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Monette Club

  • RE: Slotting: Tight v. Wide

    The notion that tightly slotting horns are easier to play in tune is a myth in my world. We do not play "well tempered" we play relative to the other notes. This is called "just tuning". We need the horn to respond evenly because we need to bend the pitch to stay in tune in relation to others.

    The notion of how a horn "slots" has more to do with how well we hear ourselves. In an overly reverberant bathroom or staircase, an instrument will appear to slot better than that same instrument when played outdoors on a cold day. If we insert earplugs (in our ears), the horn will slot noticably worse than if we just got our ears cleaned.

    Sure, we want instruments that can securely be played in tune. I believe that the physics of resonance place limits on what works. I also would not agree that heavy instruments necessarily have less overtones. My heaviest trumpet is the one that is most easy to play and projects the best. It is the most brilliant too.

    In many cases, we can improve instruments that are difficult to play. This can be accomplished by moving braces, cleaning the grunge out, aligning the valves and to a certain extent improving the mouthpiece shank/receiver connection. Sometimes a smaller mouthpiece can make our sound get to our ears more easily. I have had several students wanting to get a "darker sound" that ended up just being mushy. Recording their sound with various instruments can prove to them that they were following a "less worthy" goal.

    Heavier valve caps on instruments not designed for them can make resonance more stable but as a rule have a cost in sound and intonation.

    There is also a notion that some instruments project in a way making them easier to hear. This can help match the expectations in our heads to what the trumpet actually sounds like. When we match instruments to our sound concept, they are easier to play.

    posted in Bb & C Trumpets
  • RE: Administrator going to be in Europe Fall/Winter 2024-25

    @barliman2001 said in Administrator going to be in Europe Fall/Winter 2024-25:

    @administrator You can always find me in Vienna - quite near to Prague.

    Ah yes, that's right, they're not far away from each other! Isn't the Votruba factory nearby?

    posted in Announcements
  • Administrator going to be in Europe Fall/Winter 2024-25

    Hey all,
    I'm planning on going to Europe this fall and sticking around until probably about May. I'll be in Prague first, then I'm planning on heading to Malaga, Spain, for the nicer weather.

    Let me know if you want to meet up!

    posted in Announcements
  • RE: Back to Arbans and Others

    I think that playing in all keys is important to our playing. Not only the fingers and brain get a workout, but negotiating the changes in back pressure through the valve combinations stabilise our embouchures. Practice scales slowly and precisely, slurred, and then add just enough tongue to separate the notes, then less legato and finally staccato. Play loudly and softly.

    posted in Miscellaneous
  • Military Bands: She Landed One of Music’s Great Gigs, but First Came Boot Camp

    From the New York Times: “Premier military bands offer rare stability for classical musicians, who consider them a strong alternative to traditional orchestras. But signing up means shipping out.” This is the story of Ada Brooks, a Euphonium Player who after at least 10 auditions, was accepted by the West Point Military Band. “She Landed One of Music’s Great Gigs, but First Came Boot Camp.”

    posted in Miscellaneous
  • RE: ACB Doubler A/Bb Picc for sale - almost unused

    $50 to the USA? I'm curious what import taxes would cost. I'm interested, please PM me. Thanks! @barliman2001

    posted in High Trumpets (Eb
  • RE: The Serpent

    Each genre of instrument goes well with the specific genre of music that was created with it.

    I can enjoy a period piece on either a centuries old (replica) natural trumpet, or a modern Schagerl Piccolo trumpet. Different sounds and different reproductions.

    posted in Vintage Items
  • RE: The Serpent

    @Trumpetb My point is that we do not NEED TO PERFORM WITH the original instruments to get the original intentions of the composer. For some people, myself included, learning and performing with them does however, offer additional palettes of color to use.
    As the trumpet through its history has changed about every 50 years, I would place most of the "blame" for lost technique and tone clearly with the trumpeters. Even in the Jazz genre, how many players just noodle around without really embracing the various periods in jazz? How many can play a convincing Bix or Dizzy chorus? What about a whole evening of 1920s jazz (or 1950s for that matter). Sure, we may hear some licks that apply, but a whole evening? The same is true with cornetto choruses called diminuation. It is not a hard concept, the patterns developed over time and also applied to a certain extent to the baroque period.
    The ignorance that is displayed - even by some (if not many) professionals, is simply laziness not lack of sources, information or role models. It certainly is not hardware based. There are even courses to build your own cornetto or natural trumpet.
    I would not consider anything lost rather ignored.

    posted in Vintage Items
  • RE: The Serpent

    My personal opinion is that we have lost NOTHING. The trumpet has been evolving/transforming about every 50 years and that the issue is more about what the contemporary view of what is acceptable. The end of the baroque era brought the requirements of chromatics that the natural trumpet could not fulfill. An additional handicap was classical modulation of the key signature that ruled out "mean tone" instruments. Initial attempts to get the trumpet chromatic sounded HORRIBLE, that resulted in it losing its "solo instrument" position in the orchestra and it wasn't until the late 1800s until further developments enabled the trumpeter to recapture melodic superiority. With the advent of recording technology, the requirement of security drove the creation of shorter instruments (in Bb, C, D and Eb). In Germany around 1900 the Bb trumpet common today was called the "high Bb" trumpet and the orchestral players using the deep F trumpets commented on the thin sound and lack of color of those Bb instruments. They lost the battle.
    Rediscovery of Bach in the 1920s and 1930s drove development of smaller bore high D, Eb, F and G trumpets. Jazz drove additional changes to the Bb as did raising concert pitch to A=440. Charles Mager bringing french C trumpets to Boston was an additional change. After the second world war, the volume war started. Symphony orchestras (especially the brass) got larger bore instruments to get a "darker" sound that fitted in the orchestral fabric better. Unfortunately, that development increased the loudness, driving orchestral pitch up to the current A=442/443 to make the woodwinds brighter to compete. The string sections got strings that were also much louder.
    Now, to get back to my original premise: trumpeters never had any need to ignore history or lose certain playing techniques. This was and still is their own choice. I listen to recent symphonic brass recordings of Gabrielli and wonder why nothing has improved since the 1960s when Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago created their legendary recordings. The reason is choice and ignorance. Ed Tarr and many others have made historical performance practice popular and accessible. Choosing to ignore what has been learned is my definition of ignorant. There is NO REASON FOR A MODERN PLAYER TO NOT ENCOMPASS THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF COMPOSERS FROM ANY ERA. Everything is freely available in our information age. I do not need a cornetto to play Gabrielli or a natural trumpet to play Bach. I do need to understand performance practice, phrasing, articulation and blend to serve the original intent however. It is there for the taking as long as we are not too proud to bend over and pick it up!
    We can learn a lot from these pioneers.

    posted in Vintage Items
  • RE: The Serpent

    More on the Cimbasso and its history.
    Youtube Video

    posted in Vintage Items