I think that the word blend is more of a curse than a musical direction.
I am also sure that most people using that word are not sure what it takes for a successful "blend".
My definitions: A sound blend is two or more players playing with such synergy and commonality that a maximum of useful resultant tones are created.
A musical blend is a complementary style of playing that results in a product greater than the sum of the individual achievments.
1) There is more difference between two human beings playing than any hardware could generate
2) most modern symphony orchestra trumpet sections have Bb AND C trumpets in the same section with completely different basic sound characteristics, especially when playing dynamics like crescendos.
3) there are many excellent examples of mixed sections with great sound
I only know of one exception: The Stockholm Chamber Brass with its founding members. On trumpet: Urban and Joakim Agnas, brothers with matching Monette trumpets and mouthpieces. Check out their Ewald quintet recordings (or anything else for that matter). There is no greater "resonant" acoustic and musical blending than this! If you like more modern music check their rendition of Laudes composed by Jan Bach - a jaw dropper!
In a big band setting, the average difference in mouthpiece sizes creates a greater difference in sound than between a Bach and a Monette for instance.
One thing is for sure, there are a lot of closed minds when it comes to Monette equipment. I've played them successfully for so many years in so many different settings, I do not understand why certain people try to disqualify it.
Last edited by rowuk; 01-21-2007 at 07:06 PM. Reason: sp.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
A little off topic:
I was playing with a wind band last week and we played a piece where I had a lot of solo stuff above high G and going up to D (on a B flat trumpet) and I had my C trumpet so I used it.
After the rehearsal a tuba player came up to me and said, " You have such a beautiful sound on your B flat trumpet and then you switch to the C and you just sound like the rest of them." He went on to tell me about my big fat sound on the B flat and the thinner sound on the C.
Same player and same brand trumpet but a different sound.
I'm not sure how this is related but somewhere in there ; there's a moral to the story.
I agree with much of what's been said here. I never understood why sections felt like they all needed to use the same horns, mutes, etc... Do these people think that every human has the same oral cavity, lung capacity and dental structure? Until then, I think that if two guys are sitting next to each other and one decides to use a Tom Crown while the other one plays a JoRal, the sun will still rise the next day. Blending has much more to do with peoples ears, and less to do with things that have the same stamp or sticker on them!
A friend of mine was trying a Monette XLT (from Thompson Music, I believe) and was nice enough to let me take it to a recording session. Man, did that thing play great! Beautiful sound, great pitch, the whole deal!
I have played many different brands and just about two years ago came to the realization, I sound like me. The horn has some physical reason for sounding the way it does, but with the same key and the same basic size air column, you are the one making the sound. Therefore, any instrument should be able to blend.
I do not own a Monette, but in college played one very regularly for some time. It was a great horn but I cannot get over the price. I think we all need to try and cultivate our sound and make it as musical as possible. If this happened, we could all blend and create music. (man, sounds like a sappy commercial)
Well, it brought a tear to MY eye... but, then, so do AT&T commercials.
Thanks Manny, I think
What's all this talk about blend and beauty and such? Monettes are the ultimate violist wasting horn -- if I had one I'd have a few more shrunken heads in my case! (And yeah, most of the old Chicago models could be played with conventional mouthpieces, the 1 1/4 C being Dave's reccomendation.)
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
Apparently, you haven't met any violists! : )
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