Is it possible

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

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    Yes, I've heard Clarke go up to an F on his version of "Carnival of Venice," but it seems to be pushing the top of his range. My trumpet teacher, who was an orchestral player, peaked at about G. Even though the greatest old players may have had the chops to squeak out double Cs, it does not suit the style of the music. You notice that even jazz players who scream change their articulation and playing style for the upper register. It is extremely difficult to maintain an elegant style going that high on a regular Bb trumpet.

    I don't think that Arban's compares aptly to the Bible, because it isn't a canon of all the most important works in that category. Rather, it is a book of fundamentals that every cornet/trumpet soloist should try to master. In that sense, it is more important that a cornet/trumpet soloist be able to play everything in Arban's than it is for him/her to actually play everything. You could argue, on the other hand, that a devout Christian really should read and know the entire Bible, although as Steve points out, it is often used as a reference book like Arban's. The point is that there is not much musical literature of great importance in Arban's. You might play a couple of pieces from Arban's now and then as a professional soloist but could still opt for an alternative arrangement.

    Really, a classical soloist's "Bible" would be a compilation of all the great solo pieces that a professional would be expected to know well or at least polish to a quality level very quickly.
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    The three years I played in university marching band, no trumpet player "screamed" during the half time show and methinks if they dared, they would not only be dismissed from the band but would fail with their music grades.

    True, brass instrument makers have now focused on producing instruments capable in the upper register, but that market is so small that many of these are custom made and very pricey. Also there is not the abundance of music written and published for them. Too, piccolo trumpets in any pitch don't respond well when pushed to scream. In fact, if played well would not be heard well in Carnegie Hall or the like if not amplified.

    When I began to learn trumpet it was essential that I be able to transpose from music from any other instrument and we had to scrounge and/or borrow a copy and hand transcribe/transpose it. The music shops / sources didn't have band music during WWII.

    I play lots of music in the era of the late 1800s and early 1900s mainly in transpositions from piano/organ music my Mother and maternal Grandmother accumulated and I've now in boxes in my office "library". Among such is one of my show-off songs Charge of The Light Brigade attributed to Edward T. Paull.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    We would have to disagree on almost all points.

    Professionals train the range and style that they need. Clarke had his g above high C - on an old cornet - with not the shallowest of mouthpieces. To do that in concert, you need more than just the g. He was kind of an anti trumpeter so we have no examples of him going after extra brilliance up high. I can say that if we have the Clarke studies mastered, there is normally no problem up to double C. Brandenburg 2, Richter, Leopold Mozart are a couple of examples where many top players prove elegance and range at the same time. Pick any university studio with the teachers that are training this and the next generation of orchestral players. Check out their recital programs - incredible.

    Classically trained trumpeters have also changed. They have to play commercial music in the orchestra and many of the current generation have no trouble to double C - in many styles.

    I will argue that every page of the Arbans is literature of greatest importance. We are creatures of habit and store patterns. Arbans gives us those patterns from which essentially all repertory comes.

    A master book of repertory is nothing like the Bible. The Bible provides a path AND context. Excerpts alone provide neither. Excerpts just give us an opportunity to become acquainted with a future job. What makes the player is the experience that they get critically playing, playing, playing. To be honest, orchestral excerpts are nothing special without proper training and guidance. To play Rosenkavelier or Mozarts Jupiter Symphony, we need far more than the notes. A seasoned pro will be able to teach us how to even "get through", where to breath, where to set fires or create clouds.

    This was not the point of the thread however. Anthony wanted to know if anyone has played the whole Arban. This can be answered with a resounding YES. The question about if it is necessary is more difficult. It depends on the goal. If only having fun is the goal, then we can get by with far less. If classical trumpeting is to become our livelihood, we may not practice every excercize, but we will at one point be able to play them all.


    I think that the word Bible really does not fit here at all. All of the answers and only requiring divine inspiration to understand the message really has nothing to do with literature about playing the trumpet. Indeed, the trumpet is the sum of what we do, what we earn, what we maintain.

     
  4. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

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    Rowuk,

    I feel that most of your points do not even counter what I said.

    We can only speculate on the limit of Clarke's max range, but I don't disagree that it would be higher than what he played on record. My point was that his usable range in the context of the music we played would be around a G. The concertos that you listed are typically played on high trumpets. I would say that this is largely due to the limitation of a regular Bb's capability in that range, which is why I specified "regular Bb" in the original post. The post was not a shot at classical players' range. In fact, that's why I mentioned that even jazz screamers can't play the highest notes with a straight forward and clean articulation. They don't have to, obviously, because the style is different.

    "This was not the point of the thread however. Anthony wanted to know if anyone has played the whole Arban. This can be answered with a resounding YES. The question about if it is necessary is more difficult. It depends on the goal. If only having fun is the goal, then we can get by with far less. If classical trumpeting is to become our livelihood, we may not practice every excercize, but we will at one point be able to play them all."

    This is the exact sentiment that I expressed in the third sentence of my second paragraph btw... and Arban's literature is relevant to developing a trumpet player's skills, but it is not relevant MUSICAL literature. People do not listen to Arban's exercises as works of art.

    "A master book of repertory is nothing like the Bible. The Bible provides a path AND context. Excerpts alone provide neither. Excerpts just give us an opportunity to become acquainted with a future job. What makes the player is the experience that they get critically playing, playing, playing. To be honest, orchestral excerpts are nothing special without proper training and guidance. To play Rosenkavelier or Mozarts Jupiter Symphony, we need far more than the notes. A seasoned pro will be able to teach us how to even "get through", where to breath, where to set fires or create clouds."

    You are setting up a straw man. What does it have to do with anything that anyone has said?

    Analogies will fall short if you hammer every detail, but it is important to analogize what's relevant to the OP's question. A supreme classical soloist does not need to know a single exercise in Arban's, as you agree. A Christian should ideally know every part of the Bible intimately, on the other hand. Likewise, a classical soloist should be intimately familiar with the great works of art in his field, not just in academic sense but in the sense of being able to play them well. That you need more than "just notes" to be a great player goes without saying. It is not even addressing any point that I made. Being familiar with the great classical works implies being familiar with them in their entirety, including all of the context that goes with them.

    When people ask if a book or collection of works is the "Bible" of that field, they are asking if it is the go to literature of that field. It need not be comparable to the Bible in every way. Literally nothing can be if your standard for an analogy is that strict.

    A player that knows Arban's is analogous to a person that knows a style of literature. A player that knows the great classical pieces is analogous to a person that knows the Bible. A player that knows and loves the great classical pieces is analogous to a Christian.
     
  5. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    It is my understanding that Harry James' father assigned him one page per day. It seems to have done him some good.
     

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