When is a tone considered spread and is that a bad thing.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    okay I will try to make this concise..
    I am practicing this piece by Mozart for my post here on TM ...
    It's range is pretty much on the staff .. so in context of "legit" music keep the corners in for a nice round sound. Which I can do through out the piece. When I accent a few spots the bell gets a litle sizzle, something I really do like but I am not sure if that is considered "spreading the tone" and not characteristic of a classical piece.
    If I was playing lead in a Jazz Band then I typically let it rip and sizzle away.
    My question is:
    Is there a difference in getting that sizzle and spreading the tone.
    Is it appropraite to let the horn sizzle on attacks in clasical music
    all comments are welcome :D
  2. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    I'm not sure what your thought of spreading the tone is. I don't know if you mean blending with the other instruments or having a diffused sound. Neither of these would be the same as "sizzle". A diffused sound is like filling a jug with water by letting the water touch the sides of the opening and run down the insides of the jug. The jug gets filled by the whole inside of the jug being covered. A non diffused or sizzle would be like filling the jug by putting your thumb over the end of the hose and spraying a tight stream of water hitting the bottom of the jug. Both sounds are impressive when properly used. A diffused sound has a lot to do with the shape of the bell. A fast taper and large bell will diffuse the sound. As far as sizzle in classical music I think if you are soloing and building the tension of the movement to a crescendo it would be fine. Just don't over blow so you get a blatty sound.
    If by sizzle you mean that vibrating feed back feel you get in your hands and lips when you hit the sweet spots that is different. That is something you feel more than is heard. And it feels great!
    I look forward to hearing the piece you are preparing.
    Good Luck,
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    In my opinion you're over-analyzing. Just play the piece so that it sounds good to you.

    There are countless ways you could nuance your attacks, dynamics, phrasing, etc. Do what you think sounds best to you.

    You'll get LOTS of feedback (probably contradictory) if you post a clip on an open forum like this, so trying to shape it first so that everyone will like it is an exercise in futility.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    for me, spread means no focus or little "core" to the sound. It sounds weak and that is ALWAYS bad. A bit of sizzle can be VERY effective. If you listen to the hysterically correct readings by leading "period" orchestras, you will discover a VERY wide palette of colors. Just go for it - but don't sound weak and out of focus!
  5. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    In my experience, you hear about the evils of "spread tone" most frequently from Jerry Callet followers. It seems that a lot of players I personally like the sounds of have "spread sounds," when listened to with Callet-trained ears.

    I think I'm happier with my untrained ears.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    perfect.. thanks guys
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    For me, the "spread" sound happens when the lips are too far apart, and as Robin mentioned, we lose focus--great maybe for 'Round Midnight, but not real good for most chamber music or orchestral works.

    As for "sizzle" (or "zing" as I prefer to put it) there are plenty of places in the orchestral literature that beg for it. My experience has been that if we play dynamics the way the conductor wants, we will get tacit permission to break out the box and scare people at the right moments. My favorite is in the Bach Third Suite, where the trumpets come out of nowhere ("doo-wah-doo-wah-doo-wah-dat") leading up to a concert "d" above the staff. A crescendo from nothing to pegging the high "d" adds energy to the movement and makes violists jump in their chairs. Fun stuff, and have never had a conductor complain.

    The concept is that we can be the energizers to the orchestra. Most of the time conductors want to hear the attack and have us disappear, but on occasion we get to quit being Clark Kent and get to turn into Superman. Listening to recordings mark those moments when the brass get to take over. For example take a listen to "Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations (Elgar's publisher was named Jaeger ["Hunter" in German, therefore "Nimrod" {great hunter} as a title.] ) Jaeger would drink wine with Elgar, step outside to admire the stars and talk of the great slow movements of Beethoven string quartets. This was Elgar's musical response. Don't know why the space-ships are in the video, but one can hear how the brass come out of nowhere, take over, and disappear.

    Part of our craft is knowing when to do this.
    YouTube - Edward Elgar - Nimrod (HQ)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    very cool .. thanks Vulgano

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