American trumpet making...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Stradbrother, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

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    I am a retired middle school band director, having taught public school for 36 years. I think the arts will always be there, maybe not in the traditional way we think. Concert band programs, though traditional in this area, some have keyboard synthesizers fill in for missing parts such as tuba or oboe. As for American made instruments, even the mandolincafe website has this thread going! I have professional grade trumpets, mandolins, Cellos, violins, flutes, and banjos from the USA, East and West Germany(when they were that!),China, Korea,Japan,Taiwan,France,and Great Britain. They all are beautiful playing and I am lucky to be able to have so many choices.
     
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  2. adc

    adc Mezzo Piano User

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    I guess I am pore pragmatic. 4 out of 5 of the world's people live in poverty. The U.S. will continue to have (in general) among the highest percentage of people that will have the luxury of buying and playing musical instruments. The U.S. will continue to have among the highest percentage of music/arts development. Whether they buy American instruments or not...who really cares? It certainly will not hinder industrial development.

    I drive a Chevy Spark made in South Korea, but we still have many brands (including foreign) made in the U.S...Subaru, Honda, Toyota Cars made by Toyota consistantly show higher quality than those made in Japan. Relax. If the world doesn't get blown up..music and the arts in the U.S. will be fine. Whether we continue to make instruments shouldn't even be on the radar screen.
     
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  3. OldSchoolEuph

    OldSchoolEuph Mezzo Forte User

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    You have missed the point. It is not if we continue to make instruments, but how. The thread was started regarding US production, but where instruments are made is not really important, its how. In the early days of keyed bugles, cornets and chromatic valve trumpets, US manufacturing was pretty poor. James Keat teaching woodwind maker Samuel Graves and his then trainee Elbridge Wright what he had earned in England was the start of quality brass making in the US, though arguably that quality did not really take hold until Heinrich Esbach and Louis Hartmann shared their European skills with the same firm years later. The question this poses is, within the US will high quality instrument making survive? And, we really should look at it as a global question. Economics and technology made high quality instruments widely available cheaply a century ago. The question now facing us is, is this a double-edged sword that cuts as far the other way? Will economics and technology ultimately deprive us of the craftsmans touch, and with it the unique aspects that make outstanding instruments just that? Lacking space in this format, I'll just reiterate that the piece I linked on trumpet-history.com is my answer, albeit dependent upon current trends continuing, to the question.
     
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  4. adc

    adc Mezzo Piano User

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    I don't think I missed the point:
    1. The U.S. will make high quility instruments IF there is a demand. As I said previously..the U.S. is wealthy and thus a demand for "good things" will indure. The arts and music will more than endure.

    2. If economics and technology made quality instruments available a century ago..Why would economics and technology cause us to have poorer horns, when the technology is orders of magnitude better? :dontknow: I noticed you mentioned "cheaply" Today as in the old days cheap can denote many things... you imply that yesteryear cheap mmeant good quality and today cheap (to you) means poor quality. I am a big fan of history. In many cases a century ago cheap could be lack of quality just as it "can" mean that today. Will the crafts man disappear? In many cases-yes- 3D printers and robotics make that inevitable. But just as cars are head and sholders better than those of yesteryear....so will music instruments.

    Perhaps you are lamenting the passing of the loss of the craftsman's touch. Yes, it will be less relevant but quality certainly will not suffer!

    As an engineer that is pretty up with the latest manufacturing technologies and as a person who has seen quality of manufactured items improve (not always..you sometimes get what you pay for and that was true in the good ol' days.) I am not worried.

    I own a 1956 Martin Committee and will soon take posession of a 1919 Martin Superlative. I do like old, but to say that quality is not available in todays manufacturing process or tomorrow's is not accurate.:thumbsup:

    I do though in a deeper sense understand where you are coming from though. And we probably share a lot of the same feelings! And again I want to thank you for your information on the Martin Company. I truly think I will love my Martin Superlative!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  5. LaTrompeta

    LaTrompeta Forte User

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    I have heard that there is a great demand for quality brass repair techs in the country. I don't think that the arts are dying, nor do I believe that quality American-made trumpets will ever go away. I still see plenty of Bachs, Getzen, etc. I prefer to think of the current situation as a consolidation. Those who are not at the top of their game will go away, but that will cause an overall increase of quality anyway.
     
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  6. adc

    adc Mezzo Piano User

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    I have to agree here.:cry:
     
  7. OldSchoolEuph

    OldSchoolEuph Mezzo Forte User

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    Technology and economics brought us machines that washed clothes without a half barrel or washboard, and now have brought us to machines that clean a third as much clothing in three hours as the old ones did in 45 minutes. They brought us from drafty cabins where we huddled around a wood fire in a chimney made of staked rocks, but now have us sealed in houses that require blowers to bring in outside air so we don't suffocate and are built with so much insulating foam and glue based timbers that should a fire break out, we have on average 3 minutes to escape instead of the 30 minutes average in 1960.

    Social, religious, economic, political, and virtually every other human- formed trend inevitably progresses beyond the optimum. In the case of quality instrument making and repair, it Is the same consequential crisis that had made it impossible to find a skilled shoe maker to repair dance shoes, or wood carver to ornament a paneled library or stair hall such as were so readily available in 1880: the availability of lower quality but much lower priced substitutes to a broader population has removed the economic incentive to become a master in the field. We will not see quality brass making survive unless young talent becomes interested in, and willing to, enter the field. Think about the surviving few masters of making and restoring - how many are under 50, and how many have any apprentices at all? At Bach, as I point out, the aging of the workforce and the lack of anywhere at all for younger employees to develop before coming to Bach is a crisis that is not being resolved by the market.
     
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  8. adc

    adc Mezzo Piano User

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    Well it will be resolved, although not to our satisfaction. Bach will change..for better or worse (probably worse) or go out of business or be bought out. You see this type of thing all the time in the U.S. I saw it when I worked in Nuclear power. Now in our case it was resolved with more inhouse training but also with younger technicians that learned the maching trade in vo-techs. Vo techs produce some very skilled technicians.

    Also as I mentioned, there will be outsoucing to other countries. The U.S. will have a hard time competing in the skilled laber area ion some cases. But again robotics will help. There will continue to be excellent ionstruments available. The people skill is disappearing at least in this country. So I am not arguing with you. All your points are valad.

    Besides I want to stay on your good side as you are a wealth of Martin Knowledge. I think it is very likely that I will not be stopping at two Martins.:dontknow:
     
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  9. DutyBugler

    DutyBugler New Friend

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    All I can add is that I have a Kanstul made in Southern California and I love it.
     
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  10. Brassman64

    Brassman64 Forte User

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    I believed that middle school programs and many high school programs were disappearing because of lack of interested students.That was until I attended college in San Diego ,California .In San Diego and Los Angeles there are schools that rival in size and ability College Marching bands.In these schools bands rule and are bigger than the sports teams .Kids enroll in these schools because of their music programs.They work very hard and compete in field shows.Here is one example Poway High Emerald Brigade .
     
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