Electrumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by krossum, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. krossum

    krossum Piano User

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    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    TM-

    I'm feeling a little punchy... so I'm going to throw this out there.

    What do you think of the term "Electrumpet" ??

    Go ahead and Google it and I'll jump back in later...

    (Different strokes for different folks, right?)

    peace.
    -Kelly
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    You still have to be able to play trumpet in order to produce vibrations that can be electronically modified. With electronic enhancement you can get away with a lower skill level of playing. (Try distortion or wah-wah on a purely accoustic guitar with no pickups for comparison).

    That thing that Yamaha is building and James Morrison is promoting is NOT a trumpet. It is an electronic device with a vaguely trumpet shape for producing sound.
     
  3. krossum

    krossum Piano User

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    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    Hmm... I wasn't aware of the MDT until your post. Thank you for the information - I thought EVI was still being used.

    I actually wasn't referring to a digital (MIDI) instrument.

    Would you clarify your analogy of effects on an acoustic guitar? I think I missed your point. Thanks.

    -Kelly
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    No problem; perhaps it got lost a bit in my haste. Without prejudicing myself against some electronic music (Deep Purple cranked out some neat stuff), my point is that it does not REQUIRE a high level of skill to play an electronic instrument and get some interesting sounds with all of the effects possible. The trumpet you pointed out seems to me (from what I can see out of the pages that Google found) to be nothing more than a regular trumpet running the signal through an electronic "box of tricks". Ever see someone with an electric guitar bashing chords out with lots of feedback, distortion, wah-wah, etc.? No great skill or training required, right? That's because you can "hide" many of the short-comings of the player with "white noise". Same with a trumpet running through all this electronic "stuff" OR same with the EVI trumpet you referred to. "Yes", a skilled player can produce some amazing sounds... but it's still not the same as a purely accoustical instrument... whether it be trumpet or guitar (or keyboards, or violin or....). To get sounds and music from any instrument that really enthrall the listener WITHOUT USING electronic modification/ amplification requires true skill. That's my point and the source of the analogy.

    As an "oldster" I've been fortunate to hear some of the best performers live and to appreciate their music. Richie Havens at Woodstock, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Grateful Dead, CSNY, Peter/Paul/Mary, Gordon Lightfoot, The Beach Boys, LCJO, etc. The thing that really turned me on about their music was the music... the chords, the structure, the harmony... NOT the volume, not the distortion (well, except for Richie Havens... there are exceptions to every rule!). Now that I'm older I find I listen to and appreciate more and more, symphonic music and live jazz (non-amplified).

    Perhaps I misunderstood the original question... you asked about the term "Electrumpet" rather than about the concept of an "electronically enhanced trumpet". To me, it's just a trumpet played through an electronic "box of tricks". So I think the term is erroneous and, judging from the google search, simply "cooked up" to enhance the verbiage that goes along with the promotion of the group "Electropolis".

    My opinions only... others will undoubtedly vary!
     
  5. krossum

    krossum Piano User

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    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    Tootsall-

    Cheers! Thank you for the clarification, I just wanted to be sure of your meaning with that guitar analogy before I commented. Your second description is more detailed and easier to discuss.

    I laid this post out there yesterday with a couple of intentional barbs. As I said, I was feeling a little punchy last night because of another musician’s comments on improvisation – not directly related to this post.

    One – YES (Tootsall – very observant and accurate!) the term electrumpet is a complete fabrication designed to stimulate interest in electrically modified trumpet sounds. The band Electropolis is comprised of drums, bass, “electrosax†and “electrumpet.†When I originally posted, I simply thought it was unusual that that term had never been used before. It rolls of the tongue so well, I thought for sure that someone else would have applied the term to their ideas! :)

    Two – Self-promotion is a tricky game on the internet. Anyone disagree? I figured if anyone cared enough to track down “electrumpet†they would eventually run across Electropolis and hopefully pique some interest… enough said.

    But here’s the stickler, and worthy of actual discussion:
    The field of Electronic music is easily just as difficult (if not more) to produce high quality original results as in the field of acoustic music. It has taken me many years to realize this fact.

    Let’s go back to the guitar analogy:
    A beginning (unskilled) guitarist picks up an acoustic guitar and plays a scale; the results are obvious, not very clean with inconsistent articulation and poor finger position. Any professional classical guitarist will immediately be able to accurately judge the level of the student and recommend strategies for improvement.
    Take that same student and hand them a solid body electric guitar, as many toys as you care to discuss (stomp boxes, pedals, effects) and an amplifier. When they play their scale; all kinds of uncontrolled loud sounds come out of the amplifier. People who do not listen to electronic music are mightily impressed! A professional rock guitarist (or a guitarist who uses pedals in their performance; jazz, ambient, religious rock, whatever) will immediately be able to accurately judge the level of the student and recommend strategies for improvement.

    How many of us are qualified to judge the performance of a Gamelon ensemble? Have we immersed ourselves in the idiom? I enjoy listening, but I know very little about the numbering system used to teach and perform that music; so I withhold judgment on the relative skill required (as musicians) to participate in such a performance.

    Electrumpet is actually the very same principle as the electric guitar. The guitar is a musical instrument that has been re-designed as an electronic controller. The nuances of articulation, pitch, volume, phrasing, harmony, etc… (components of musicianship) are all still present in the electric guitar. If you are a poor guitarist, the electronics will only amplify your lack of skill. The trumpet is obviously capable of nuances of articulation, pitch, volume, phrasing, conveying harmony, etc… (components of musicianship). The addition of electronics does not in anyway excuse the lack of musicality in the performer. It actually makes the performance much more difficult.

    For example, consider the plunger mute. To use this tool well, you must have independent control over your left hand while still combining it seamlessly with your right hand and your tone production. This takes many years of practice to weave it together into an unconscious musical concept.

    Now, instead of a plunger, add a guitar pedal (electronics). You must know the capabilities of that tool and you must master the technical side of its use before combining it seamlessly with your own instrument, be it guitar or trumpet.

    Many, many trumpeters have played through electronic devices since their invention. Even many acoustic trumpeters will add “reverb†to their recordings to make it “sound better†(by the way, I strongly dislike studio reverb on solo trumpet recordings). Does this diminish their required skill? I just think it reveals their lack of understanding.

    Tootsall – thank you for weighing in! I have enjoyed thinking about this and attempting to articulate ideas that have been floating around in my brain for a while. No bad vibes meant at all:) thanks.

    -Kelly
     

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