Is this possible?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BigDub, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

    May 23, 2009
    The Netherlands
    For some reason I am not surprised that the father of trickg was a policeman in a small town.
    And I still don't like the story about the skunk in relation to playing a chromatic scale without valves.
    But I presume HE had a nice time and that seems to be enough.
  2. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    The fog's getting thicker...
  3. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    And we seem to have drifted..................
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Often these old stories reflect more of how we choose to remember them than what truly occurred.

    I guess that if our ancient (and highly skilled) forebears were unable to play their natural trumpets chromatically even in the clarino where the harmonics are so much closer, then the odds of an out of practise cornettist being able to manage it any where near musically in the standard register seem rather too long to me.

    So I'm going to say 'no'.

    ....though if you turn a valve enough (~70 degrees maybe) to kill the slotting, you have enough of a party trick to win a small bet maybe. ;-)
  5. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    I heard he ONLY played ONE NOTE. ..
    BUT it was so high a ray of white light came out and sucked everyone standing in the immediate area into a hole in the sky. ....that's the true story
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Again, not "did it happen", necessarily, but "COULD IT HAVE HAPPENED?"
    All we seem to be focused on is what possibly happened in the story, or myth. That's not what I am trying to get to. I want to know if someone, any human being, with any type of valved cornet could accomplish such a feat, even if it only happened once.that's what I'm trying to figure out.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I consider myself to have some strong chops. I play natural trumpet and can play the occasional C#, Eb, F, F#, G# and A in tune without vents. I also practice Jimmy Stamp which has half step bending. I can finger C but play a B natural scale.

    I can't do what was claimed of Clarke (I tried again during my practice session this morning - also on a Holton Herbert Clarke model long cornet from 1911 with various historic and new mouthpieces) even at my current stage, without depressing the valves half way. What I can say is that the sacrifice in tone when we significantly bend (a half tone or more) is very great. Half valving sounds similar. No one is impressed!

    I will say that to the letter of the myth originally quoted that it is NOT possible. I will also say, if Clarke invested time to perfect this, it would be in his book - even if it was ghostwritten. The solos would feature something this cool. If it were possible, we would have record of others doing the same thing.

    Technically, standing waves in the trumpet only happen at the resonant frequencies which are multiples of the fundamental. To play these other tones, they would be standing wave free and have no characteristic trumpet sound - the slotting of the trumpet is actually the control that the standing wave takes over the "soft" chops. I plugged a mouthpiece with a headphone driver glued to it into the trumpet and ran a sweep over 2 octaves. The resonant tones were very loud, the rest were very soft. I do not believe that we can control our lips to the degree that the headphone element can be.

    My answer is NO. Not possible in the context of the myth.
  8. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Thank you, Rowuk, thank you. Good answer.

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