part seating

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetgirl612, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. trumpetgirl612

    trumpetgirl612 Pianissimo User

    249
    0
    Mar 30, 2005
    practice room 5
    i have often wondered how seating should go when there are 5 or 6 parts.
    often, our school seats

    1st cornet
    2nd cornet
    3rd cornet
    trpt1
    trpt2
    trpt3

    or
    C1
    C2
    trpt1
    c3
    trpt2

    how do others do it?
     
  2. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Age:
    45
    1,207
    0
    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    I don't know what the "official" stance is, but my preference has always been to keep a fairly even split for the sake of balance (also helps the trumpets to know when they're doubling the cornets):

    Cornet 1
    Trumpet 1
    Cornet 2
    Ttrumpet 2
    Cornet 3

    And my preference is to never double the trumpet parts. So if you had a section of eight:

    cor 1
    cor 1
    trpt 1
    cor 2
    cor 2
    trpt 2
    cor 3
    cor 3

    This works well when you have a "Solo/first" cornet part. However, the concert band I'm currently in place the first trumpets closest to the stage front and the thirds further in the band. I prefer to do it the other way around, or at lest center the firsts so that it's easier for the thirds to balance their sound with the section:

    cor 3
    cor 3
    trpt 2
    cor 1
    cor 1
    trpt 1
    cor 2
    cor 2

    ...but of course...we could look at this a million ways. Any military band alumnis or actual concert band directors out there wanna weigh in? This would be a good poll since I'm always at odds with directors and how they setup a section....
     
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Age:
    43
    1,144
    3
    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    When organising any section I work with, I like to keep the cornet and trumpet parts seated together, for example
    Cornet 1
    Cornet 2
    Cornet 3
    Trumpet 1
    Trumpet 2

    I find this to be especially helpful when the correct instruments are being used - you get a tonally different experience coming from different directions.
     
  4. trumpetgirl612

    trumpetgirl612 Pianissimo User

    249
    0
    Mar 30, 2005
    practice room 5
    ::groans:: mike, you can be so lame sometimes lol
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Hey, folks...

    I moved the topic here hoping you might get a few more nibbles on the topic.

    ML
     
  6. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    212
    1
    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    I am a firm believer that cornet parts should be played on cornet and trumpet parts on trumpet. It seems to me that the cornet parts tend to be more blended with the ensemble and the trumpet parts are a bit more independent or pronounced in the ensemble. Therefore I would think the two should be separated in seating.
     
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I'll agree with Billy. The problem is that out of a total "high brass" section of 8, I'm the only one who seems willing to even bring a cornet to band! I know that at least two others HAVE cornets but they just don't seem willing to haul them out. Parts get distributed, not by who has what instrument, but by who happens to "like" the most interesting parts! (ie, some guys will always get the 1st trumpet OR cornet part or the solos regardless of what the other part distribution might look like).

    The other factor is that.... "generally speaking" our band sits with 2nd (trumpet/cornet) on the outside, 1st in the center of the section, and 3rd/4th on the "inside" (closest to their neighbours... the tubas...who are in the "dead center, back row". Now, picture this: nobody moves around when the parts get mixed up! The performance stages we have are generally quite "tight" for the size of our group so "picking up your chart and trading chairs" just doesn't work. Sometimes there will be a 2nd trumpet part doubled by two people at opposite ends of the entire section while the cornet parts and remaining trumpet parts are "muddled up" in between! Must be hell for the conductor at times.

    I sure wish we could convince people that it's not a crime to bring a trumpet and a cornet (which is written in lots) rather than a trumpet and a flugel (which rarely shows up in our music).
     
  8. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Age:
    111
    1,061
    53
    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I don't believe in sectional seating or ordered seating. The members in EVERY section of my band with parts switch parts on EVERY tune. If you are the 12th best cornet you still have to play first parts on 1/3 of our tunes, and the best player will indeed play the third parts.

    I do arrange for one of my best players to play solos on certain selections, but every player needs to play all the parts. It helps give confidence to all sections/parts in my band and it makes every player's worth increase.

