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Trumpet Discussion Discuss 'Multi-horn' section in the General forums; Manny, I've heard that in some orchestral trpt sections that sometimes the 3rd or 4th players will use Bb trpt ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    'Multi-horn' section


    I've heard that in some orchestral trpt sections that sometimes the 3rd or 4th players will use Bb trpt instead of C for certain pieces. Particularly on Mahler or something along those lines. Is this true? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?

    "Take care of your fundamentals and your fundamentals will take care of you"

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  2. #2
    Utimate User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    I think that trend is seen less these days because of the addiction to C trumpets people have these days in this country but in the old days there were several section with mixed marriages. There were many 2nd players like David Zauder in Cleveland, Nat Prager in The NY Phil, Seymour Rosenfeld in Philadelphia that used the Bb. My first trumpet teacher, Jimmy Smith played 4th on the Bb. When the Lahti Symphony came through on tour from Finland, it was a mixed section. Great Britain is a great example of where they use the Bb extensively. When I played the Verdi Requiem 30 years ago with the orchestra of La Scala Opera, they all used Bb trumpets. Mel Broiles and Harry Peers went back and forth between Bb and C.

    Today there's a greater tendency to use the C because the Bb's people use are so big now, they're harder to handle and folks find the C more dependable. If I were going to use a Bb exclusively in orchestra I'd probably opt for a smaller blowing horn. It would still be plenty of sound but a different one from a small C trumpet.

    I like the Bb and if Bob announced tomorrow that he was going to play one from now on I'd be fine with it.


  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Also, some 3rd and 4th parts have notes that are below the working range of the C trumpet (low concert E and F). You can honk those pedal tones out on a C, but it usually sounds better on a Bb. And with Heldenleben and Carmen, you have low concert Eb's, which can be difficult to get in tune even on the Bb.

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