Vernacular (of range)



  • Every so often a thread comes up wherein someone mentions hitting, or missing, a given note. It is almost always followed by a post asking "which one exactly?".

    In a community where a significant subset of the members determine some portion of their personal self-worth by what frequencies they can manage to squeak out without a fatal stroke or forearm tendon separation, there should be a common understanding of what "high E" for instance is.

    One school of thought is that the staff determines all. If the note is below the staff, it is "low X". If above, then "high X". But very shortly above the staff we run out of guard rails. Likewise, are both Es and Fs in contact with the lines considered neither high nor low? And as if that duplication is not enough, we then have the issue of what is the note above high C? (where does double start without a graphical anchor?)

    Another, more logical but less common approach is to take everything above C below the staff through C in the staff as simply the note name. That lower C down, until pedal C, is then "low X". From the D in the staff on up to our old friend (and the only term people seem to agree on) high C is "high X". Doubles begin above high C, triples above double C and so on. Much more logical, but not widely used.

    So what is the answer? And why, if range is so important to so many, do we not have a universally understood means of communicating that which we are so proud of? Seems hard to comprehend.



  • No offense intended, but I've answered this ad naseum. Be that as it may . .

    I relate notes to the lowest playable note and then octaves of it. It follows this logical pattern:

    Low
    Middle
    High
    Double High
    then pray that anything comes out.

    or:
    Low F# (below the staff).
    Middle F# (in the staff)
    High F# (top line of the staff)
    Double High F# (an octave above that)

    But . .
    I got tired of taking up time in rehearsals so I have found it quicker to just say:
    F# below the staff
    F# in the staff
    F# at the top of the staff
    #F# above High C



  • Well, I’d call the E and F at the bottom of the staff low E and F, since there are none lower on the trumpet (at least naturally). That would make the E and F at the top of the staff middle E and F. From there upward, the notes would be high F#, G, A, B, C, D, E, and F, with the doubles beginning with F# again. Maybe that’s arbitrary, but there’s a bit of logic to it.



  • @Dale-Proctor said in Vernacular (of range):

    Well, I’d call the E and F at the bottom of the staff low E and F, since there are none lower on the trumpet (at least naturally). That would make the E and F at the top of the staff middle E and F. From there upward, the notes would be high F#, G, A, B, C, D, E, and F, with the doubles beginning with F# again. Maybe that’s arbitrary, but there’s a bit of logic to it.

    That's true, but when you ask for a "Middle F", you're likely to get empty stares. "Do you mean the First space F or the Top of the Staff F?"

    There are different ways of saying this, so I've found out that you just have to come to an understanding with the other musicians, ahead of time, what you all mean. In other words, right or wrong, a common vocabulary.



  • I find it easier to understand German!



  • Isn't it just simpler to understand above the last note touching the staff is a high... and the next octave above that is double high... and so on.



  • @Kehaulani said in Vernacular (of range):

    No offense intended, but I've answered this ad naseum. Be that as it may . .

    I relate notes to the lowest playable note and then octaves of it. It follows this logical pattern:

    then pray that anything comes out.

    As long as it's not a hernia... at which point, the musician will need to schedule an appointment with me.



  • I think you guys are just proving OldSchool's point. I used to teach pilots about electromagnetic theory. A typical fighter radar's frequency band depends on whom you're talking to:

    ITU - Super High Frequency (SHF)
    EU/NATO/US ECM - I band
    IEEE/Radar builder - X band

    Three different names for the same thing. To make it worse, ITU and IEEE can't even agree on the definition of UHF.

    So I told pilots they should ask for numbers instead of names.

    Without memorizing all the frequencies, it would seem the next best approach would be:

    c8908237-3e06-45b0-816b-63b8792c216d-image.png



  • @Dale-Proctor said in Vernacular (of range):

    Well, I’d call the E and F at the bottom of the staff low E and F, since there are none lower on the trumpet (at least naturally). That would make the E and F at the top of the staff middle E and F. From there upward, the notes would be high F#, G, A, B, C, D, E, and F, with the doubles beginning with F# again. Maybe that’s arbitrary, but there’s a bit of logic to it.

