An American in Paris

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by trumpetdon, May 23, 2005.

  1. trumpetdon

    trumpetdon New Friend

    Jan 12, 2005
    What do you use for the "felt crown" in this piece? I know a Crown Royal bag is a common choice, I may have to borrow one from those who drink! I tried a "BB mutes" felt cover and it didn't really enhance the passage any. I have tried all sorts of things from around the house and always prefer the solo open!
    Thanks for any tips on this.
  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I found the cheap alternative to this a couple of years ago when someone put a santa hat over my bell, whilst playing carols - I loved the sound, but I'm not sure it would look the part.
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The felt crown of a hat is a very distinctive sound and quite beautiful. I used to do the Crown Royal bag also but I have to say that when I play American in Paris I usually just do it open. However, Concerto in F really needs the felt crown, I think.

    Playing AIP open is just an influence of hearing Mr. Vacchiano play it on that old Columbia recording w/ Bernstein. His open trumpet just seems right. And, yes, I know he swings it during the fast section and it's inappropriate for the time it was written, blah, blah, blah... but A) that was Bernstein's call and B) it's damned good!

    Anyways, if it says felt crown on a part see if you can go to the thrift store, buy an old felt hat for a buck, cut off the brim, and bingo... you've got yourself a felt crown. Some folks cut holes in it to get a little more volume, whatever. Experiment!

  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I like it! It's kind of like a plunger mute for playing big band or big band style arrangements. You can purchase specifically made "mutes" from different makers that are made with the idea of a plunger mute in mind, but I got my plunger for $1.25 at a grocery store, unscrewed the stick and cut a hole in the middle and voila! Cheap, but all that I need. (Note - the hole in the middle seems to help with both sound and intonation, and it was what the rest of the section had done.)
  5. murph66

    murph66 New Friend

    May 16, 2005
    One of our section players bought a plunger at the hardware store- They gave him one with a red plunger and he got a rather strange look when he asked if they had a black one-
    Incidently, I played this solo at a concert Saturday night and played it open. I had rehearsed it both ways and decided I liked it better that way.

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