Trumpet Chamber Music, Duos by Howard J. Buss

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Trumpet with one other instrument, or voice, or electronic recording
(includes trumpet & piano)
Works are in alphabetical order, durations in parenthesis:

Alien Loop de Loops for trumpetALIEN LOOP DE LOOPS for trumpet and electronic recording by Howard J. Buss is a fantasy piece designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences. The title refers to both programmatic and technical elements in the work. The composer envisioned a performer outside during an air show by an alien craft. During the opening section he/she plays unaccompanied, but then is joined by the recording, which contains sounds generated by traditional instruments as well as an "alien" voice, the spacecraft, and various electronic effects. Technically, the title refers to how the recording was made. It consists of numerous sound loops combined to form an imaginative sonic tapestry. (6’47”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3,

Excerpt 3.mp3, Excerpt 4.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

ATMOSPHERES (2005) for trumpet/flügelhorn and one percussion by Howard J. Buss in 3 movements: The Wakening; One Sunday, Long Ago; and On-the-Edge. It was commissioned by the Double Take Duo. The first begins with a mysterious and turbulent section featuring dramatic contrasts of dynamics and mood. This gives way to passages with a hint of playfulness and culminates in a dance-like section with a distinctively Latin flare. One Sunday, Long Ago is divided into 2 parts: the first uses lyrical, soaring melodies played on the Flügelhorn over a delicate ostinato on the maracas.It ends with interplay between the marimba and the Flügelhorn, creating a beautiful, almost meditative, atmosphere. The final movement is energetic, highly dramatic, and is influenced by jazz. The percussion used includes marimba (to low A), suspended cymbals, bongos, temple blocks, tambourine, maracas, and wood blocktam-tam, cow bell, and triangle.
(10’30”) Grade V.
Recorded on the Double Take Duo CD Atmospheres (available from the composer), on the CD Spanish Memoirs by Diego Arias and Yu-Jung Chung (IBS Classical, Spain); and on the CD Incantation by the Samodai-Szives Duo (Budapest, Hungary.)

Sound samples: Movement 1 excerpt.mp3; Movement 2 excerpt A.mp3; excerpt B.mp3;

Movement 3 excerpt A.mp3, excerpt B.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

INCANTATION (1994) for Bb trumpet & one percussion by Howard J. Buss evokes the mystery and enchantment of the sorcerer's ritual. Tightly structured sections contrast with free-form passages in a manner analogous to the interaction of order and mysticism in an incantation. Printed in the score is the poem "Incantation" (see below) by the composer which may be narrated before the performance and/or used as written program notes. The instrumentation includes vibes, suspended cymbals, tam-tam, bell tree, wind chimes, cowbell, hi-hat, and tambourine. “The audience was mesmerized as the two wizards cast their unforgettable musical spell.” - The Chicago Tribune. (8’) Grade V.
Recorded on Double Take. (CD available from the composer). It has also been recorded on the Equilibrium CD EQ58 "Old News" by Stephen Dunn, trumpet and John Pennington, percussion; on the CD Spanish Memoirs by Diego Arias and Yu-Jung Chung (IBS Classical, Spain); and on the CD Incantation by the Samodai-Szives Duo (Budapest, Hungary.)
Sound Samples: Sample#1.mp3; Sample#2.mp3
Text of "Incantation" (free verse by Howard J. Buss) that may be used as program notes):
The sorcerer's ritual -
     based upon science, cast in hope,
          ceremony of portent in a universe of laws,
Unseen enchantment empowered to move the unheard.
Mystical phrases, coldly calculated, yet obscured by sonic spells,
     altered perceptions of immutable reality.
Are not the senses willingly shaken for effect
     no less violated by the magician's design?
Perhaps all can be forgiven -
     for the allure and beauty of incantation
          transcends the cares of scheme and reason.

