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C vs Bb trumpet



 
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Fig
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:17 am    Post subject: C vs Bb trumpet Reply with quote

I'm curious about modern orchestral practice. I think there are differences geographically, but I wonder if in the US the practice of using C for everything has changed at all. If Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin wrote their pieces for Bb trumpet-do some orchestral trumpet sections use Bb to play those pieces? I'd love to know what the current practice is-and-is it typically the conductor's choice?
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Didymus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:46 am    Post subject: Count Me In Reply with quote

I also would like to know what the approach is in deciding when to play Bb trumpet or when to play C trumpet. Over the years I have read quite a few comments from professional orchestral trumpeters who say they frame the question as, "Best tool for the job?" but that is only addressing it broadly. I also read quite a few of them say that it would be foolish to abandon using the Bb for anything..... they seem to use Bb trumpet for quite a bit of repertoire.
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least one of the times I saw the San Diego Symphony perform Bernstein's West Side Story Symphonic Dances, they played Bb trumpets.
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jengstrom
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: Count Me In Reply with quote

Didymus wrote:
I also would like to know what the approach is in deciding when to play Bb trumpet or when to play C trumpet. Over the years I have read quite a few comments from professional orchestral trumpeters who say they frame the question as, "Best tool for the job?" but that is only addressing it broadly. I also read quite a few of them say that it would be foolish to abandon using the Bb for anything..... they seem to use Bb trumpet for quite a bit of repertoire.


There are many cases where fingerings and slurs between partials might make one or the other more convenient to use. There are also cases (Carmen, for example) where the music goes so low you have to use a Bb.

And there are other cases still, where a player might simply have a preference for one or the other and that opinion might differ from someone else's. For example, I happen to think that Fanfare for the Common Man sits really nice on the C. Others might strongly disagree.

John
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Athos
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Best tool for the job" may seem broad, but it's how I approach the decision every time, case by case. For me, the B-flat is rarely the best tool for the job unless there are range considerations, but even that I would consider case by case. Try it with each instrument, assess which is going to help you most to achieve the sound in your head.
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GordonH
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the UK. I bought a C trumpet in 1988. None of my friends had seen one before. These days C trumpet is taught in our local music colleges. I think its the influence of certain players who have taught people from here.

British orchestras used slide trumpets well into the 18th century and most then went to big F valve trumpets with crooks. We got the Bb because the cornet was in Bb basically. Some of the early Bb trumpets had fake tubing to make them look like F trumpets.

I prefer Bb trumpet as I think it adds colour to the sound, there is greater intonational security, and it has the ability to go down to a bottom F if you put the third slide out. Some of that is going to be down to familiarity of course. Transposing onto a Bb is generally more difficult if you hit something in lots of sharps.

I did play a 4 valve Eb trumpet for a few years and this had a lot of benefits. This was a trend here for a while but it seems to be giving way to the C trumpet.
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