• New Proportions
    Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Dennis78, May 10, 2017.

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    May 10, 2017#1
    Dennis78
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    Got it today! My new 1908/9 Holton NP short cornet. So far it's living up to my expectations. I only learned my Coutrier model even though it has a shepherds crook it was their long cornet after I got it. And then I had to have their shorty. This IS a cornet for sure! The long model is cool and sounds good and all but wasn't brass band worthy. This definitely is. I'd post pics but I still can't but there are plenty out there to look at.
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    May 11, 2017#2
    OldSchoolEuph
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    Holton's first cornet was a compact late 19th century model using bits that resembled the Bohland & Fuchs stencils of the day, but was made in-house at his store. As small 19th century cornets go, it was a great one (built 1900/1-1907/8). The New Proportion short model was their second design and appeared as the first half of the Chicago factory was nearing completion (initially made in rented loft space). It is quite a cornet. Like the Kings of the same period, it is larger than the 19th century cornets, but the Holton plays very much like them - only with more presence and depth of tone. It embodies the bulking-up of the cornet as an instrument, which trend derived from the shifting image of the US in the world at the time. A bigger more self-important nation naturally must have bigger and bigger sounding cornets (then still seen as the lead popular music instrument - the guitar of its day) - at least that's a theory. Over the following 20 years, cornets would get steadily larger, heavy and with the long models, more like trumpets. By then, trumpets took over the role as "the" instrument to play in popular music. Of the totality of the larger early 20th century short cornets, the Holton New Proportion, in my opinion, is the most traditional playing yet still trend embodying of the lot.
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    May 11, 2017#3
    Dennis78
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    I like what you say! I'd also like to nab one of the old models too
    May 13, 2017#4
    Bflatman
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    I have a different take, rather than a bigger nation demanding a bigger instrument I believe social factors drove the size of cornets and trumpets to change following other needs.

    At the turn of the century the trumpet was large and the cornet was small, the trumpet projected too much so the cornet was the instrument of choice for soloists and fronting bands, I would point to the significant number of cornettists and the relative paucity of trumpeters at the time. I see a top three Red Nichols, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong. All three were cornettists.

    With the advent of prohibition and the opening of speak-easys bands were employed but the cornettists fronting found that the cornet did not project enough. This led to developments in instrument design that resulted in larger cornets to rival the projection of trumpets and trumpets also changed to be more cornet like, I imagine that during this upheaval many cornettists simply jumped ship and went with trumpets as they became more lyrical in timbre.

    Couple this with the ability to play higher easier with a trumpet and as music tastes changed it appears that trumpets simply made more sense.
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    May 13, 2017#5
    Dennis78
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    What is ment by bigger in this discussion? It's still way smaller than any of my long cornets and no bigger seemingly than my cr310
    May 31, 2017#6
    Dennis78
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    Here's a photo now that I can do that
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    May 31, 2017#7
    OldSchoolEuph
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    OK, some clarification:

    Bflatman has done an excellent job of outlining the socio-cultural drivers for the evolution of the long cornet in the teens and twenties (and that being a part of the process of transition to the trumpet as the lead voice in the next genres of popular music emerging at the time). The larger format short cornet is an innovation of the 1890s-1900s (and itself perhaps another precursory step leading to the long cornets - HN White introduced the earliest "Long Model" by both name and form that I know of around 1897/8 at the same time as his larger format short cornet). By larger, I mean physically larger. Place the New Proportion Short Model next to it's predecessor and the contrast is striking. Similarly, place the first King cornets next to the Bohland & Fuchs stencils HN White first sold (the ones with numbers on second valve that are commonly found as Sears Marceau Paris, or Champion Silver Piston, etc.) and there is a very noticeable difference in the physical size, bore, weight, tube wall thickness, etc. of the instrument.

    Good luck finding an Old Model by the way. They are exceptionally rare and all but two of the survivors that I know of are all locked away in the same collection in Alaska. . . .
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    May 31, 2017#8
    MJ
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    Interesting discussion!
    May 31, 2017#9
    veery715
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    Yeah - alt-right trumpet/cornet history!
    May 31, 2017#10
    Dennis78
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    Well here's something. My cornet came complete with a slight bend at the edge of the bell that I've since corrected. It was quite stout but came out well. The other day I messed up and dropped my top of the line Cecilio which by the way is a very nice light weight job that impressed me. Anyway bent the bell back and with nothing more than my thumbs corrected the issue. A thread on the oTHer site has been talking about vintage vs new metal and right there I felt it.