conical to cylinderical tubing?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet guy, May 17, 2008.

  1. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    I just noticed this but is seems like the lead pipe on both my Bach TR300 and my Bach Strad are conical. Is this normals? Aren't trumpets supposed to be completely cylindrical (except for the bell)?
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    The mouthpipe has to be conical or the horn wouldn't work at all.

    Someone else said that a modern trumpet is just a cornet with a funny shape... and that's mostly true.

  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    There was a recent thread in Trumpet Herald Web site about cornets versus trumpets which addressed your concern.

    It turns out that cornets and trumpets both have a mixture of conical and cylindrical tubing, and the difference between the 2 might be a very small difference in the percentage of conical versus cylindrical.

    In some cases one trumpet might actually have a greater percentage of conical tubing than one cornet, because one company might make very trumpet-like cornets while another company might make very cornet-like trumpets.
    There is no strict rule regarding what percentage of tubing being conical qualifies for being a cornet.
    Which is why one poster once said (Conn Loyalist I think?) that if it requires a cornet mouthpiece shank then call it a cornet, if it requires a trumpet mouthpiece shank then call it a trumpet.

    In the thread there (link below) Conn Loyalist points out that not only must you take into account what percentage of the tubing is conical, but also take into account the degree to which it is conical.
    If a trumpet has a higher percentage of its tubing being conical, but its conical is only slightly conical,
    while a cornet has a lesser percentage of its tubing being conical but that conical tubing is dramatically conical,
    then the cornet will sound much more cornet-like than the trumpet.

    Read both pages of the thread at


    - Morris
  4. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    why not? Don't natural trumpets have conical mouthpipes?
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The natural trumpets are in fact mostly cylindrical, as were the old deep F trumpets. The long conical backbore of a natural trumpet mouthpiece is designed to correct the intonation of the octaves.
    The conical (actually the leadpipe is often "hyperbolic") tubing actually improves the intonation - with the sacrifice of a specific sound that was VERY characteristic in the 18th and 19th centuries. That sound is not possible with modern instruments.

    The modern trumpet belongs to the horn family. It is not a glorified cornet however. The very long leadpipe of a cornet makes the sound softer, sexier and aids in the flexibility.
  6. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    So then where does the slide trumpet fit? I thought the tone might be more "aggressive" that the trumpets because there is less conical tubing in the slide trumpet. But when I got it, the tone was a darker tone that didn't have that same feel, especially in the higher-middle to upper register.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    It was the contention of Vincent Bach that all those extra bends valves bring with them make valved instruments brighter--his example was to compare the valved trombone to the slide trombone. Don't forget, although the outside of the slide trumpet leadpipe is cylindrical, the inside isn't.

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