Paxman Horn Quartet Gig book:  take 2

Gig Book Cover

I have had the unusual privilege of being a small part of the process in bringing the second edition of these very useful books to fruition.  The pictures here were taken during the proofreading sessions done at author/editor/arranger William Melton's house.   

It took five of us to get through it all, but somehow we got together a few afternoons over a few months, and read through every piece checking for errors in the proofs.  We also discussed possible key changes, marking clarifications, etc…  

There are some real gems in both editions.  As well as some very challenging longer pieces, there are also many short pieces which can be put together in a very short time for a quick fanfare.  Since all the pieces are in Horn Key Signature, that means no sharps or flats in the key 

(Image of volume 1 reprinted with the permission of the editor)

signature, transposition, if required is easy.  This means that lower level students should be able to not only read some of the more challenging pieces, and, also practice their transposing in a group.


(l - r:  Michael Roberts, William Melton, Nigel Munisamy, Bruce Richards)

Something that I don't think people realize with these books is the enormous research that has gone into them.  Finding period original quartet music, obscure quite valid composers, and tireless work arranging  everything from the Canadian National Anthem to part of a Bruckner Mass.

An issue which I have heard raised about these books is the cost.  What most people do not seem to realize is that divided by 4 it is not that expensive.  Hours of quartet music for €15/quartet member.  Imagine how much you would spend for the same quantity of individually purchased quartets.  I have found the first set to very valuable.  Students can borrow them during a summer course and read pieces through for fun.


(l-r: William Melton, Bruce Richards, Michael Roberts, Hubert Stähle)

Michael Roberts and William Melton  Aachen Symphony Orchestra  Aachen, Germany

Bruce Richards and Nigel Munisamy  Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Hubert Stähle WDR Symphony Orchestra Köln, Germany


(l-r: William Melton (informal dress), Michael Roberts, Bruce Richards, Nigel Munisamy)

The second volume of these books will be laid out in exactly the same way as the first, with downloadable program notes available from the publisher's web site.

I want to emphasize that you should ask your horn teacher/professor to either invest in these books, or have their respective music library consider aquiring them.  Students could then check them out for gigs, and they would become a very handy resource for years to come.  The publishers web site:

The Paxman Horn Quartet Gig Book Volume 1  and the William Melton's book on the history of the Wagner Tuba are both available at this site.

I will be sure to announce the availability of the second set when they become available.  All photos are the property of William Melton.

© Bruce Richards 2012-2019