spot-on. The defeat, the shame, the despair at not knowing what words are about to come out your director’s mouth, all flawlessly captured.

– I looooooved Taki-sensei’s reaction. It’s so spot-on for a band director after having to hear a garbage rehearsal like that. They really did sound like crap too! The way he singled out band members to ask them what they thought was spot on too, and is an effective teaching method that even I have used! And the gall of some of the players to demand that he tell them what they’re messing up on is priceless!

– HAHAHA! And everyone there knows what’s wrong. You can see it in their body language! All the guilt, shame, unease, and denial that they are so baaaaaaaad. It’s all there!

– And then he singles out the sections!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! It’s either a huge moment of shame or one of boasting to get everyone else to get their stuff together! And he used it to shame them and make them feel horrible! This is SO GOOD. I feel like i’m in high school ensembles all over again!

– And then he asks them who thought it was good and none of them respond! I can feel their shame through the screen and it feels so right! The anxiety and horrible feeling in the pits of their stomachs, I can feel it all. They are depicting this so well you guys have no idea!

– And then he uses the fact that one section sounded like crap to say that they all sounded like crap! I have LIVED through this scene!

– Needless to say, Taki-sensei is one awesome band director. It’s spot on. He’s done so well, so accurately! He’s a very realistic portrayal of a band director! I also really love how he’s basically like, “don’t get me in here to make you practice, i’ll come back when you want to rehearse for real!”

– Making the distinction between those practice vs. rehearsal and Taki-sensei’s role with each of those is very important for that scene! You rehearse with your director. Rehearsing means you have your crap together and are ready to work on bringing the music to life. Practice is the stuff you do on your own time; like getting fingerings down, rough sections ironed out, keeping tempo, getting all the pitches right, etc. Do that basic stuff on your own time and bring your butt ready to rehearse and not waste time on things you should’ve practiced!

– And then the trash-talking after he leaves is priceless, even though they all know they super messed up!

– I love how he told them off so nicely too. SO GOOD!

– Mass band drama and quitting wars… I’ve seen it! I’ve lived it!

– As a former band president myself, I like how they’re trying to handle all of it. Even calling a meeting of section leaders to try and get this going.

– Hearing Kousaka play Dvorak on trumpet was nice. You could also tell by her breathing, intonation, and pitch sustainability that she is a younger player than a professional, which gives a massive sense of realism to their talent thresholds for this show. It sounds like how a pretty decent high school student would sound, as opposed to a professional. It’s a really nice sense of realism for the playing. I originally thought they’d all sound like pros for a TV anime, but it’s really grounded in being authentic.

– Kousaka’s frustration is something very real. I experienced it myself, and when it happened to me I ended up joining a few college ensembles while I was still in high school, just to get a more advanced and involved playing experience.

– Even the way she holds the trumpet both playing and in resting position is spot-on. Even the thumb-holder and ring on the slide to the third valve is all there. One thing younger players do is hook their pinky on the little hook for their right hand. Advanced players usually rest their finger on top of the hook because that thing is really only there for newer players to press the instrument harder on their mouth, making buzzing for inexperienced players easier.

– Also all of the trumpet fingerings were correct for their pitches! Though, she played a transposed version of the melody that is more fitting to the trumpet’s comfy range. There was a slight part where the notes played and fingers being pressed didn’t line up perfectly, but honestly the overwhelming majority of it is spot-on.

-I love the how you can see the way the sun fades and the color changes on her face as the scene ends. It really sets the mood perfectly.

– All in all, a really awesome episode. Watching this series really makes me feel nostalgic for my younger band days.

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2 thoughts on “Sound! Euphonium – Episode 03

  1. “That being said, for a small band program, they sure have some expensive looking instruments.”

    And that’s because Kitauji’s band program used to be one of the best in Japan. They used to be regular contenders for gold awards at nationals, until the previous co-directors (Taki’s dad and Reina’s dad) retired 10 years ago and everything collapsed. But they’ve still got nice instruments 🙂

    The playing sounds realistic for high school students because Kyoto Animation (“Kyoani”) commissioned an ensemble of entirely college freshmen to record the soundtrack and any music parts. Kyoani is notorious in the anime world for their meticulous attention to detail.

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    • OH SORRY YOU DO YOU KNOW WHAT KYOANI IS
      sorry it’s just normally i have to explain that to the band geek side of the viewers who are just there for the band and haven’t seen any other anime shows other than Your Lie in April

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