    When I was in good shape (as a low brass player, and in bass clef), while I could get notes a little higher and a little lower, I basically had a controlled 4 octave range bounded by 5 Fs. By your system, there would not be a single "double-" in my controlled range. So I would have high F, F, Low F, ---something----, and then pedal F. Seems like I am missing a label.



  • @OldSchoolEuph said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Dale-Proctor said in Vernacular (of range):

    Well, I’d call the E and F at the bottom of the staff low E and F, since there are none lower on the trumpet (at least naturally). That would make the E and F at the top of the staff middle E and F. From there upward, the notes would be high F#, G, A, B, C, D, E, and F, with the doubles beginning with F# again. Maybe that’s arbitrary, but there’s a bit of logic to it.

    When I was in good shape (as a low brass player, and in bass clef), while I could get notes a little higher and a little lower, I basically had a controlled 4 octave range bounded by 5 Fs. By your system, there would not be a single "double-" in my controlled range. So I would have high F, F, Low F, ---something----, and then pedal F. Seems like I am missing a label.

    ...but I was talking treble clef trumpet...😁


  • Credentialed Professional

    @Dr-GO said in Vernacular (of range):

    I find it easier to understand German!

    ☺
    But I go still nuts when the german say, the play a C3 and for me (catalan) that's a C5



  • @Bertie said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Dr-GO said in Vernacular (of range):

    I find it easier to understand German!

    ☺
    But I go still nuts when the german say, the play a C3 and for me (catalan) that's a C5

    It has always been my theory that the Germans lost two world wars in part because they put their verbs at the end of their sentences. By the time it was for them to take action... it was too late!



  • It has always been my theory that the Germans lost two world wars because they put their verbs at the end of their sentences. By the time it was for them to take action... it was too late!

    I know you meant this as humorous, but I have a wife, two children and extended family members who are German and I don't think this is funny. I could be hypersenseive. But, FWIW.



  • @Kehaulani said in Vernacular (of range):

    It has always been my theory that the Germans lost two world wars in part because they put their verbs at the end of their sentences. By the time it was for them to take action... it was too late!

    I know you meant this as humorous, but I have a wife, two children and extended family members who are German and I don't think this is funny. I could be hypersenseive. But, FWIW.

    No I actually think there is partial truth to this use of verbs. A delay in taking critical action is concerning. Albeit the war was lost due to many other reasons of which military strategy is the primary reason. So I edited the original to be more contextually factual.



  • Yoda communicated just fine that way.

    One can analyze the dynamics of history on many levels and many complex interactions, but such a minor distinction in grammatical form does not explain anything in that regard. The German language is perhaps viewed by some as a little more aggressive due to the frequent use of the imperative, but that is the naturally evolved compensation for that grammar and annuls any minuscule time-delay impact.

    While not explaining the outcome on the battlefield, the German language, in addition to its precursors being absolutely critical to the emergence of the English language, plays a major role in the shaping of modern Europe as a geopolitical entity. Unlike many languages that derive from a single tribal dialect through conflict, conquest and assimilation, the German language is unique in that it created its society rather than the other way around. The post-Roman Germanic principalities, and there were a lot of them, largely reflected the diversity of the pre-Roman central European tribes. Religion and technology created the concept of a singular German people (far more than later psuedo-scholars would try to say Tacitus did) through Luther's translation of the Bible into a more prevalent lingual form, and the printing press facilitating the widespread availability of the Gutenberg Bible, giving peoples with very different colloquial and outright variants a common form. As late as the Franco-Prussian war, Prussian was still very different from what we know as German. Decades later it evolved into a form that took its name from Prussian script Sütterlin that only became extinct after the Allies gave Poland most of Prussia in exchange for the Russians taking much of traditional Poland.

    Even today, if you put someone from Berlin in a room with someone from Munich, and they speak only colloquial forms, they have only a little more in common with each other than they do with someone from Amsterdam (exaggeration, but....)

