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UNISONS / OCTAVES
In general, unison and octave lines are used when there is harmonic support. Such as a saxophone soli in octaves with trombones playing punches, or a trumpet unison melody with saxophones playing a sustained harmony. The examples below show various ways in which unisons and octaves are used on the CD.
- This first example is from the chart Hubtones. Listen to the trombones in unison with harmony being supplied by the rhythm section.
- In this section from Isotope the saxes play in octaves while the rhythm, and then the trombones, supply the harmony.
- Trumpets in unison can add a great deal of power and intensity when written in the mid to upper registers. This example from You Don't Know What Love Is demonstrates this ability. The trumpets have no problems being heard as nine other wind instruments (saxophones and trombones) provide sustained harmony.
- Ensemble tutti passages in octaves are somewhat common in big band charts. This example from There Is No Greater Love occurs at the beginning of the shout section. Beginning in a density of one leaves room for greater harmonic density later in the chorus.