Speaking of the C trumpet......

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JonathanShaw, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. JonathanShaw

    JonathanShaw Pianissimo User

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    A while back, I had an argument with a friend about this: Is the C trumpet meant for transposition purposes, or does the C trumpe possess a different sound that the Bflat does not?
     
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    The sound is a bit brighter.
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    The C trumpet was built when the big F trumpet and the Bb/A trumpet and cornets were the main horns that were used. The small Eb trumpet/cornet was also in use. The C trumpet was desgned to aid in the upper register demands of "new " repertoire like Mahler symphonies.

    It became the favorite instrument of the French tradition while the Germans and Austrians and Finns like Sibelius continued to write for the F and Bb. Most of the French literature was written for the C trumpet. You can see the split beginning in the French repertoire with Debussy and Saint Saëns with pieces like La Mer and Saint Saëns' 3rd symphony. Both pieces by those composers where written for a section of F and C instruments. Mahler's 3rd asks specifically for a short, quiet passage in the third movemnt to be played on an Eb cornet. When French players came to America (Georges Mager, principally) they brought the sound of the C trumpet with them. This influenced players like Vacchiano and Herseth. Vacchiano was probably the first important player of his generation to use the C and D almost exclusively.

    He used it to make technical licks easier and for the compactness and focus of the sound. So, to answer your question, yes, it's about transposition, focus, and sound. Many orchestral tuba players use a C tuba for the same reasons but I've never seen a C trombone.

    ML
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  4. BudBix

    BudBix Pianissimo User

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    Thanks Manny! This is the best summary of why we use C trumpets I've read. People get hung up on a single reason why and it's really a variety of factors.

     
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Manny,

    I am pretty sure the trombone is a concert instrument. It plays in C.
     
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Trombone is a considered a concert instrument, but in reality it is a Bb instrument because its fundamental note is Bb. It does read in concert.
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Exactly.

    ML
     
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    Great explanation Manny!

    I could not agree with the brighter sound; mine surely is not! However your statement is one with which I can agree totally!

    Well done sir!
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    little bump to let you know I added some more to that which i wrote yesterday regarding the use of the big F and smaller C together in French repertoire.

    ML
     
  10. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Thankyou. I'll give my trombone playing friend the third degree on this. I'll make him explain it to me as punishment.
     

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