I saw this on Oystein’s FaceBook just the other day and I had to repost. I have said things very similar to this to my students before. He is a phenomenal musician and tuba player. I wish more people thought like this. . .
“Sound is nothing. Music is everything.
I am SICK and tired of all the emphasis on sound quality in music competitions.
What is a beautiful tuba sound anyway? Put a damn paper clip into your mouthpiece to distort your sound, but play musically and you have won my heart. Play with the “worlds best” tuba sound but unmusically and you leave me cold.
Unlike in an orchestral audition where you need a specific sound to blend with the orchestra the OPPOSITE is true in solo playing. As a soloist you need to stick out, to have a voice that is heard. You need to be able to change your sound constantly to serve the music. Sometimes beautiful and singing, sometimes ugly and harsh. Sometimes featherlight and delicate, sometimes solid as a rock. Rather than sound quality, we should be talking about sound control.
To claim that one sound is better than another is as ignorant as saying that green is a better color than red. Good music requires an infinite variety of sound colors.
If you intend to play for these guys you might be able to impress a few with your perfect sound.
If you intend to reach the other 99,9999 % they don’t have a clue what a tuba should sound like, and they could not care less. What these people do care about, is not getting bored. And that happens really, really quickly with the “perfect tuba sound”.
Now, go and kick the next guy that uses the phrase “good sound” in his butt!”