A pearl of wisdom compliments of Alex..

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rjzeller, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. adohanian

    adohanian Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2005
    Actually, in the hands of the right person, specifically I'm thinking about Niklas Eklund, I think the natural trumpet can be very close to the human voice. The tamber is different, I think the articulation plays a part here, and it just sounds really similar when he plays with a vocalist.

  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes I did study with Jim, but I was not quoting him. I was actually referring to the production of sound as well, but in reference to the oral cavity and vowel formation and how it can be used to manipulate sound, and countless other things I have not the time to write about currently. (Krauss, Rapier). In a post I was also referring to "Bel Canto" style of sound concept. Either way, thanks for the compliment RJZ. I would love to write more, but I am out of town and relying on the battery life of my laptop until Wednesday night. (been missin' you guys!)
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Trompetvrouw wrote:
    Yeah, but I might like to trade places with you this week! ;-)

  4. Rimshot

    Rimshot Pianissimo User

    Feb 14, 2005
  5. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I'd definately like to trade places.... :-)

    I'm with Tom, My Getzen Capri Cornet has such a sweet mellow singing voice that to me it seems more suited than the trumpet to be called 'More like the human voice'

    There's a huge difference between the Godfather Love theme on my Trumpet and my Cornet.
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Oooooh... Rimshot gets a point. I didn't consider the string timbres but the man has a point. Here's something: with your voice, try to begin a vowel sound quietly without the sudden "yank" that can start a sound. In other words, like a bow with only a little rosin. So, sing "Ah..."or "Ohh..." with a sudden start to the sound. Then transfer idea that to starting a quiet sound on the trumpet. Good conceptual exercise.

  7. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    I like this discussion!

    When we talk about “vocal†quality, the range of color choices to pick from is enormous. I like to listen to Cecelia Bartoli, Kathleen Battle, and Rene Fleming. Their “colors†and ease of sound production transcend their technique and you simply experience their music. Jussi Bjorling offers a completely different color, but his quality is very appropriate to what a symphony or opera trumpet player looks for regarding a “vocal†quality to the sound.

    What about Louis Armstrong’s vocal quality? That certainly has its place in music. I wouldn’t want to model my sound after Louis’ vocal style for the music that I typically play, but if I were playing something that led me to hear his voice in my head, I’m sure it would help to make my quality more “vocalâ€. We actually did a Broadway Medley on my wind ensemble concert last night, but I wasn’t thinking Louis when we got to Hello Dolly. Maybe I should have!

    In a fantastic documentary with Wynton and Kathleen Battle (Baroque Duet), Wynton is in a cab on the way to his first rehearsal for the recording project. He says that as instrumentalists we are always trying to model the sounds of the vocalists. Then he says, "and eventually when we get to a certain point of technical proficiency, the vocalists will start modeling the instrumentalists". Then he laughs and says, "of course, I don’t think we’ll ever get to that point!"

    I’m also very impressed by the vocal quality of the cello. I was suggested to find a recording of Anner Bylsma doing the Bach Cello Suites. Wow! There is certainly a vocal approach to the way that he plays. Yo Yo Ma and Casals too!

    What I find most amazing when it comes to vocal quality is some of the softer sections of many of the Mahler symphonies. There is a certain quality (color) that the sound takes on when the melody is being passed from strings to winds to brasses in the finest ensembles. It’s not like the sound is moving through RED to BLUE to GREEN when the line is being played. It’s like the subtle pastel colors that you might find in a Monet painting. The colors are all very closely related. There is something very “vocal†about this when I listen to this type of music.

    I like what Arnold Jacobs described when he was in classes with Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute. Tabuteau had numbers for the colors on each instrument. During class, he would point to an oboe player and say, Oboe Number 3 and then he would point to Arnold Jacobs and say Oboe Number 4. Jacobs had to come as close to matching this slightly different Oboe sound on his Tuba! That always amazed me, but I hear it very clearly when I’m listening especially to the soft passages in Mahler symphonies.

    Great stuff!
  8. CJH

    CJH Pianissimo User

    Mar 15, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Yeah! I agree, for me I think it is something about the portamento that a great nat trumpet player can acheive that really brings to mind the voice.

    I can certainly see (hear) the argument for the cello and the sax as well. It almost seems like maybe all we instrumentalists are trying to emulate the human voice at some level.

  9. averagejoe

    averagejoe Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Make that two votes for the Sax, Manny, but there is something to consider:

    If I'm not mistaken, Ed Tarr asserts that long before Adolph's distinguished career, way back in the Baroque era, the trumpet was the closest match for the human voice, as evidenced by the fact that the trumpet was largely the instrument of choice for obbligato passages with the voice. Think of all of those wonderful da capo arias...

    Paul Poovey
  10. gregc

    gregc Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 5, 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    A master-built Cello in the hands af a Master can bring grown men to tears!
    (so can a bad cello played by me, he he he ).... but you know what I mean.

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