Some questions...

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Heavens2kadonka, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    1: I have read somewhere that different combinations of bell diameter and bore size each have a different effect on the sound the horn produces. Can anyone enlighten me on the subject?

    2: About the metals used for trumpets, I know of red (or rose) brass, yellow brass, gold brass, ambronze, copper, bronze, nickle silver, and sterling silver. I was looking for more information about the alloys themselves, the general percentage of metals used in these alloys. I also want to know what sound these each make as trumpet bells. I know nickle and sterling silver are generally brighter sounding, and that gold brass is darker sounding, but thats about all I know about this.

    Also, as a sub-question, are there any bronze trumpet bells out there?

    Van
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    As far as brass compositions are concerned, check here:

    http://www.redmetals.com/alloydata/sheetstrip.htm

    Note that different trumpet manufacturers have the ability to request alloys "in between" some of the ASTM standards and that inevitably they will select different "patterns" of forming, annealing, forming, tempering, etc. and possibly even in different locations of the bells. This will all effect seriously how the bell resonates and sounds.

    Several makers can provide bronze bells.... bronze is formed by adding a bit of tin into the mix. Kanstul is one who can provide a bronze bell... their alloy is probably only known to "them".

    "Gold brass" I have only heard of really with respect to Yamaha's material. I suspect it is an alloy (again) "in-between" some of the others. I read somewhere that the name "Gold brass" was really just and advertising "thing" done by Yamaha... maybe, maybe not. I know it's not in the chart referenced here, nor is it in "Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers".

    "How many shades of grey are there?"

    This picture shows a trumpet bell resonating at different frequencies. Imagine how all of the different physical characteristics of a bell can affect how these patterns form and in what strengths at different frequencies! (Thanks to the GR website for the link)

    http://vanadium.rollins.edu/~tmoore/Bell_vibrations_1.htm
     
  3. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Thanks for all the information pertaining to the alloys. I had a bear of a time finding anything even close to the subject I was searching for!

    I have heard gold brass is much heavier than the other brasses, and is used to darken the sound. Probably named for its color?

    This is all some real interesting stuff. Again, thanks for the info.

    Wonder if that bell in the pics had a rim or not?

    Van
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    I think it probably did... I could be wrong (frequently am!) but I thought I read once that it was a King... don't know what model. I am fairly certain that if you asked Dr. Moore he would tell you... I know he responded very quickly when I asked him a question about the apparent disparity between the number of vibrating "nodes" and the frequencies (esp. between 1090 and 1194).

    As for the weight of a bell.. that would be more a function of the thickness than the specific alloy... all of the brass alloys listed are within .009 lb/cu in or less than 3%. You can get a lot more weight change than that by going only 1 "gage" thicker!
     
  5. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

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    if you search the ITG site for physics you'll find a bunch of stuff, including the article that accompanies those weird pictures of bell vibrations.
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Guys,

    From everything I've learned from Dave Monette I can tell you categorically that every change and difference in metal alloys, finishes, weight, etc. has a bearing on the sound, resistance, and timbre of a given instrument. The degree to which these things can be "felt" or heard has to do with the inherent abilities and sensitivity of the player. Some folks will hear differences that others won't.

    If you play golf to any level you'll be able to relate. If you play baseball with a variety of wood and metal bats you'll know that the more experienced and sophisticated and in tune with his body an athlete is, the more he'll be able to tell you the differences between his equipment even though we that play the sports for fun might not be as aware. Then you go and get a coaching session with an athlete like that and suddenly he makes you aware of those things you may never have considered or been able to label.

    So, yeah, these things make a difference. To the degree you sense them has to do with your sensitivity level.

    ML
     
  7. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    You can maybe buy the book "the trumpet by Charles A. Macaluso". It explains every detail of the trumpet, including alloys, bore sizes,etc.
     
  8. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    I like Manny's analogy to golf.

    I was the only music major I knew of at my school, or lots of other schools around, that was on an athletic scholarship. I went to school not on a music ticket, but on a golf scholarship!

    Should have seen the surprise on the Concert Wind Ensemble director's face when I showed up for auditions. He thought I was joking ... until I started playing. I was by and far one of the best instrumental musicians there!

    I was also conference champion and regional champion in golf :D

    A great way to go through school. I used to tease the football players. They would come back to the dorms just dead about the time I was putting slacks and a golf shirt on to go to the country club for golf "practice". I used to tease the football players that I had to now go to the country club to "earn" the same scholarship they got. :twisted:

    The only thing that kept me from being killed was I was a big as most of the football team (230 lbs and in terrific shape!). :bleah:

    But Manny is right. A championship caliber golfer will use entirely different equipment than a recreational golfer. Now, that is not always the most expensive stuff. Today, I use a $30 putter that is a classic instead of one of those $300 putters they sell.

    I also use a $150 driver and other use $500 drivers. But for me, I can tell what I need for my swing and my playing style. Golf balls come in a wide range of styles and brands and that I am very picky about (BTW, I don't play much anymore due to that stupid car accident).

    Good golfers can tell a difference. Good trumpet players can too, but that will be individual. The mouthpiece has to fit your embouchure. The horn has to resonate with the mouthpiece and all of that has to match up to your playing style.

    Here is the good point about the trumpet world! There are many, many top-shelf horns. Some expensive, some moderately priced. Same is true about mouthpieces. Lots of great horns and mouthpieces abound!

    And there is another big truth in the golf analogy. A good golfer can take a beginner's set of clubs and beat the snot out of a recreational golfer. A good trumpet player could take a Bach 300 and outplay the casual player with no trouble. So never blame the equipment. A nice horn is no replacement for time in the woodshed. A nice set of clubs is no replacement for time on the driving range.

    My dad is a retired golf pro. If my dad, at age 69 says "I'll bet you $500 I can beat you with only a 7 iron and a putter" -- keep your wallet in your pocket. I have seen him shoot par or better with two clubs. The equipment helps, but it only helps.

    Jim
     
  9. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Gosh, I love the "story times" you can get around here if you poke at the "old ones" long enough!! :bleah:

    Van
     
  10. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Say that again and I will beat you with my cane! :whistle:
     

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