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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by paultandberg, Dec 11, 2012.
All of Susie's flutes and piccs are in "C". She has several of each
For me it just has become so natural to now sight read the transposition of music scored for a C instrument on my Bb trumpet that I never had or felt the need for a C trumpet. Why? After some thought I concluded there just wasn't much music available in the United States during WWII. The printers were drafted and transportation was declared strategic about limiting cargos to that supportive of our war efforts. To overcome this our schools scrounged pre-existing music the majority of which was for piano and organ and half that (or less) for violin. Then band students then were taught to transpose their parts from this C music. For me this was reinforced because my Mother was a pianist, and too her Mother, my Grandmother was also and both also played some organ. Thus, now I just add 2 sharps to the pre-existing C Key signature and play away on my Bb trumpet two semi-tones (half steps) higher than what I'm looking at. Then I considered it a downside that I wasn't always playing contemporary music, but now consider it a niche that I can enjoy with the evolvement clearly laid before me of music dating back into the early 1800s and forward to some of the present, and it surprises me to find many of the melodies of old are found in popular music vis Elvis' Love Me Tender being the melody of 'Aura Lee. I'm told that this was common among many "tin pan alley" composers whose livelihood then depended on their output of songs.
I agree that in symphony, and classics more C footed flutes are about. But pick up a Gemeinhardt SP2 student flute and it comes normally with a Bb foot, so does the M2 I just took off my shelf. These are what public schools are using and buying. Thus, to read and play concert C music, the floutist must transpose just as Bb trumpets do. I've transposed a C piccolo part in Sousa's Stars and Stripes, Forever! to play in my rendition on my Schilke P5-4 piccolo trumpet.