"Parlor" Horns

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Robert Rowe, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 24, 2004
    I just coined the term, "Parlor" Horns, so don't "freak" (yet). I was inspired to use the term, borrowed from my other "passion" -- guitars.

    There are guitars referred to as "Parlor Guitars"; they are acoustic, small-bodied instruments, generally made early in the 20th Century (now seeing a "re-emergence" among contemporary builders). Their primary feature, is a pleasant tone, with no particular emphasis on volume or projection ... intended to be played ... you guessed it ... in Parlors (usually as a performance before a small audience), ... and other intimate settings. They could blend well with other stringed-instruments, such as Cello, Violin, etc.

    So, why not "Parlor Horns"? They would be very toneful, and not required to "peel paint" (there are plenty of horns that can do that). Imagine playing a horn that has a wonderful, sweet tone; able to be played at soft, ppp-levels.

    I know many of you will say it is the player, not the horn. Wrong! I have a medium-bore, late 1950's (I think), Cousenon Monopole "C" Trumpet with a narrow, longish Eb/D Trumpet-style bell, 1st trigger and "underslung" 3rd slide throw-ring. It has modest-resistance, that, in my opinion, allows an amazing sweet, very gentle tone. It is easy to "over-blow" this horn; hence, I feel it is perfect for low-volume playing.
    I can play without a mute (I am not fond of them) in intimate settings, without being annoying (volume-wise ... not sure about my playing :D ).

    Anyone have any thoughts or examples of personal horns that exhibit these characteristics I mentioned above?

    Robert Rowe
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Yup. A cornet. :cool:
     
  3. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 24, 2004
    Thanks, Ed.

    You're suggestion is helpful. I have tried a few Cornets in this endeavor; and I think I am hearing a more disperse sound projection (?), but not so much softer.

    Gotta tell 'ya ... that Cousenon "C" is the "sweetest sound this side of Heaven" (to borrow from Guy Lombago).

    Robert Rowe
     
  4. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Ol' King Solomon had a quote that's so true: "There's nothng new under the sun."

    Conn, and surely others, had cornets by that very name back in the 1880s.

    Here's a Conn Parlor Cornet, from the Elkhart/Worchester era, from Nick DeCarlis' excellent site, www.vintagecornets.com. If folks haven't been there before, please visit it. WARNING: Viewing classic vintage horns CAN be ADDICTIVE!!!!

    [​IMG]

    WAY BACK THEN . . .
    There was no radio, TV or other electronic music back then, and many an evening was spent circled around the family piano . . . singing and/or playing along.

    The compact parlor instruments toned the volume down a little, i supect. The parlor cornet also gave the player a little more room in front of the face . . . always a good thing in those huge families back then with little junior constantly running around the room!

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner
     
  5. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 24, 2004
    That vintage Conn looks nice. I have a similar vintage J.W. Pepper (maker; not stencil or import), but it doesn't play all that well ... needs valve work.

    I know you recommended the Wild Thing Short Model (other forum) ... does Flip make a "Calm Thing"?

    Cornets (I have about a dozen, or-so) tend to sound "darker" (as they original did, I suppose) ... and I use a vintage "cookie-cutter" / deep "V" cup, also, as you do.

    As far as "Junior" running about the Parlor ... just the thing for a "Pea-Shooter" ... with some well-aimed projection. :evil:

    Robert Rowe
     
  6. NYTC

    NYTC Forte User

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    Nov 1, 2004
    Brooklyn,NY
    I got one.
    Olds Military Cornet.
    The sweetest sound ever. :-)
     
  7. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    A valve job can restore the compression . . . and impress you at the same time!!! You might want to consider it sometime.

    Yep! It's called the Flip Oakes C trumpet. He left "Wild Thing" off that one, for the legit guys don't wanna show up with something "Wild!" Interestingly, he didn't name his horn the Wild Thing. Other pros who were gigging with him wanted to try his new horn, and the comments were "Man, this thing is WILD!" The name stuck.

    Yep! Another great name for 'em is a "arm pressure indicator," for if one uses any . . . they are gonna crash and burn. The cookie keeps me honest and really helps me play all my horns better.

    I don't think they'd invented the term "A.D.D." back then, and Junior could really do damage to chops! I hadn't thought about giving Junior a pea-shooter (trumpet) though. :lol:

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner
     
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Tom,

    Ol' Shlomo never saw those cornets!

    As if I didn't have enough to look at on the web! LOL

    -cw-
     
  9. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Dang, that is one beautiful little horn. It looks like (in shape) the Pocket Max horn. The Max is probably the same size and I know it has a sweet, dark tone. You can link to it from the Charles Colin site or go directly to it here:

    www.maxtrumpets.com

    I've thought about getting one as I just have too much sound coming out of the end of my Connie to fit comfortably in a parlor gathering or a small coffee house.
     
  10. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I've got a B&H Imperial cornet made in the early 70s. It's a medium bore, very sweet sounding, and you can take it right down and still blow comfortably. Made like a tank..no triggers but manageable and great stainless steel valves.

    They were the mainstay of British brass bands during the 50s,60s and 70s particulalrly for the 'inside' parts.

    Regards,


    Trevor

    PS Tom, nice looking little beasty!!
     

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