Eb

Discussion in 'Horns' started by charles1963, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. charles1963

    charles1963 New Friend

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  2. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    That's an interesting horn, and probably does play in the same range as a low Eb trumpet. The bell seems to be pretty small for such a horn, though. I wonder if its tone is brighter and perhaps more intense than a more normally configured Eb. It could be intended for more specialized uses, as the name suggests. Please let us know when you've had a chance to play it for a while.
     
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    An Eb alto trumpet plays a 5th below a Bb trumpet. A contra-alto Eb would play an octave below the Eb alto. In the same register as an Eb tuba. The trumpet in the picture looks like an Eb alto trumpet.
     
  4. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    I tend to agree with that definition, although Bach didn't help things at all when describing the 9AT mouthpiece as for "Eb contra-alto trumpet" when it was probably intended for something like a 187f. You can even run into definitions which define an alto instrument in Eb or F, as well as a contra-alto instrument in the same keys - with the difference supposedly being that the contra-alto instrument is played only in its upper registers and/or uses an alto horn mouthpiece. Hey, I don't make this stuff up, any more than I believe some of it. Just saying....

    Anyway, if the OP didn't get a mouthpiece for that horn, and finds that standard trumpet mouthpieces don't cut it, a Bach 9AT would be worth trying before diving into the vast assortment of trumpet-shank alto (tenor, mellophone) mouthpieces which would have cups more appropriate for that horn.
     
  5. charles1963

    charles1963 New Friend

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    The lowest note i can play on it - with valves - is concert pitch A2 = 110 Hz.
    This is the same as on a 'normal' high pitched Eb trumpet.
    I cannot understand this - this trumpet is twice as long.
    Maybe i'm completely wrong.
    The sound is much more as of a natural trumpet.
    Is this definition (found around the internet in various places) wrong?

    The contra-alto trumpet in F, Eb and D is a true trumpet that is used for playing classical music, especially from the 19th and 18th centuries. This is a very different instrument from an alto trumpet. The alto uses either an alto horn mouthpiece or a trumpet mouthpiece that has the same size cup diameter as the Eb alto horn. The contra-alto, on the other hand, uses a Bb trumpet mouthpiece. As well, the F contra-alto has the same exact usable range as the C trumpet, the Eb contra-alto has the same exact usable range as the Bb trumpet, and the D contra-alto has the same exact range as the now-rare trumpet in A.

    Based on this definition, this would be a contra-alto trumpet.
     
  6. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    I keep running into that same definition all sorts of places, but have no idea who originated it. But first, 110Hz is an A down in the bass clef, variously called either "A" or "A1" (it's great to have a scientific system of naming pitches, but can't we all stick with one version of it?). It's the first-space A in the bass clef, part of what is called the "Great Octave" (one octave higher than the "Contra Octave", just to keep things really confusing). I can't get anywhere near that low on my high Eb's, whether trumpet, cornet, or flugelhorn.

    Since I don't have the Eb crook for my orchestral trumpet in F (which I can't play anywhere near as high as a high Eb trumpet), I think I'll shut up now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  7. charles1963

    charles1963 New Friend

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    Sorry, I just asked because i do not understand this.
    We all know the internet is full of mistakes. A2 = 110hz is everywhere over the place. But that doesn't matter.
    I do play a 110hz note on my high Eb trumpet. I play a 110hz note on this long Eb trumpet. I never said i could play as high on the long trumpet as on the high Eb. Perhaps my electronic tuner is broken?
     
  8. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    Bad tuner is one possibility. Wrong mouthpiece is another - a Bach 9AT, which was made for their 187f "contralto" trumpet, has a cup that would do an alto horn proud. Another is that the definition may be attempting to describe the portion of the range in which the instrument is most effective, rather than its full compass. Think of "William Tell" overture - you can play it with Bb or, if you absolutely must, C trumpets, but once you've heard it with the big F's contributing their glorious sound, well, it's like the difference between Big Mama Thornton belting out "Hound Dog" as only she ever had any right to do, and Pat Boone turning the same piece into bland pap.
    One quick test: search for "110 Hz" and you'll find an abundance of sound samples online. You can also find online piano keyboards with digitized sounds complete with note naming and pitch. If you're really playing 110 Hz, you're in different territory than on an Eb (soprano) trumpet.

    The good people at Antique Sound Workshop have a much more lucid discussion of the various trumpet types. Check especially the section dealing with Low F trumpets (Eb's are covered there as well).
    http://www.aswltd.com/rotary.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  9. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    To add the confusion:

    110 HZ is the 2nd space A in Bass clef that is mentioned by ChopsGone. It is the second A below middle C on the piano or an octave below the A that is 2 lines below the treble clef.

    If you are playing this note on a short Eb trumpet (approx 3 feet) you are playing a pedal tone which is also called the fundamental.
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Those two rings are there for hanging a banner. This trumpet was built of the purpose of playing in a Fanfarenzug, which grew out of the old tradition of trumpets and tympani in service of the king. The modern traditional Eb trumpet is out of thicker stock and has a bigger bell than the natural trumpets in use at the time of Altenburg, and the tympani have been replaced by field drums. A Fanfarenzug is loud!

    In order to escape the limitations of the natural series and just playing fanfares and crude marches, the valved Eb allows for more musical styles (just as adding valves to bugles helped the American drum and bugle corp).

    In short, your instrument was built for a secular, club type organization rather than the orchestra. I am curious, though, about the kind of mouthpiece shank it takes. A normal trumpet mouthpiece might result in a far more noble sound than a Bb. How does it sound in its upper register?
     

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