Mazony, Vulgano, and Rowuk-syllables 2...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, May 31, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    As you see I've added a new partner to the law firm. I'm repeating my reply from an earlier Thread for gauranteed attention. In reference to vowles and syllables. I feel compelled to push the question further for my better understanding. Do the law partners and others indicate that vowels and syllables are formed or said in the mouth cavity when executing a note on the horn? If so, does each syllable/vowel match a specific note, or, is it more intuitive like "scat" singing?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Crowmadic,
    the "vowels" are actually just a sneeky way of positioning the tongue in the oral cavity without thinking about it. Anything with an "ee" in it has the tongue high and leads to a smaller oral cavity. Manny's "tooh" keeps the tongue low = bigger oral cavity = bigger sound.
    I do not conciously think about tongue position and try to keep my students from doing so. We practice the tooh, taaw, teeh stuff in the context of color of sound. Once the concept sinks in, I just talk color. A lead trumpet sound needs to be brighter, that brings us to "teeh" which just happens to make the high register easier too(h).......
    The strength of the attack is affected by a T, K, D, G, L, R consonant. We can also STOP the tone with the same consonants - especially when playing staccato.
    All vowels and consonants can apply to all registers in the context of having the right "sound".
    I don't think that I change between tooh and teeh when playing some musical line as the sound concept generally stays consistent within a piece. In the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story there is a section for D-Trumpet though, where "teeh" fits alot better than the "tooh" that I use on the Bb parts before and afterwards. It is a real big band sound that I picture for those couple of bars.
    So that is probably tooh much. Yooh get the idea!
    I will make myself a cup of teeh now and taawk to my wife.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2007
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    The tongue is a ugly, big long piece of meat and it starts way down in our throat--we can have one part of it forming "ooh" while the other forms "eeh." Our tongue is often the culprit when our throat closes off. This is why we are counseled to think "ooh" and "aah" and keep our spines straight in order to keep the airways open.

    The pitch of any given note is the product of airspeed and lip tension. Airspeed comes from "the blow," and the tongue can act like... uhh...the flaps on an airplane wing, speeding it up and slowing it down a tad. We can point a small plane straight up, but if the thrust isn't there we'll not enter the stratosphere. Bad analogy, I know, but this is pretty mysterious stuff we're talking about.

    To continue the bad analogy section, whistle a tone with "ooh." Now whistle thirds (like c,e,c,e) keeping that "ooh" feeling going, and notice what the tongue does. This is sort of kind of like what we do--playing the trumpet is not whistling down the leadpipe!

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    I don't think the tongue adds anything positive to the sound. If you keep it in a 'teeh' position you only put an obstacle in the way of the airstream. I think that's why Manny (or Arnold Jacobs) say to keep the tongue in a low relaxed position like the 'tooh' vowel. When the airstream has a free path the sound will always sound better in my view. Why create an obstruction in your mouth so you have to do more with longues/abdomen to create more pressure to compensate?

    Different sound colors are a result of different tensions/contractions in the lip muscles. Thomas Moore wrote an article about it:

    http://www.trumpetguild.org/pdf/2003journal/0306science.pdf

    If I play lead, I breath higher (with the wedge) to create more pressure and think of a brighter sound (the airstream will be colder). The lip muscles will adapt to that create the sound in the head. If I want a classical broad sound, I breath low (slower and warmer airstream) and think of a broad classical sound. I only use the tongue for articulation.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    In his ITG article Thomas Moore makes the following wonderful observation: "For maximum resonance, let the horn play the lips rather than the lips play the horn."
    I would argue however, that all of us, whether conciously or not, do employ the tongue as part of an acoustic resonator when creating colors, and conciously (and sometimes not) when changing pitches. (Why is a "doit" in Big Band music called that? Because that is the vowel formation involved in playing one.) An interesting site is: HTHS - Acoustic Phonetics.
    Like all things trumpet, over-emphasis on the ability of our tongue to shape air can be dangerous, ignoring it, in my opinion, can be equally unwise.
    That's my take, anyway.
     
  6. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Well, I play leadtrompet proffessionally for over 20 years, never had problems with neglecting the tongue (for pitch or tone color). I didn't say the tongue doesn't change position if you play higher or lower, but you don't have to help with that.

    I don't know what you mean with "doit", but as I said, I only use the tongue for articulation. This sounds like articulation to me.

    There's a big difference in producing tone colors with trumpet playing and singing or whistling. You can't compare them.
     
  7. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    I like the way this thread is heating up! I hope it gets hotter because I'm learning from all you say...........thanks, crowmadic
     
  8. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Veldkamp, Thanks for including the link to theThomas Moore article.........crow
     
  9. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    VB, I checked out the HTHS-ACOUSTIC PHONETICS site and come away thinking this: The vowel sounds effect the amount of air put into the resonator (mouth cavity) of the trumpet player. It doesn't appear to me to have a lot to do with the lip vibration necessary to produce the desired note (i'm not talking about quality of the note). The study seems to center on verbal communication which depends more on the vibration of vocal cords rather than lip vibration. I can just feel a 'D' grade coming.....crow
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If we spent as much time practicing..................................
    Actually, the color of sound that we "hear" is based on several things:
    1) volume of air BEHIND the lips (from the oral cavity down to the diaphragm included)
    2) the shape of the oral cavity
    3) the symmetry of pressure at the lips (back pressure from the horn vs breath support)
    4) tension or better - density of the lip tissue (the difference between a pucker and a smile)
    The more we think about this stuff, the less time that we spend on the music and the more time is wasted on intellectualizing a normally passive experience. We do not teach babies to speak with endless vowel and consonant etudes. We just talk to them and amazingly enough, they get the message. THAT is why we teach Tooh, Teeh and Taaw. It works!
    Maybe we have a bunch of dyslexic trumpeters out there. We could then teach hoot, heet, and waat.
    As usual, everybody is right here and the differences are only from the point of view.
     

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