By the title, one might expect something unusual, and they would be correct. This three-movement suite begins with a slow tempo introduction, moving to a faster main part. However, soon some additional sounds emerge. In places, the player is asked to sing through the instrument, while playing other notes. To make this more manageable, the played notes are usually in a low range and do not move quickly. This allows the vocal sounds to be made more easily. The player may choose their most comfortable octave to sing the vocal notes. Most are written as “ah” sounds, with the exception of a few that are done while not playing a note, and are written as “la”, and still intended to be through the instrument. Other “extra” sounds are done with tapping and occasional stomping. Tapping can be done on any nearby surface. A plastic shoebox works well and could be placed on a close-by table or chair. Tapping could also be done on one’s instrument, but many might prefer another surface.
The three movements are in contrasting styles and tempos. There is enough “normal” material in this piece to make it more friendly to an audience than it could be, considering the extra sounds. Players may need to work on the singing while playing aspect in order to feel comfortable doing it. Also, players may want to try several tapping surfaces to see which they prefer. All in all, Capricious Suite for Tuba and Piano contains some unexpected sounds, but should be fun and interesting to play and hear.