What is the secret

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gunshowtickets, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    A lot of "noise"? Facts are facts. And the "nowadays reality" is hardly immune to the facts. If you're trying to dismiss the facts as "noise", that speaks volumes. And not for the facts in question.

    Fact: it is possible to build a cornet, today or any other day (time does not change the facts), with all stepped cylindrical tubing, including the bell, that would play in tune and have an excellent cornet sound.

    I think some of you are forgetting, or simply don't know, what was going on in the cornet world back in the 1830's. In ca 1830, Jean-Hilaire Asté (aka Halary) invented the cornopean (aka cornet a pistons). The term "cornet a pistons" always leads to some confusion, as players naturally assume it's something like the modern cornet being referred to. But that instrument wouldn't come into being until two decades later.

    Lots of old-timers, when they came across cornopeans, referred to them as "old cornets".

    Cornopeans have a very good cornet sound. But most of you today have never heard one. They're also around 50% cylindrical vs 50% conical in terms of tubing, meaning they're about the same ratio as the rotary-valved Bb trumpet.

    In terms of cornets, if you go back to the early days, and wonder why there were so many different instruments, it's because players were having instrument-builders do personal custom jobs, which created a lot of variation in the instruments. Makers like Courtois often named the horns after the players: the Levy and Arbuckle models come to mind.

    Young guys were souping up cornets the way young guys were souping up cars (known as "speeders") in the 1920's and later. The modifications usually had something to do with whatever it was the guy in question was trying to show off: fast tonguing, high-range playing, lyrical playing, really fast playing, speed-jumping in register, you name it.

    They were playing circus music, not to put too fine a point on it. Guys like Herbert Clarke were playing in travelling tent shows across Europe and the US. You may have heard of Jenny Lind, aka "the Swedish Nightingale". She was a popular singer in this circuit.

    Now, if you think that the cornet sound was restricted to and only known in restricted pockets in the UK, you can forget that notion. The travelling tent shows travelled the world, and were like early television variety shows. Many of the same people played the Vaudeville circuit, which again was highly popular across North America and Europe.

    The instruments themselves were like a case of Alexander Graham Bell vs Elisha Grey. The same types of instruments got invented a number of times over in a good many diverse locations. Sax took the valved bugle and re-invented it into the family of modified valved bugles that bear his name- Saxhorns. But the same family of instruments appeared in the US, prior to 1844 (Saxhorn patent date), made by Allan Dodworth, and called Ebor Cornos, or New York Horns. They also appeared in Leipzig, made by Johann Joseph Schneider, who referred to his horns as Flugelhorns. They were also invented, at the same time as Sax, by Vaclav Frantisek Cerveny, whose horns are referred to as Baltic brass.

    Without getting into all the instruments referred to as "cornets", suffice it to say that the term "cornet" entails a type of sound, more than it refers to a specific instrument. Ergo, no one can make the claim that a particular instrument has that "classic cornet sound". Nor can anyone ascribe any particular location or nationality to that sound.

    The sound Brits refer to as "that classic British cornet sound" was the same sound to be found in US Salvation Army bands.

    In fact, much to do with the early Jazz Age in the US was to divest itself of a sound the players thought of as being old-fashioned and out of date. When Louis Armstrong was still playing cornet in Fate Marabel's band touring the Mississippi by river boat in the 1920's, newspaper articles mentioning him at the time often dismissed other players as sounding like "so many Salvation Army cornettists". Herbert Clarke didn't like it one bit when Armstrong took up the trumpet ca 1910, and tried to dismiss Armstrong and the Bb trumpet as "a European fad". His remark is telling, because his mention of Europe gives you some clue as to how widespread awareness of the Bb trumpet was at the time.

    Because the cornet pretty much bit the dust in the US by the 1930's, it fell out of memory as well as out of use. There is the false perception in people's minds today that the cornet is a British instrument. Which is complete nonsense. The instrument was just as popular in the US, just as well-known, and sounded just the same as its UK counterpart.

    Incidentally- I play a Yamaha Eb, C and Bb cornet. And Eb tenor horn and baritone. Not as dark as Besson equipment, but I prefer the sound because it's brighter. I've always used my old Besson for solos, though.

    But an old cornopean or Saxhorn gets just as good a sound. A cornopean maybe better.

    http://www.alsmiddlebrasspages.com/tenorhorn/images/history/cornet/sopsaxhorn.gif
     
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    I'm not going to get mixed up in this general discussion, but here's an interesting point... When brass bands were a new thing in the middle of the 19th century, most all French and English instruments were piston valved, while most all American instruments were rotary valve. By the 1880s though, most all were Perinet valved on both sides of the Atlantic.
     
  3. larry newman

    larry newman Piano User

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    Vibrato, also known as varying from a given pitch, is VERBOTEN in ensemble work!
     
  4. larry newman

    larry newman Piano User

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    Alford knows how to write for back row parts...
     
  5. larry newman

    larry newman Piano User

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    British means using British literature, for starters. The Buffalo Silver Band is the oldest BBB in the US.
     
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Oooh! That's low!!

