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The Most Terrifying Words


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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:19 am    Post subject: The Most Terrifying Words Reply with quote

After I've played - and enjoyed playing - Jay Lichtman's rendition of Concone's Vocalises my eyes return to the top of the page and I cringe as I see:

Trumpet in A, Bb, B, C, D, Eb, E & F.

That's like instructing me to drive the green and putt out in two.

Where to begin to figure this out?

I majored in a lot of stuff I don't use anymore, not music.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a story about someone playing a circus gig. The tempo is insane and the key is in 7 flats. The player barely has time to turn the page and the next section is in 7 sharps. Someone has penciled in, "Don't give up your day gig!"
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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american boy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the serious side,I would start with playing them first in C and get used to doing that,then move to D..Those are the usual transposition challenges we have to face,although the others do show up on occasion of course;
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't it mean for trumpets pitched in those keys?
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
There's a story about someone playing a circus gig. The tempo is insane and the key is in 7 flats. The player barely has time to turn the page and the next section is in 7 sharps. Someone has penciled in, "Don't give up your day gig!"

I've done gobs of musical theater AND I play piano so I no longer shrink in horror at the notorious key signatures. Bring it on. Except for the one I saw that had EIGHT flats. That's right,...a double flat in the key signature. And in alto clef no less. Then again, I may have been hallucinating.

Transposition? I still reserve the right to shrink in horror at all but the simplest of them. Ever try to sight-read french horns parts? I really really hate that one.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in a pit band for My Fair Lady playing french horn. They handed me the french horn, trombone and cello books and said play what makes sense. I took them home and tried to combine them into a coherent one. And yes, the dreaded six flats to six sharps and back again. Crazy. Thankfully most of the time, the french horn part was the most important.
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Where to begin to figure this out?


One way to do that is to think of the scale that your instrument is keyed in. If it is a Bb trumpet, see where the "play in A, Bb, C, D..." fall on the Bb scale. That's how many steps you need to transpose each note.

So, If you are on Bb and need to "Play in A" you need to play every note down a half step." If it says play in C you need to transpose every note up a full step. Play in D would mean play up a major third...in F would be up a fifth.

Start with really easy material like Getchell's First Book of Practical Studies, Hering's 50 Recreational Studies. Also, I think you'll find it easiest to stick with a single key for a while. So, play the first 10 etudes in the key of C before you start learning them in D, etc.

Have fun!
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learn to read various clefs and adjust the accidentals.

Bass clef can be used to read parts up a major or minor third. Arban in bass clef or the Rochut etudes would be good for learning this clef.

Alto clef can be used to read parts up a whole (or half) step.

Tenor clef can be used to read parts down a whole (or half) step.

Reginald Fink wrote two books, Introducing the Tenor Clef and Introducing the Alto Clef. Those are good, simple books recommended to me by a local college professor (probably the best trombonist I've ever heard). He recommended those because they are smoother gradient than Blazhevich and more melody-oriented.

Soprano clef can be used to read parts down a third.

I found a set of etudes in soprano clef but they don't seem to be online anymore. PM me your email and I can forward them to you.

There are also mezzo-soprano and baritone clefs, but I haven't been able to locate any material in these clefs.
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Vin DiBona
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems many of you have not sat in a pit playing Broadway musicals. They wrote in keys for voices, not the folks in the pits. Constant changes and what is really horrible is if you are told the singer needs to be in a different key than what was written.
Opera trumpeters are constantly watching for changes for trumpet in D from what was trumpet in A and other quick changes.
It is an art and necessary and why many opera players use C trumpets.

R. Tomasek
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american boy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vin Dibona; Yes, on Broadway shows in NYC anyway, the arranger will of course put the songs in the right key for whoever the singer will be on their features; However, when an understudy comes in there will usually be a transposed chart on your stand..and sometimes they will even call a rehearsal to run thru that chart..I remember one time being called in for a rehearsal and the trumpets had a tacit sheet(a transposed tacit sheet lol) ..I can think of only 3 times when we were asked to transpose on the fly on Broadway anyway.
I have had to do that however, playing regional theater and college productions.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done enough community theater to have been provided a transposition in advance, had to do my own transposition during or after the first rehearsal, and been told on the day of performance that a key had been changed. And there's always the singers that wander off the written key during a performance.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
Doesn't it mean for trumpets pitched in those keys?

Actually, no. There's a lot of relative info on this thread from March 2018:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1532396#1532396
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:
Richard III wrote:
Doesn't it mean for trumpets pitched in those keys?

Actually, no. There's a lot of relative info on this thread from March 2018:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1532396#1532396


That thread was largely about Mahler and why certain transpositions were used in his compositions.

The point of the Concone etudes in question (and other transposition etudes) is to gain the skill of transposing into different keys by sight, as if reading a piece of music that was written for a different key of trumpet. Another use for this skill is as Vin DiBona pointed out, performing with musicians who need a different key.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: The Most Terrifying Words Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
After I've played - and enjoyed playing - Jay Lichtman's rendition of Concone's Vocalises my eyes return to the top of the page and I cringe as I see:

Trumpet in A, Bb, B, C, D, Eb, E & F.

