Baroqu trumpet sound

Discussion in 'Horns' started by kehaulani, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I just heard a T.V production of Handel compositions led by Howard Arman, in Halle's Marktkirche, on original instruments and have a few questions.

    First to trumpets. I thought the trumpets had a slightly tinny sound in the upper register and am wondering if this is typical. The trumpeters were certainly competent, that is not in question. But I am just curious if the tone quality came mainly from the instruments vs. being a result of recording/sound techniques. Would anyone characterize the tonal quality of Baroque music trumpets?

    Secondly, more general if anybody can comment. I thought the performance was a little inelegant; too strict over-the-barline phrasing, for example. Arman is certainly a versatile and successful conductor but I just found this performance a little too literal. Any comments about this musical director?
    Cornyandy likes this.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Well, except for the trumpets, those were period instruments. The trumpets played were inventions (long 4 holed models) created in the 1950s to 1970s. They really have nothing to do with performance practice out of the baroque era. The holes are used to allow modern trumpeters to play things that look old. The holes allow for slotting to increase security - but with a hit in sound quality.

    The “8 foot” trumpet with and without holes does sound different in the different registers. Tinny is more a function of the recording techniques as these instruments become very directional in the upper register.
    J. Jericho likes this.
  3. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Queens, NY
    My main trumpet teacher growing up was, and is, one of the top call baroque trumpet players here in the States. He said sometimes the jobs he was called to do required the 4 holed models for the reasons rowuk states, but he also had replicas of the original baroque trumpets that were used in that era which could be used on some gigs where they wanted total authenticity. He, and most players on that scene, also used replicas of the period mouthpieces. Totally flat rims. Even back then, they had different cup designs, like from deep to shallow, depending on the type of register work the player was doing. You really have to have your fundamentals in place to play one of these horns and mouthpieces well. My teacher was always practicing out of the Davidson book.

    A lot of Baroque playing was very improvisational. I remember seeing old Baroque trumpet books filled with 2-5 licks.. it was like a very old-style jazz improv book!;)
    J. Jericho likes this.
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Thanks, guys.

    rowuk - "The holes are used to allow modern trumpeters to play things that look old." LOL

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