Pre-1910 trumpet method books

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gsmonks, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    My rusty old brain is telling me that Sousa himself played cornet. Is that correct?
  2. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    gsmonks yes, Jinbao makes copies of it. I believe bud Herseth had the first Yamaha 3 valve piccolo prototype! Looked vintagey(haha pseudoword) and cewl!
  3. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Right, Jinbau sells them as stencils under names like Berkeley. I have one of their Eb "slightly lighter" trumpets, that I bought to take place of my Bach 190 while it was in getting the valves done. Other than some lacquer issues, it has been a pretty good horn. Had to chop a bit of tubing to get it up to pitch (a common problem with Chinese-made horns), but as I do such work myself, it was not a problem.

    I use the Eb "Berkeley" to introduce my students to the world of Eb soprano trumpet, making the little warts learn to sight-transpose, and to get them used to the fact that the Eb is like playing a Bb that's merely missing everything from Bb (on the horn) on down.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is not correct. Even Arban had his piston valves around 1850. Perinet invented his valves in 1838. Here is a historical replica of an instrument from 1856:
    Perinet-Trumpet in Low G/F/E/Eb/D/C/Bb - blechblas-instrumentenbau egger

  5. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    The Arban's book (I have one right here) features cornets and saxhorns. The piston valves you're referring to were cornets.

    Yes, Perinet invented his valves in the 1820's or 30's, and he even mentioned his having built a Perinet-valve trumpet in the margin of a patent sketch from 1823, if I'm remembering correctly, but there's no physical evidence that the horn in question ever existed.

    The pumpenventil valves you're referencing are not Perinet valves. They're Berliner pistons, of the same type that Sax used when he patented and sold his Eb soprano and Bb Infantry-model Saxhorn, which today is erroneously referred to as a "flugelhorn". The Saxhorns were patented in 1844 or 45, and the first catalogue I'm aware of was 1858.

    Also, we were talking about the modern Bb trumpet, not its G/F/Eb/D forerunner.

    Berliner pistons are not Perinet valves. You can tell the difference by looking at the tubing between the valves. If it goes straight through, they're Berliners. If they jog up and down, they're Perinet.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not talking about Berliner pistons. I am talking about Périnet valves. There are multiple references to them. Around 1850 composers started scoring for the Trompette à Pistons (for instance the Hugenots/The Prophet by Meyerbeer, Daughter of the Regiment by Donizetti, various compositions by Berlioz). The players of the deep F instruments called them "high Bb trumpets" and resisted change for a long time! Granted, the piston trumpet of the time was not always in Bb. There is reference to G, Ab, Bb and C.
    For instance a Courtois from 1853
    Here is a Mahillon from around 1880: compensateur.JPG

    My only point is that these instruments (even in high Bb) existed and were very similar in construction to Arbans cornet (Courtois patented the valve geometry around 1851). I have performed the Meyerbeer stuff on copies of those trumpets (albeit pitched one tone lower in Ab). The methods taught in Paris around Arbans time were orchestral trumpet (which still had a good deal of natural trumpet and used Dauvernés method book), the very popular high pitched cornet (Arban, St. Jacome methods), the various 1, 2 and 3 valved trumpets, the slide trumpet and probably some keyed trumpet (Araldi, Giuseppe. Metodo per Tromba A Chiavi eta Macchina, Asioli (1835), Bonifazio transunto deb princip elementari di Musica (1825). There were also method books that covered the whole range of instruments available: Nemetz, Andreas Allgemeine / Trompetenschule (1828), ROY AND MULLER's Tutor for the Keyed and Valve TRUMPET (1839), Roy, Eugene, Methode de Trompette (1824).

    Your description of the Berliner Pumpenventil is not quite right. The Perinét can also go straight through. The Berliner Pumpenventil has the same basic geometry as a rotary valve - everything in one plane, right angles to the lengthening tubes. Here is a very clear example:
    Sehr alte Basstrompete "Berliner Pumpe"!!! stark reparaturbedürftig! | eBay

    Maybe we are saying the same thing about the geometry, but I did not refer to the Pumpenventil.

  7. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    A matter I'm very reserved on is the number of instruments in question. The Courtois', Mahillons and several others do exist in collections ( the Utley collection, for example, Robb Stewart's collection, and many others), but they were hardly production models that were rolling off the assembly line. This is why they are very small in number today, the few surviving instruments residing in personal collections and museums.

    Yes, composers were calling for specific instruments, but often they were one-off's, or close to it. Some notable examples are: the actual historic cimbasso, which was decidedly not a valved F contrabass trombone like today, a certain oddball tuba demanded by Richard Strauss, of which I've only seen one physical example, the slide trumpets used until well into the 20th century by a pair of English trumpet players, the alto horn demanded by Paul Hindemith for his alto horn sonata, an instrument everyone guesses wrong at. I've only seen the instrument in photos of Paul Hindemith, and it is an oddball niche instrument that precious few people in the entire world are familiar with.

    This is one of the very reasons Kenton Scott and I thought up the Horn-u-copia website. We wanted to collect masses of photos of production instruments, going back as far as possible, in order to sort out the production instruments from the oddities and the one-off's.

    There are lots of one-off instruments gracing the collections of museums, but they are no indication whatsoever of the general public experience. Lots of instruments that are cited as important historical examples are in reality anything but. Much of the important information is to be found in the mountains of junk no serious collector or museum cares about. The scarcity of a thing may determine its monetary value, but its actual historical value is very often another matter entirely.
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I think the discussion was about the early history of perinet-valved trumpets, not cornets.

    Anyway, here's an interesting catalog page illustrating an early trumpet, called a "trumpet cornet". Don't know the year, though...

  9. Dalecon

    Dalecon New Friend

    Feb 26, 2016
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Who ever mentioned "assembly line" or general public - especially during a time when the brass world was being dramatically changed by the industrial revolution? Was there even "production" (in our current sense) instruments in the 1850s? If so, Courtois is certainly one of the players. These "new" instruments were in fact part of the development of the late romantic orchestral sound - used by the "few" professionals in that genre. Changes back then were very slow, but no different than in our time. Remember reading a couple years back about the New York Phil auditions requiring Bach or Yamaha NY or Chicago models?

    You asked about methods for these instruments before 1910. I gave you some of them. There are more of course. One good source is Hermann Pietzsch "Die Trompete". It was written in 1900 and the english language translation edited by Clifford Lillya and Renold Schilke.

    There is enough interest is this period that Egger is even making replicas. My trumpet teacher here in Germany, Heinz Zickler told me about his first hand experiences with the "old generation" F trumpet players that did not like the thin sound of the "high Bb trumpets". After a while, sound lost and accuracy won. Still, the methods are there. They describe the instruments available.

    It is hard to say if the orchestral trumpeters that did experiment in the 19th century used one, two or three valves - regardless of what the music was composed for. I am pretty sure that the players back then did not have big collections of instruments like we do today. If they were lucky, they had a good working relationship with an artisan willing to experiment.

    I am not interested in an argument or semantics. We went through this once when you erroneously called the modern C trumpet a cornet. I will not go there again with you.

    In any case, you can find a lot more info about <1910 trumpet methods and instruments here: (primarily keyed trumpet but some of the sources also include valves)
    Publikationen - Reprints

    Ed Tarr is of course probably the greatest living encyclopedia of this stuff:

    I have purchased many of these papers that I quoted, but most of them are now available for "free". Have fun!


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