That's like instructing me to drive the green and putt out in two.

Where to begin to figure this out?

I majored in a lot of stuff I Learning transposition bettdon't use anymore, not music.


Kind of a negative way of looking at the matter isnt it? One of the worst ways to approach a new challenge is to go all negative beforehand. When this bummer attitude takes hold it not only slows down the learning process but makes each challenge ever more difficult. So start practicing OPTIMISM first. Even before you begin these transposition exercises.

Like just for starters I'd refrain from making that daunting comparison to holing out around the green. Instead would substitute this thought,

''Once my transposition gets smoother my ability to understand music will greatly improve my capacity to produce superior results''. Or,

''Improving my transposition will greatly improve my Jazz improvisation''.

''Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. And? Don't mess with Mister In-Between''.

I started transposing those etudes in the Clarke Tech Studies for Cornet back in 2003. A few months later I felt a lot more comfortable when the Jazz folder or 2nd Trumpet book was put in my face. This surprised me greatly. Because other than learning to tighten up my transposition? I really hadn't been working on my jazz skills at all.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tpt_Guy wrote:
dstpt wrote:
Richard III wrote:
Doesn't it mean for trumpets pitched in those keys?

Actually, no. There's a lot of relative info on this thread from March 2018:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1532396#1532396


That thread was largely about Mahler and why certain transpositions were used in his compositions.

The point of the Concone etudes in question (and other transposition etudes) is to gain the skill of transposing into different keys by sight, as if reading a piece of music that was written for a different key of trumpet. Another use for this skill is as Vin DiBona pointed out, performing with musicians who need a different key.

Right. The "relative info" from the Mahler thread is in response to the notion that transposition was designed for trumpets pitched in those keys, and that Mahler thread pointed out how he freely moved back and forth between the transpositions of F & Bb, where it would never be practical for a player to actually switch between those two insts. So in response to Richard III's statement, the answer would be, "no," and that thread hits on relative support to that response. For those of us who have orchestral training, and not just classical trumpet instruction, we are/were challenged weekly to prepare etudes and orchestral passages that require transposition. For those who've never formally had this training, it can be mind-boggling to figure out where to start...or why transposition is even printed in a book. It has to do with the history of the trumpet (and horn) prior to the invention of valves (1810s) and how music was traditionally written for these two brass instruments. In the brass family, trombones have always been able to play in any key; tuba and euphonium were invented in the 1830s and 1840s, respectively (and even though tubas can be found in different keys, they are not considered transposing instruments...the players just learn "different fingerings!"); but horn and trumpet have a rich history that goes back into antiquity, way before the invention of valves. The reasons for transposition studies has its roots in the history of our instrument and how composers wrote for the instrument. Transposition can be just as much a mystery for players without this training as it is for orchestral players trying to figure out how jazz players ever learn to improv over chord changes...both skill sets require special training and time to learn.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 8:41 pm    Post subject: Famous last words Reply with quote

Wow, remembering learning transposition. In h.s. I got C, D, and a little in A. It used to twist my mind completely, but my teachers would calm me down. One of the commentors made a golf comment, and as far as transposition goes my comment would be what my brother always told me on the golf course, "your still away!"
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thesplitmeister
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember learning to transpose and also teach it regularly. I’m very glad my teacher was brilliant and showed me a systematic and measured approach as I’ve seen many people really struggle with this.
First, note the key of your trumpet and the the key you’re required to play in. For example if you’re playing a Bb trumpet and are asked to play in A then you need you trumpet to go down half a step to line up. In you play a C trumpet the your C is a minor third too high and so you need to go down a minor third. Think of this being like cracking the Enigma code, once you have a link then half the battles done!! Next, and crucially most important to 90% of music we need to transpose is to transpose the key signature FIRST. Referring back to our examples, if you are playing on a Bb trumpet, a piece of music in E major, and are required to transpose trumpet in A you need to lower the pitch a half step and so the new key signature is Eb major. Similarly if you’re in a C trumpet, same key for the piece, same transposition you now have a piece in C# major (ouch). One you know what key you’re in you’re not individually transposing each note, you know that if there are no accidentals then the note you’re meant to play MUST be in the new key signature. Do all this, read ahead, click the accidentals before the arrive and transpose them and now you have a system to approach transposition, just follow the shape of the lines you want to play. The more you do it the easier it gets so really attack it early on and see the benefits later. I hope that helps.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone. Very helpful in the same way that a parachute would help if I had to bail out of a fighter plane. The trip would still be a challenge.
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Irving
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are just starting out with transposition, try transposing a simple C major scale. Look at the scale when you are transposing to C, which puts you in 2 sharps, if you are holding a Bb trumpet. Trumpet in D puts you in four sharps. Look at that same C major scale, and transpose into all of the keys. That's all it is. It is easy with a scale because you can hear all of the notes easily in your mind. You can move on to simple tunes that you know. Many people transpose note to note without really hearing the tune or line. That actually makes it more difficult. Transposing will improve your ear. You won't be wasting your time practicing transposition.
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