Trumpet/Cornet in A

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by leefromcanada, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. leefromcanada

    leefromcanada New Friend

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Hi there.

    I have been playing/teaching trumpet for 25 years. Recently, however, I have been invited to enter the ballet orchestra scene. This music is often written for Cornet in A. If I found an actually "A" trumpet or cornet, would I have to transpose my thinking from the usual Bb tuning? Or, would a 3rd space C still be played open as in Bb land?

    The other option, I suppose, would be to try to transpose the "A" music on my Bb horn. Might be a nightmare!

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Lee
     
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    It's pretty close...after a few notes on an A trumpet, you shouldn't have any problems. As long as the music is in the key of the trumpet, you read the music the same - same fingerings, I mean. A lot of the old Conn 22B trumpets came with a Bb/A rotary-valve setup in the tuning slide. I've found them to work very well in A. Many modern instruments have enough pull on the slides to tune them in A, too.

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  3. leefromcanada

    leefromcanada New Friend

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    Hmmm. Yes - my dad owns one of the old British style shorty-Cornets with the Bb-A transposition dial. Perhaps a Boosie and Hawkes. Anyway, I will try your trick and just tune one of my Bb trumpets to see if it will work. Thanks!
     
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Usually you can. Don't forget to pull the valve slides too.

    Tom
     
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    That's right. By "slides", I meant all 4. BTW, most turn-of-the-century cornets were pitched in Bb, but had a longer mouthpiece bit to put them into A. Sometimes, there were even "A" markings on the inner slide tubes to help get those close, too. Here's an old Besson cornet I have, shown with the extra-long A mouthpiece bit.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    Why not learn the transposition? Those of us who do orchestral playing have to learn how to play in all keys. It is only if you are playing a Bb instrument down 1/2 step inclusive of the key signature.
     
  7. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    most serious orchestra guys here play C cornets and simply transpose to A, (down) or whatever. it works well except for extremely low parts that go down below the horn. for the overture to carmen, for instance, you have to use a Bb, and even then, its off the horn a little. a written C is still open, thankfully. some old horns have a change valve, and if you can find one that plays, you can just read the part. sometimes pulling a modern Bb out to A will make a horn not play as well....it just depends on the horn. Bb cornets are more common among us non-specialists, and the half step transpostion will sort out your sharp keys in a hurry, because the parts were written in A to make them easier to read. berlioz is pretty well known for giving the cornets most of the action (roman carnival) and also writing solos in the basement. tchaikovsky wrote some pretty nice solos for cornet in his ballets, and you can look forward to those!
     
  8. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    tranposition fun

    section playing trumpet parts in A. sounds terrible. third player says "what...this is A trumpet". true story.

    transposition #2

    strauss opera with bass trumpet. sounds terrible. bass trumpet player says "my parts in B." (in german, B is Bb, B natural is H.) all that work for nothing.
     
  9. vern

    vern Piano User

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    I've run into this situation and, depending on the setting, find that simply transposing from B-flat cornet works best. If the part would be better suited for trumpet, I would transpose from C (or B-flat trumpet).
     

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