What determines a trumpet's key?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hoserb, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Bob, each to his/her own. I wouldn't play a Mozart on any horn other than what I have, and I don't remember him ever composing much for any horn. He was almost exclusively a keyboard composer. It is subsequent arrangers that have scored his music for full orchestras. Although the great classical composers provide many skill development studies, they now aren't in that much demand or current money makers.

    IMO Mozart's Turkish March outdoes Beethoven's and both are in my repertoire for my multi-horns, as they were for my Mother's piano from which I transposed the music.

    I knew a young boy who wanted to play trumpet, and though I was not then tutoring him, he sorted through my music collection and found Mozart's "Concert Rondo" scored for trumpet and piano accompaniment and began to play it on then Band Now trumpet as was in really bad condition. I lent him one of mine, and he played it well enough that I arranged for piano accompaniment and he performed it at the Senior Center. He's now moved to GA and has a new Bach Strad and a private tutor. This boy could read music as well as I, and such from singing in church children's choirs although his family life had once been a horror story.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  2. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Seriously Ed? No horns? No full orchestra? Almost exclusively a keyboard composer?

    All of Mozart's operas (his favorite form, if not his most abundant) include an orchestra. Over 41 symphonies, plus a bunch that are not numbered. A clarinet concerto that's a major piece in the instrument's literature. A clarinet quintet so beautiful I can listen to it many times in a row. A oboe quartet no less major than the clarinet quintet. The bassoon concerto, the flute concerti, all for instrument and orchestra. The 4 concerti for Horn and orchestra and some chamber music too. A Gran Partita. 27 Concerti for piano and orchestra.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "full orchestra" or "horn"but undoubtedly when Mozart wrote a piece for instrument and orchestra, he meant the instrument and orchestra used at the time, which may not have been as extensive as the subsequent forms, as defined by Berlioz and others, but full enough nonetheless. As for "horn" we are obiously considering times before the chromatic trumpet/cornet, when feverish attempts at increasing the instrument's capabilities eventually led to the keyed trumpet that the Haydn was intended for.

    I'm afraid I'm not following you on this one.

    Even though one of Leopold's best friends was a trumpet player, little Wolfgang is said to have been mortally afraid of the martial sound of the instrument. I'm sure some of our later masters of the instrument could have softened his fear:

    Concerto C Major (Rondo) - Mozart - YouTube

    Canadian Brass- Rondo alla turca - YouTube
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Ain't nothing wrong with being a "keyboard composer" as it provides the voices of a full orchestra. I have no knowledge of Mozart playing any other instrument or in his own hand scoring for them separately. Aside from the keyboard as is basically a hammered harp, I believe his era was predominating in other strings. And beyond any doubt, his music is the ultimate and I too could listen to it endlessly. Still, subsequently I do believe others (arrangers) have gone further to embellish his music applying great skills. I grew up with a keyboard in the house played by skilled fingers and really wish I had learned to play it as well myself. Sadly, I didn't have available the means to record my Mother and Grandmother playing.
     
  4. shakey

    shakey New Friend

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    Thanks for all your replies! I talked to a local band teacher who's been in the business for @ 30 yrs. After picking his mind almost raw:-), I believe I would do better getting a decent C trumpet to have sitting there beside me to use in my particular circumstance. I purchased a Yamaha YTR 4335G in great shape at an absolute bargain. Now I need to polish the silver. Not sure what to use.? The serial # is 556976. Anybody have one with a serial that is close enough for me to determine approximate age?
     
  5. shakey

    shakey New Friend

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    I understand what you are saying. But I would only need it to play straight from the same music the piano is using, so I believe I would be playing the same fingering for the same note "untransposed."
     
  6. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Then I will gladly add to your knowledge.

    W.A. Mozart was an accomplished violin player, an instrument which he learned mostly on his own early on, unbeknownst even to his father, who certainly kept close monitoring of his kids' musical practice.

