What is "Dark"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Earlier in this thread Miles and Chet were mentioned in the same sentence in re dark, etc. To the eye they had considerably different embouchures. On the one hand this might rule out embouchure as a principal variable in this equation, but I think embouchure is key. You can definitely light up a Curry TF mpc (but why would you?). To me the overlooked variable is how relaxed the chops are. Since Chet had front tooth problems early on, and since he seemed often chemically (!!) relaxed, I vote for this variable. Try loosening up everything while you are playing, say, My Funny Valentine, and you'll see. Purposely relax your hold on the instrument, its pressure on your lips and then the lips themselves (let the cheeks loose a tad) and I bet you can begin to approximate that fuzzy, full, rich, etc. sound. While Dizzy later regretted the example he set for other (beginning) players, puffing his cheeks out essentially had the effect of relaxing those lip muscles. Just sayin'...
  2. mickvanflugel

    mickvanflugel Forte User

    Jul 1, 2011
    What is the embodiment of a "dark" sound?

    My Olds Special with a Curry 3TC.
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    How about a Besson Prestige cornet with a Wick 2? :D
  4. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    ...or an Olds Opera with a Bach 2...
  5. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    Trumpetsplus (Ivan's) OP asks, paraphrased - "What constitutes a 'dark' sound on a trumpet?" Replies to this most excellent post/question ended up centering on the predominance of overtones and not their presence or absence. For brass (trumpet) fanatics this is a truly sentinel observation and is worthy of further measurements and academic discussion by folks with the proper instruments to measure the predominance of overtones more so than their presence or absence. Somewhere in there is a PhD dissertation. :-)

    I am looking for three follow up posts from Ivan. First is a note to us telling us that he has put this information together and posted it on his most excellent blog (what constitutes dark and bright; the second is the open question to trumpet designers, builders and techs, "What on the horn, not mpc, oral cavity or player in general actively, measurably changes it's color and to what degree does this change influence the color of any particular horn?" -- My guess is that we would hear a lot about the bell, being the final resonant piece of the instrument of course, but not the only one. Third, I will also like to hear what Ivan is going to tell his customer who asks... "If you could and if you were willing, what can you do to change my trumpet's sound?"

    Final note... this discussion board is so very fortunate to have a common sense professional willing to post and comment to us. A big thank you to Ivan, he is truly a great contributor and all around great guy.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I've now little doubt that Ivan could change your trumpet's sound and given time, I feel certain he is willing. All that remains to consider is how much you want to spend and possibly what you want done.
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I would wonder whether a large hammer would be out of the questionROFLROFL

    Harky, thank you for your kind words. I do what I can to dispel some of the myths about trumpets and trumpet playing.

    My current thinking is there are 3 major inter-related components:
    The mouthpiece/lead pipe system sets up the sound, determines focus.
    The valve cluster determines the response
    The bell determines the sound quality

    When you change one, you change how the other two react. For example, if you change to a more playful rather than tight/classical valve cluster, it will confuse the lead pipe and the bell. Just changing a bell can totally mess up how a horn plays even though the right sound has been achieved.

    Once the 3 parts are happy together, then look at the design, number, and positioning of all the braces. These should enhance what is already achieved, rather than modifying it. If the bracing is modifying the sound it means that you have components working against each other.
    tedh1951 likes this.
  8. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    As always, Ivan adds to everybody's knowledge. Wonderfully said. I like the 'hammer' part. Some people take themselves too darn seriously! :-)
  9. Churchman

    Churchman Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 26, 2012
    "What is the embodiment of a "dark" sound?"

    That chap who does insist on playing the trumpet in my coal hole.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Oh my!:oops:

Share This Page