C Trumpets for a Trumpet Player, whats the use?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jerec576, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    I guess my comments about composers was really directed at those who wrote what we now call classical music, i.e. Mozart, Bach, Brahms etc. I don't think their orchestral pieces or concertos would have been directed at a particular musician. If you are talking about today's or more contemporary composers I would agree with you that many musical scores are written with a certain performer in mind.

    Another use/reason for a C horn might be one of my main reasons for having it, LAZINESS. I have my C so I can read directly off the piano music and not have to transpose on the fly. I am too out of practice in that task and do it as part of my daily routine but I am just not confident enough right now to perform under those conditions.

    If you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there.
  2. bigdanv

    bigdanv Pianissimo User

    Jan 13, 2009
    If you are really interested in the possibility of a career in an american orchestra, then a C trumpet would be a good investment. That being said, keep in mind that the vast majority of orchestral literature usually played C can be played well on Bb. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that orchestras in Germany and Russia in particular use Bb trumpet quite a bit.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Mozart, Bach, Brahms, etc were limited by the fact that the natural trumpet only worked in one key. You need a collection to play the parts. It wasn't a specific "sound" - they had no choices. Even the first valved trumpets just got a valve pushed to "transpose" the horn. Bach most certainly wrote for his own trumpet player, Gottfried Reiche. Early classical era music had trumpet parts that were little more than soprano tympany parts. No real melodies, no specific trumpet sound except mostly "out of the way". Mozart went even so far as to "emasculate" Händels Messiah, giving important trumpet parts to other instruments.

    One thing is for sure, the sound of the modern trumpet was not in the head of any composer before say the first world war. I am sure that at least some would not have minded though!
  4. aptrpt12

    aptrpt12 New Friend

    Dec 14, 2009
    As a student, Mr. Vacchiano used to allow me to sit next to him at some of the rehearsals he played in. His major instrument for orchestral work was his C, although he would at times use the Bb even though it was written for C. I asked him why he would play it on Bb when it was written for C? He felt it was the color and tone that was most important.
    He was right...they have distinctly different tonal colors. The other reason you will need the C at a conservatory schools has to do with the contemporary music you will be playing...almost all of it is written for C and the directors know the difference in its sound. It will be easier to play some of the passages in C rather than doing the transposition. I would look at getting one with a large bore that blows freely. Check them out because some have intonation problems. Good luck.
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    This was how I started in my teens/20s, except Bass Trumpet went in front of Picc, and allowed Valve trom and then Slide Trom to add to the bag of axes. C trumpet came later. If you see yourself in Orchestral settings then definitely follow Rowuk's advice. There's a lot of good advice here from others. Besy of luck.

  6. mattc

    mattc Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2009
    Is he also going to come up with opportunities for you to play one? Are there youth orchestras or is there an orchestra in your school that you would be playing in?

    When I was in high school and talking about getting serious about going pro (I never did) my teacher then told me the next trumpet would be a C. I was playing in the school orchestra and a youth symphony. Many of the parts were in Bb, since they were student editions. No one had a C.

    But, take a look through google images for symphony brass sections. You'll find US symphonies have C trumpets.

    Is it necessary? No. Is it expected? Yes.
  7. samdaman

    samdaman Pianissimo User

    Jun 15, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    If you are thinking about going to college for trumpet: get a C trumpet. Playing advanced repertoire requires the right horns for the job. Right now I'm preparing parts for Mussorgsky's Pictures and it requires Bb, C, and Picc. It's arranged for just Brass Ensemble (very nice arrangement) and you need Bb to do alternate fingering tremolos for some of the movements. Everything else is for C and the Bb side of picc.

    Part of the reason to have a Bb and C is to render the music to the best of your abilities. All trumpets have inherent intonation problems on them (C#4,D4,E5 just to name a few notes). To play the music correctly (in tune, gorgeous, with stylistic and expressive vision) you might need to switch instruments and transpose parts to give you the best shot at doing this. Often times this is personal preference as well.

    For me, a C is essential to render the music correctly (especially certain solo repertoire).
  8. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    And leave cornet out altogether, or after the flugel? I'm really coming to like the sound of a cornet - of course when I could use one . . . I guess that depends on who you are playing with/what you are playing...
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Pictures does not need a Bb,C and Picc. Back when Ravel orchestrated it, the highest pitched trumpet commonly in use was a D. The part is written only in C and can be played front to back that way. Many assume that Shmuyle is a scrawny, extremely poor, starving, whiny man and Samuel Goldenberg is a big, fat, rich, person with a deep voice. To augment the difference, Ravel had the Schmuyle part orchestrated with a straight mute. Many wimp out and use the piccolo for this. I think the pic sound is too cold and clear to simulate the beggars that I have met (there are plenty around just about any big train station in Germany). A C or D trumpet puts the necessary fear in the orchestral trumpet players mind to play this the way it was meant.

    Not all trumpets have intonation problems that require consistent use of alternate fingerings. The traditional Bachs sure do though!
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Because this player is obviously pointed in the orchestral direction with the C trumpet and the reference to Gil Johnson, yes, the cornet and flugel are on the tail end of what is needed. All of the other axes are needed first.

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