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Meditation and Caprice  coverNew Edition! MEDITATION AND CAPRICE (1994) for trumpet and piano by Howard J. Buss. This is a new engraved edition of the composition that had been published in the composer’s manuscript. The musical content remains the same.The contemplative opening movement is followed by a jubilant and energetic fantasy characterized by sparkling melodies and driving rhythms. (8’36") Grade V.
Score and part sample (score in C, part in Bb): Excerpts.pdf

Sound samples: Meditation: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2 (the ending).mp3

Caprice: Excerpt 3 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.mp3; Excerpt 6.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

SKYLINES (2002) for trumpet and piano by Howard Buss (Solo Bb and C parts included) is in two engaging movements, Panorama, suggests the expansive grandeur of cityscape. The second, Amid the Spires, is hugely influenced by jazz and captures the dynamic energy of life on the busy streets. Commissioned for Eric Berlin and the 2003 ITG Conference. (10’30”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Movement 1: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3

Movement 2: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3, Excerpt 3.mp3

Skylines also exists in a version for solo trumpet (Bb or C) and orchestra.

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

THREE JAZZICALS (2009) for Bb trumpet and tuba by Howard J. Buss is in 3 movements - To Bop or Not to Bop, Sounds from the Cool Smoke, and Hotish. The composer states, “ In Three Jazzicals it was not my aim to create a specific hybrid style by synthesizing jazz and modern classical music; rather, my intent was to systematically strip away the fundamental elements of jazz to explore at what point the music ceases being jazz and becomes classical. The style is the resultant this procedure. It is understood that because the subject of what constitutes jazz (there are so many kinds) is so complex, depending upon the background and views of the listener, The music will sound jazzy (in varying degrees) to most, and mostly classical to some.” The instruments used have been traditionally used in jazz. However, stripped away is the rhythm section; traditional chord progressions; melodic, rhythmic and formal clichés; and improvisation. Among the elements kept is the allowance for personal expression through each player’s tone, inflections, and articulations. The players are specifically asked not to swing at any time. (12’) Grade V-VI.
YouTube video (movement 2)

Sound samples: Excerpt Movement 1.mp3; Excerpt Movement 2.mp3; Excerpt Movement 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

TIME CAPSULE (1996) by Howard J. Buss is an sonatina in 4 movements: Daybreak, Chorale, Rendezvous, and Homeward Bound. The first has a frolicking and optimistic character. Chorale breaks with the traditional structure of the chorale in that each phrase gets a measure longer. The harmonies of the second movement contain some spicy dissonances as well. Rendezvous is in a lilting 6/8 and builds excitement as it progresses to an exciting climax. The final movement, Homeward Bound, begins with a fanfare-like passage that gives way to a spirited dance with spirited interplay between the instruments.
(7’) Grade IV-V.
version for flute (or piccolo) & trumpet (or cornet) Music available from Cimarron Music Press

version for trumpet & tenor trombone
Sound excerpts: Movement 1.mp3, Movement 2.mp3,

Movement 3.mp3, Movement 4.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Totally Tubular coverTOTALLY TUBULAR for oboe/English horn and trumpet/flügelhorn by Howard J. Buss. Its 3 movements traverse a wide variety of sonic atmospheres and moods. The first, Initiations, is scored for oboe and muted trumpet. Waveful features the beautiful and enchanting combination of the English horn and flügelhorn. The performers shift back onto the oboe and trumpet for the stirring final movement, Emanations. The titles of the movements, as well as that of the larger work, refer to a number of uses of the expression ‘totally tubular.” Obviously, the instruments used in the piece are tubular. The expression is used in popular culture to indicate excitement, or that something is “rad“, cool”, or “punk.” Among surfers the expression has been used to describe particularly impressive breaking barrel waves. (8’5”) Grade V.
Score sample: Excerpts.pdf  - Video on YouTube

Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

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Trumpet Music Index:                                                                               
Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.

Solo trumpet, unaccompanied

Trumpet with one other instrument, or voice, or electronic recording (includes trumpet and piano)

Trumpet ensembles

Trumpet solo with percussion ensemble

Trumpet in chamber music
- trios

Trumpet in chamber music - quartets (includes standard brass quartets)

Trumpet in chamber music - quintets and larger (includes standard brass quintets)

Trumpet and orchestra


Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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Trumpet Music, graded catalog of sheet music. Product description: Trumpet solos, duos, ensembles, chamber music and recordings.