    So I can't answer which part comes first through last, because it does not matter. Each player is expected to master the part to which he/she is assigned.
     
  9. trumpetgirl612

    trumpetgirl612 Pianissimo User

    249
    0
    Mar 30, 2005
    practice room 5
    bandman i wish i had you! i have sat the same chair for all 4 yrs of HS <2nd chair, switches bet bottom split on 1st parts and top split on 2nd parts. 2nd part if no splits>
    thus, i dont really like lead/top parts anymore <havent since i lost my status as lead/1st chair starting in HS. b4 that i was lead/1st chair in EVERYTHNIG everty yr since i started.
    anyway, i was just curious, what are the equivalents if no one has a cornet, what would the order of parts be?
    thnx
     
  10. MGTrumpet

    MGTrumpet New Friend

    34
    1
    Nov 18, 2004
    Maple Grove, MN
    From my view, FWIW -

    In the community band I play in, I use the same format as we did in college in the wind ensemble - c3, c2, c1, c1, t1, t2. In my opinion the optimal size is six (maybe just my wind ensemble background). However, because people in a community band have other priorities, we sometimes carry more so that I'm not out looking for subs on short notice. With seven, I'd use c3, c3, c2, c1, c1, t1, t2. With eight - c3, c3, c2, c1, c1, c1, t1, t2. I prefer the 1st Cornet and 1st Trumpet together.

    The last part I'm inclined to double is second Cornet (often playing the third of the chord). Granted, when only Cornet parts exists, the 1st Trumpet is playing second Cornet and the 2nd Trumpet is playing third Cornet. I don't double the Trumpet parts.

    However, depending on the group, the best situation is to not have anybody doubling - in other words, everybody should be switching off and NOT playing at the same time. In an adult community band that is very helpful because everybody doesn't necessarily have time to keep their chops up to the same level (some people have jobs for which they must travel). Also, unless the band is a much larger "concert" band, even six or seven Trumpets can bury everybody else - and often do. I believe a large part of the movement of American band rooms to flat floors (instead of built in risers) is a result of bands (Trumpets?) playing too loud (lots of band directors with hearing problems). Also, two (or three) players playing forte is not that same as one player playing forte - that seems to get lost a lot.

    Also, be sensitive to what the other parts are doing. Often, the parts are doubling another part. There's no need for everybody to play - take a rest and let others enjoy hearing what they're doing.

    As far as the difference between Cornet and Trumpet parts - it depends on the music. Most American band composers write for 3/2 simply out of convention. Besides, most people playing Cornets are using cut-down Trumpet mouthpieces and they don't get a "true" Cornet sound. And, most people don't have Cornets in the states. For British music (at least), there really is a difference and the use of a Cornet (with a proper mouthpiece) can really add to the effect. I use a Schilke XA1 Cornet with a Bach 5V mouthpiece and that provides a much darker sound than most band people here get out of a Cornet. However, in an amateur community band I certainly can't force people to buy a Cornet.

    As far as switching parts, it depends on the group and the players. However, in a community band, constantly changing lead players seems like it would cause a lot of inconsistency. The lead player can set the style over time and depending on the conductor, can pull the group through problems in a concert situation, at least from my viewpoint. The other problem that can exist with switching off all the time is that each player thinks he can do it better and is determined to prove it - and that often means he/she is going to play it LOUDER.

    Although all the players are fabulous in the MO, I'm sure that Manny defines the style (as Bud did in the CSO and all principals do) and constantly changing section leads seems like it would not be pleasant or consistent for the orchestra. Granted, it's a completely different situation than a community band, but there must be some similarities.

    In a high school group, I thought that's what "challenges" were for. If you've been practicing and improving beyond other players, then you should be playing higher parts. And, the competition that challenging creates is necessary for the development of the young player. If you're not playing a high enough part, form a quintet and get more practice performing. Or, just practice, practice, practice - there's really no alternative.

    Of course, this is all JUST my opinion (from the nickel seats) and I could be completely wrong. ;-)
     

Share This Page