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Explaining Franquin's method



 
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:53 am    Post subject: Explaining Franquin's method Reply with quote

I came across this paper on Merri Franquin, by Geoffrey Shamu, which explains a turning point in the evolution of trumpets in the late 1800s and early 1900s, how Merri Franquin addressed this with his trumpet method book, and how this led him to work with trumpet makers to develop and patent new instruments.

I've been a fan of the Franquin method since I started working with it a year or so ago. But I didn't know the back-story about why he developed his approach to learning to play the trumpet and how it differs from other methods intended to develop cornet soloists.

This paper explains it in an interesting and informative way. And it's not just a historical footnote—many of Franquin's ideas are still relevant today. For example, I was struck by the similarities between Franquin's ideas about using air, and his sound concept, and the ideas promoted by Jim Pandolfi in his recent Brass Chats video interview. Kindred spirits!

If you're a fan of the Franquin method and want to learn more about it, you'll enjoy reading this. If you've been thinking about getting his method, this paper will help you understand what it's all about.
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trpt.hick
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maurice André was a big fan of Franquin's method.
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trombino
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the article very interesting. As a disciple of Arban and St. Jacome, I am a newcomer to the Franquin book. It seems that all anyone talks about is the ppp half note response exercises. Can anyone enlighten me on the Other red meat material in the book. I need for Eric Bolvin to do a Franquin Manual.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the eye-opener that I learned from Shamu's paper: Franquin made a big deal about sound production exercises because embouchure response is more difficult on the trumpet than it is on the cornet (yes, even back then). That's why you don't see these exercises in Arban, for example--it isn't an issue on the cornet.

Trumpeters also had a bad reputation for clamming so many notes, more so than cornet players, even back then.

These trumpet shortcomings made it seem that the cornet might replace the trumpet, even in orchestras.

Franquin set out to save the trumpet, which he thought had a more noble, heroic sound that orchestral composers wanted. His method was designed to address many of the weaknesses that were widespread among trumpet players and were not addressed by the cornet methods: unreliable initial embouchure response; a harsh, blaring, aggressive sound; lots of missed notes, especially up high; difficulty transposing into different keys; and inadequate stamina to play the high trumpet parts that were being programmed more often because of the baroque music revival and late romantic works.

If a trumpeter wants to learn to play from a cornet method like Arban, one has to supplement it with material from other sources like Irons, Sachse, Shuebruk Lip Trainers, Top Tones, etc. to address the trumpet issues that Arban and other cornet soloists didn't have to worry about. Franquin included material to cover such topics in his method, before most of these other books were written.

As far as how to use the Franquin method, he suggested lesson plans for daily practice in the front of the book, including schedules for one hour of work, 2 hours, 3 hours, or 4 hours of daily practice. He even prescribed rest periods to avoid grinding down the chops while trying to play the more taxing exercises. He also provided a list of 30 tips for learning the trumpet properly. Lots of documentation in his method.
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