Bugle call question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by simonstl, May 15, 2012.

  1. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    (This is kind of a music theory question, but anyway...)

    I bought a bugle yesterday in celebration of finishing writing a book. It can sit on the desk in my home office ready for play at any moment, which should make practicing easier. I also like the idea of working within constraints - no valves means focusing on fewer things - and music that's relatively easy to memorize.

    After playing Taps and Call to the Post a lot of times, I picked up Daniel Canty's "Bugle Signals, Calls & Marches for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Revenue Cutter Service & National Guard". It has about 210 pieces in it, so will keep me busy for a while.

    Buglers traditionally play five notes, indicated here as Low C, Low G, Middle C, Middle E, and High G. (The bugle's in G but I'm not worrying about that for now.)

    The calls, though, almost exclusively use four notes. Low C gets used in 8 of 210 calls, if I'm counting right, and then sparingly.

    Is there a reason the Low C is so thoroughly shunned? It's a larger interval, but not discordant. Maybe the low note doesn't carry as well?

    Just curious!
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Very true that low Cs don't' carry well, and it is more difficult to initiate them in the forte. Too, a U.S. Reg bugle in G doesn't carry as well as one in Bb the latter as in now exclusively used at Arlington National Cemetery. Don't know the specs on a Jupiter Brig bugle in G. Great bugle book however.

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