Trumpet Timbre

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have been wondering. If I play piano middle D, with open valves. That is an enharmonic note that corresponds to the third of a Bb root note.

    A) If I lip this not into tune, what happens to the other harmonics IE the Bb F G etc ...

    B) If I adjust the note with slides, what happens to the other harmonics.
  2. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    I'm still trying to figure out where dark goes when you turn on the light:D

    I'm not sure I'm on the same page you are. A middle note D on the piano will be low E (Bottom Line) on the trumpet with valves 1&2 down. As far as where the harmonics go when you lip or move the slide to change the pitch, they are no longer vibrating. A different harmonic is vibrating. Sorry if I'm not following what your question is.
  3. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    So the D that you play with all valves open as it would sound on a piano, high D.

    It seems that the other harmonics don't go away, which is where harmony comes in.

    Likewise if I build a chord with trumpets as opposed to piano strings, each of the trumpet notes will have a different timbre as opposed to the piano where each string sounds more or less exactly alike just high or lower pitch. IE each piano note has a harmonic above it that is a fifth, but each trumpet note doesn't necessarily have a fifth. Likewise if my trumpet does have a fifth say I am playing an Ab, but I tune or lip that note, what happens to overtones of that note, are they in tune or lipped to a different pitch?
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I think I understand your question.

    When you force the note out of tune, the overtones move with the pitch of the note you are playing, but because the pitch is "out of tune" with the resonant frequency of the length of tubing you are playing, the volume and sound quality will be diminished.
  5. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    It isn't obvious to me that this is what is happening. I will have to listen carefully.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    When you play "centered", the natural resonance of the horn is maximized and the harmonic characteristics are what the artisan that designed it intended. If we play high or low on the pitch, not only does the resonance suffer, the balance of fundemental to overtone changes because the horn does not "resonate" naturally any more. The result is worse sound, range, endurance and compatibility to a trumpet section.

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