Why do people try to sound dark?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Brass_of_all_Trades, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    very interesting remarks here on page 12 by rowuk. listen to the franck d minor symphony on the thread "franck and the missing cornets" here on TM. this was a concert done on original romantic instruments. whether they are "original originals" or reproductions of those instruments doesnt matter. this was my first experience listening to an orchestra with the low F trumpets, as well as the A cornets, and other brass to match, and i found it to be a revelation. there is a transparency to the sound of the orchestra playing a tutti fortissimo that i have never heard before. the brass sound is certainly not devoid of volume or brilliance, but one can hear all the instruments in the orchestra-clearly-all the time. i thought it to be truly remarkable.
     
  2. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    i'm sorry, i was called away before i finished my last post. (121) as i have confessed before, i am actually a professional string player and a trumpet hobbyist. over the course of a career lasting over 40 years, i have accepted the convential century-old assumption that in late romantic pieces, (and in my line of work, that's strauss and wagner, primarily,) when the brass was playing fortissimo, the string parts would not, and could not, be clearly heard, and that this was actually the composer's intention, the composer's fault, or at the very least, unavoidable. i find myself seriously questioning that assumption now. i would like to hear an opera like ELEKTRA or SALOME played by these instruments, and possibly hear all the parts that were written, and without the brass taking the fortissimos down to mezzo something in order to accomplish it. it strikes me as completely mind-blowing that perhaps the sound of the modern symphony orchestra has evolved to be something considerably less rich and varied than the composers intended it to be.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    This is exactly what I am talking about. When the timbre is correct, we do not have this masking effect. That is why Beethoven to Tschaikowsky can write FFFF in a trumpet part and not have it mean "waste the viola section". Christopher Hogwoods Beethoven symphony series is a good start here. Vienna and Richard Strauss are also good examples. There is a Concertgebouw/Death and Transfiguration from 1941 that is incredible in terms of balance and playing.

    I am not aware of a historically informed Electra.

     
  4. And3

    And3 Pianissimo User

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  5. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

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  6. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    And not the smart ones, either!
     
  7. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Hi Seth,

    thinking back on this post, I wonder if instead of asking for youtube clips which demonstrate "dark" or "bright" or whatever, we post clips are ask the TM community to vote/provide opinions on each one and hopefully that way see if there is a consensus of opinion.

    Regards,
    --bumblebee
     
  8. Smrtn

    Smrtn Pianissimo User

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    Maybe I'm naive, so let me know if I am, but isn't 'dark' or 'bright' simply a term used to describe the sonic quality of a particular tone? And if so, any trumpet can sound dark or bright depending on how it's played. Is that right?
     
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    I wish I knew. I thought I knew what I thought, but sometimes I think I don't get it.

    And for your second question: I am fairly sure any trumpet can sound bright or dark depending on how it's played, who's playing it, which mouthpiece they're using etc. Perhaps some trumpets make one style or another easier, and there are theories/opinions about this too. Some TMers will tell you which horn works which way, other TMers will point you to a youtube clip of Arturo Sandoval demonstrating different styles using the same horn/mouthpiece combination.

    --bumblebee
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, the lack of a common language for describing "tone" is the real problem. Many here only want to talk about frequency response. In that case it is not bright or dark, it is edgy to dull. What makes a tone "sensual", non-aggressive, dark, but still alive, is the attitude and intention of the player. Without this musical skill, we manouver our playing to "dead".

    I could really care less if someone buys a Bach 1A mouthpiece and goes on line claiming that its darkness saved his first born son - after a unicorn peed on it. If hardware is someones solution, then I know all about their real level of playing that I need to know. If out of their style of playing, additional colors become necessary, then they do not go on line with a yellow stained mouthpiece.

    Trumpets don't sound. The players do. Many are not physically, mentally or musically capable of changing tone.
     

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