    The German language has shaped the Western world, in very positive ways. It has never encumbered or held back any society and based on history, appears to actually be what an evolutionary scientist would call a successful adaptation.



  • @Dr-GO, in contemporary German brass-lingo we called a double high C a "C5," (B4 concert pitch) and the pedal C a "C1."

    International Standards (ISO) name the C below the treble staff and above the bass as "middle C." (That makes sense because it is in the middle between the two staves.) Middle C is C4. Pedal C is C3 and C in the staff a C4.

    Played Bach and Handel with a couple other trumpet players on A piccolo trumpets and our first rehearsal was something by Handel, so the parts were notated in C. Took us a while to figure out that one of us was talking in sounding pitch, one in written pitch and one in A. Depending on who you asked, the same note could be a "D"," "C" or "F."



  • @Vulgano-Brother said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Dr-GO, in contemporary German brass-lingo we called a double high C a "C5," (B4 concert pitch) and the pedal C a "C1."

    International Standards (ISO) name the C below the treble staff and above the bass as "middle C." (That makes sense because it is in the middle between the two staves.) Middle C is C4. Pedal C is C3 and C in the staff a C4.

    Played Bach and Handel with a couple other trumpet players on A piccolo trumpets and our first rehearsal was something by Handel, so the parts were notated in C. Took us a while to figure out that one of us was talking in sounding pitch, one in written pitch and one in A. Depending on who you asked, the same note could be a "D"," "C" or "F."

    I have trouble looking at anything other than what I am hearing. I either use C parts or take extra time to fight the transposition (I have more trouble with Bb than any of the others I have had to work with) and memorize. That 1 step offset from what I am hearing just makes me crazy.



  • @Vulgano-Brother said in Vernacular (of range):
    @Dr-GO,
    International Standards (ISO) name the C below the treble staff and above the bass as "middle C." (That makes sense because it is in the middle between the two staves.) Middle C is C4. Pedal C is C3 and C in the staff a C4.

    Just be aware that there are differences when a group of trumpeters are talking and when you're playing in a large ensemble with mixed instruments.

    Usually, if you're with like-minded instruments, you might call your notes where they lie in your instrument's staff. When working with mixed ensembles, the conductor may identify them by using a Grand Staff (look it up). In my case, I usually referred to notes by each instrument's tessitura, but if it's for a group of mixed instruments, you are usually talking about something related to the notes they have right in front of them, and there's no need to compromise the system.

    You might ask, 'What about combos, where there are no written notes"? I still relate the notes to each instrument type, depending on their own terminology.

    In other words, I can't think of situations where I had to use the definition of notes by the Grand Staff or some acoustic/scientific precision. Theoretically precise? Yes. But hardly practical.



  • @OldSchoolEuph said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Vulgano-Brother said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Dr-GO, in contemporary German brass-lingo we called a double high C a "C5," (B4 concert pitch) and the pedal C a "C1."

    I have trouble looking at anything other than what I am hearing...That 1 step offset from what I am hearing just makes me crazy.

    I have this problem with playing a C trumpet. Is it just me or does anyone else have this trumpet dyslexia where I just cannot play a C trumpet for the life of me as the fingerings are just not matching with what my ears wants to hear.



  • @Dr-GO said in Vernacular (of range):

    @OldSchoolEuph said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Vulgano-Brother said in Vernacular (of range):

    @Dr-GO, in contemporary German brass-lingo we called a double high C a "C5," (B4 concert pitch) and the pedal C a "C1."

    I have trouble looking at anything other than what I am hearing...That 1 step offset from what I am hearing just makes me crazy.

    I have this problem with playing a C trumpet. Is it just me or does anyone else have this trumpet dyslexia where I just cannot play a C trumpet for the life of me as the fingerings are just not matching with what my ears wants to hear.

    After playing a few notes on the C trumpet, I have no trouble at all with what I see vs what I hear, probably because they are fairly close. Picking up an Eb trumpet requires a little more acclimation, though, because of the disparity between the written music and the expected sound. Still, getting into an Eb groove isn’t too difficult.


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