    How long did you spend huddled over the paraffin lamp in your rickety wooden shack in the back end of nowhere dreaming up that little piece of malicious spite, eh?

    But I would have thought that such an intelligent, well-read person such as yourself would know that the Salvation Army was founded in London, and the first ever S A Corps Band was formed in Consett (look it up on a map) in 1879 modeled on the same instrumentation and musical conventions as the local secular bands, and from there exported all over the English-speaking world.

    So it's hardly surprising that Salvation Army Corps Bands sound (a bit) like British Brass Bands is it?

    Don't you find that it really spoils your day when you've invested so much time and energy into a staggering mean-spirited, unashamedly xenophobic insult, only to have it backfire on you? And you end up looking like a complete idiot in front of the whole world?
     
  7. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Oh, dear. I can see you're illiterate. Please allow me to explain that sentence to you:

    ".....The sound Brits refer to as "that classic British cornet sound" was the same sound to be found in US Salvation Army bands...."

    Sally Ann bands were to be found on both sides of the Atlantic back in the 1800's. They sounded the same on both sides of the Atlantic. The Sally Ann bands were named for A) the Salvation Army organisation, B) the instruments they were playing, and C) for the music they were playing. Lots of the music was published and printed by Boosey & Co., which started out as a sheet music company.

    Work bands didn't start out just in the UK. They started out as a sort of bread and circuses thing in both the US and the UK, at the same time, and were intended to stop the emerging Middle Class from meddling in politics.

    From the beginning they were playing the same music, had the same types of bands, and had the same types of instruments.

    Are you grokking this so far?

    The classic cornet sound was to be heard in both the US and the UK until the early 1930's. Capiche?

    This has fallen out of public knowledge because it was a very long time ago, and there are no surviving recordings to drive the point home. One casualty of the lack of recording is Fate Marabel's band of the 1920's, so we don't know what guys like Louis Armstrong or Freddie Keppard sounded like back them, nor do we have any 1920's and earlier recordings of Sally Ann bands.

    But there are lots of first-hand accounts that describe the sound of the bands, and those at the time never made any distinction between UK and US bands using cornets. So obviously no unique UK cornet sound ever existed.

    Furthermore, if you were to step back in time to the 1850's, you would have heard that "classic" cornet sound everywhere in the US. Is any of this sinking in? Or do you need me to understand it for you, too?
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    So there was a worldwide 'British-style' Brass Band craze a hundred odd years ago, just as there is now, under the banner of the (British) Salvation Army.......

    So?.....Didn't I just say that in the previous post?

    Come on, explain it to me some more you old fraud. Let the real you out. You know you really want to do it.
     
  9. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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  10. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Apparently you need to have the matter simplified, too.

    No, there wasn't a world-wide British-style brass band craze back in the 19th century. I don't know were you got that from- your brain must have invented it for you.

    One again from the top:

    The brass work band, aka industry bands, aka company bands, were a made thing in both the UK and the US. Is that simple enough for you? They both started in the early 19th century, and for the same reasons. Following the War of 1812 was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the Middle Class. People were moving in droves from the rural countryside to cities, where the factories were.

    The UK and the US were joined at the hip at the time in many ways. For example, the British watched very closely how things were evolving in US politics, and modelled their UK Parliamentary system after the US system. This all happened in the late 18th century.

    As the royals and the upper class were shoved aside by the newly minted Middle Class, who were suddenly making money and owning property and buying stuff, the powers that be, in both the US and the UK, tried to fight back. This was a period very much like the old strike-breaking days in the US during the Trade Union movement. It was also a period very much like the 1960's, with civil unrest, people fighting for their rights, people fighting for the right to vote.

    In both the UK and the US, the powers that be had work bands, or company bands, put together in order to attempt to distract people from getting involved in politics. There is how and where both the US and the UK band scene originated.

    In Britain, one of the main sheet music companies was Boosey & Co. The US had its own companies. They not only put out sheet music, but books on dance instruction. If you lived in the US, UK and European music and dance was marketed to you, and in the UK, America and European music and dance was marketed to you. They all had access to the same music, dance moves, fashion, hair-styles, shoe styles, clothing styles, you name it.

    The Sally Ann band system was only one system. If you've ever played in a Sally Ann band, you will know what kind of arrangements they have. The Sally Ann plays from part books. They have their own system. They have no set band size. The British Brass Band system is a different system entirely. I can't recall the exact lineup off the top of my head, but it's something like 2 Bb basses, 2 Eb basses, 2 baritones, 1 euphonium, 3 Eb tenor horns, 3 trombones, 9 cornets, 1 Eb soprano cornet, 1 flugelhorn, and 1 repiano cornet, plus percussion. The American brass band tradition has a different number of players, which I can't remember off the top of my head.

    So no, there wasn't a British-brass band craze in the US. The Americans had their own Sally Ann bands, but no one thought of them as "British", any more than the Brits thought of Besson cornets as being French. There was a world-wide band craze, but it was homogenous. Plenty of British bands were playing American music, right from the beginning. They were playing music from all over Europe, too.

    You really need to get out more. Or get yourself a cat.
     

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