At Monette, it is our company mission to explore the relationship between the player, the mouthpiece, the instrument, the rooms one plays in, and the audience. We improve the connection between all these elements by making the highest-quality, most resonant brass instruments and mouthpieces possible. We believe music is communication, and our job is to enable that communication to happen with freedom, ease, and joy.
Pitch Center, Body Use, and Resonance
Resonance: The enriching and intensification of a musical tone by related supplementary vibration that is either sympathetically or mechanically induced.
The Real Instrument
It is fundamental to our approach that the player is always the real “instrument,” and that the metal forms we design and fabricate can only amplify what the player puts into them. Instruments and mouthpieces don’t have sounds, players do. With this thought in mind, we present this section of our guide, which is designed to explore the relationship and interaction between all the elements that make up musical performance.
A Holistic Approach
At Monette Corporation, we consider all the elements of performance as a communication system. The player, the mouthpiece, the instrument, the performance room, and the audience all interact. If any of the above elements change, one or more other elements must also change in order to maintain a consistent musical product. Attempting an objective overview of how these elements interact as you make music is the key for us in making improved equipment, and it is also the key for players to be able to make informed, long-term decisions about what equipment may suit their needs. To gain a better understanding of how we interact with our equipment, let us start with a definition of terms.
The term pitch center refers to the amount of resonance a player experiences in performance. More specifically, it is the position and the quality of “notch” or “slot” and therefore the amount of vibrancy and resonance one can feel and hear on any given note when playing.
The subjective pitch center is the pitch placement on any given note at any given dynamic level where the player feels the most focus and stability of response. Although this placement usually feels most comfortable to the player, it will not always allow him to produce the best quality of sound or experience the best intonation.
The objective pitch center is the placement of any given note that provides constant pitch, focus, and resistance throughout the dynamic range. Unless the objective pitch center aligns with the subjective pitch center, sound, response, intonation, and endurance all suffer. On conventional equipment, this alignment is close on only one or two partials in the overtone series, usually in the middle register.
The true or optimum pitch center is realized when the subjective and objective pitch centers are the same throughout the dynamic range and register. This placement provides a more complete and balanced spectrum of overtones, allowing the performer to realize a sound that is full and rich with maximum projection and a more immediate and stable response, offering the widest range of timbre. Moreover, this increased resonance in the equipment allows the player to be more relaxed and physically open, promoting a more intimate connection between player and instrument and between performer and listener.