Dental Suite: A Review

By Peter Fielding • June 15, 2022 • 2 min read

Dental Suite coverHarris, Paul. Dental Suite. Queen's Temple Publications, QT182. Buckingham, Buckinghamshire UK. 2018. Sheet music. ISMN 979-0-708086-82-6.

Paul Harris' Dental Suite is an engaging collection of 16 studies for the young trombonist. Dedicated to the trombone-playing dentist Duncan Edworthy, the title of each etude correspond to various dental escapades and is paired with a subtitle conveying the pedagogical goal of each study. Each etude has a companion illustration by the Drew cartoonist Drew Hillier. Donated for review by Queen's Temple Publications (QT 182), these etudes are of value for those seeking repertoire for the developing musician that differs from introductory overtone, flexibility, and slide position technical exercises ubiquitous of trombonist-authored treatises.

Table 1. Etudes from Dental Suite
NumberTitlePedagogical descriptorTempo/styleKeyRange
1Off to the DentistA study to explore arpeggio patternsAllegro MarzialeE♭ majorBb♭-E♭4
2Brace YourselfA study to explore crescendos and accentsModerato/td>C majorC3-A3
3Open WideA study to explore wider intervalsAllegrettoD minorG2-D4
4You know the drillA study to explore quavers [eighth notes]As fast as possible (like a drill)E♭ majorB♭2-G3
5The Dentist's ChairA study to explore glissandoSpiritoB♭ majorF2-B♭3
6You did very well!A study to explore swung rhythmsSwing!D majorA2-D4
7You won't feel a thing...A study to explore feeling a strong sense of pulseAndante con moto (5/4)A♭ majorA2-A3
8Oh dear! Multiple cavitiesA study to explore staccato and accentsHard rock tempoG minorG2-B♭3
9Have you been flossing?A study to explore simple legatoFlossing smoothly and gentlyB♭ majorA2-D4
10Tooth Out!A study to explore dotted rhythmsQuick as a flash...E♭ majorG2-E♭4
11Tooth DecayA study to explore diminuendo and tiesAndante sostenutoC majorG2-A3
12Root CanalA study to explore low notesVery preciselyG majorG2-D3
13"Don't eat Sweats!"A study to explore a cantabile toneJazz waltz tempo (one-in-a-bar-feel)A♭ majorAb♭-E♭4
14Wobbly TeethA study to explore oscillating quaver [eighth note] patternsModeratoD minorA2-A3
15Rinse!A study to explore Klezmer styleWith tremendous energyG minorG2-B♭3
16See you in 6 MonthsA study to explore 6/8 timeRelaxed and happyAb majorA♭2-A♭3

As an example of the level of writing, Etude 5 employs a variety of glissandi within a limited range for the developing musician.

Example 1. Etude No. 5 The Dentist's Chair>
	<figcaption class=Example 1. Dental Suite Etude No. 5 "The Dentist's Chair."

Acknowledging the contributions by Mark Denton and Robert Priestley, this is a welcome collection for the novice. For those interested in learning about his soloistic writing for trombone, his Trombone Concerto (QT 24) has been published with percussion and piano reduction, with sample audio on the publisher's website. Dental Suite is a welcome addition to the pedagogical materials for the emerging trombonist.

Example 1. Etude No. 5 The Dentist's Chair>
	<figcaption class=Example 2. Illustration by Drew Whillier in Dental Suite, page 10.