    Here is an excerpt from Marcia Davenport's biography on an occasion in which Wolfgang surprised his father and guests (among them Schachtner, who also played trumpet) who were undertaking a series of string trios:
    "The five year old was carrying the whole second fiddle perfectly. Schachtner quietly laid down his fiddle and stole a glance at Leopold, sawing away with the tears running down his cheeks. Little was said until all six trios had been plaid. Then Leopold could not restrain the guests any longer. They swooped on the baby with exclamations and kisses, which so excited him that he insisted on trying first violin, and carried it off, far from perfectly but never breaking down altogether."

    That was when he was five. I can hardly imagine that he worked out the violin parts of his 5 violin concerti on keyboard only when he was perfectly qualified to play them, although some may have been able to play them better. The same applies to the 2 viola parts of the magnificent string quintet in G minor (K516). He owned a viola that was valued at less than the equivalent of $2 after his death. Mozart credited Haydn for his coming to mastery of string quartet composition and playing such quartets was central to their encounters.

    His original scores include all the instruments that he wanted in the piece. We can obviously not ascribe to any other sound than the human voice the unique lines sung by the Queen of the Night, most likely inspired by Aloysia Weber many years before they were put on paper by Wolfgang, and long after he committed himself to her sister Constanz. Mozart did not even really need a keyboard for composing, he did most of it mentally and could then readily commit the composition to paper. He did a lot of that mental composing during the stage coach trip to Prague, where he was to meet Lorenzo Da Ponte working on Don Giovanni.

    Mozart personally wrote for voices, string instruments, wind instruments, keyboard, percussions. The Library of Congress possesses, among other pieces, the original manuscript of the string quintet in C major (K515), all of it is written with each instrument labeled appropriately. There is a variety of pictures of original manuscripts, viewable on the net, that clearly show each part written for its intended instrument, which is specified in the margin. According to my teacher, who knows quite a bit about music beyond trumpet, there is in fact less lattitude on how Mozart can be played than with many other composers, especially for his orchestral works.

    The funny thing with Mozart is that, no matter how well one acquaints himself with the man and his music, there is still more to discover. Even though his child-like quality of spirit is prevalent in all his major works, he revels most in his works in minor keys. Of all his symphonies, probably none has a more famous theme than #40. The mass in C minor is beyond words. The string quintet in G minor even more so. And what has not been said already about the Requiem?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  7. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

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    Answer deleted.
    I thought I had an information, but I realized it was not working.
    Sorry.

    After better checking, here is the only information I have :
    YTR 4335G… Key Bb… Bore ML 11.68 mm… Bell shape YL-II… Bell diameter 123 mm (4-7/8")… Bell material Gold brass… Finish Lacquer… Date introduced 1998-
    Nothing else…
    Not sure this helps. :dontknow:
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  8. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I think it is a funny that trumpet is considered a transposing instrument so everyone learns this weird key of Bb so that someday they can play a C trumpet without re-learning all the fingerings, but then there are no C, D or Eb trumpets to be had. :thumbdown:
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    If you got the cash there are C, D an Eb trumpets. Too, I believe there is also a G as some call a valved bugle.
     
  10. richtom

    richtom Forte User

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    There are trumpets in C, Bb, Bb/A, D, Eb, E, F alto, F soprano, and G soprano. There are of course, Piccolo trumpets soley in Bb and A, Bb/A and yes, C.
    There are also trumpets pitched in B natural. They are usually herald trumpets and used in the opera Aida. I do not remember reading there was ever an Ab trumpet and Bb/A trumpets, while still out there, are horns of the past. Bass trumpets can be in C or Bb, but often are played by trombonists.
    Schilke has made 4 valve Bbs - I held the one in their showroom and there have been and still are (Marcinkewicz) quarter-tone trumpets and there are slide trumpets, too.
    The Schilke website has a listing of all the horns they make. Many professionals consider the small Schilke horns to be the best there are and while there are many imitators, you'll find more small Schilkes in the hand of professionals everywhere.
    Getting back to a certain Wolfgang Mozart, during his time, there was a monumental shift in music style which left the baroque trumpets of Bach's time quite useless. While Mozart did not write technically difficult music for the trumpet, make a mistake and everyone will know it. Every note Mozart wrote for the trumpet is of vital importance and I believe much of his music may be better served on smaller trumpets, such as a D trumpet.
    RT
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012

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