Joined: 14 Aug 2009 Posts: 260 Location: Charlotte, NC
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 2:48 pm Post subject: C Piccolo Trumpet
I hope you are all having a wonderful spring! In the video I released today, I talk about the C piccolo trumpet. I tried to cover a lot of different angles, but I'm curious to see what you all think about the subject and if you have anything to add to the discussion! Here are the angles I approached it from -
It seems that C piccolo trumpets are really mostly useful for playing the Brandenburg concerto, and not much else. There are a variety of ways C piccolos can help make the Brandenburg easier - puts it in F major, helps with some trills, better high concert G, and the herald style belled C piccolos move the bell further away which can give you a better sense of balance with the other soloists.
The biggest downside the C piccolo trumpet is that they have very few uses outside of this one piece. Maybe for a few orchestra excerpts like the picc parts in Bolero or the end of Petrouchka, but Bb picc might work just as well for those. While researching for this video, I corresponded with Mr. Ray Mase and asked him a bunch of questions about C piccs, including if he had found other occasions to use a C picc *besides* Brandenburg 2, and he said -
"Not frequently, but I used it on a few contemporary pieces that were just easier to manage than on Bb or A. Also used it on a jingle for Liberty Coins which were issued for the Statue of Liberty renovation and rededication in 1985."
Of course, I immediately set out to find this ad if it still existed and - within minutes - YouTube satisfied. Here is the ad, you can hear Mr. Mase sounding gorgeous on C picc closest to the end.
Also playing in tune on C picc is hard. Lots of soloists use 1+4 for low C since it is such a wide note, as well as a variety of others.
The other thing I talk about is all the different C piccolos available on the market, including -
Yamaha 918, 991, and 9910 C Piccolos
Schilke C5-4 C Piccolo
Egger/Galileo C Piccolo - designed with Reinhold Friedrich!
Spada C Piccolo
Scherzer 8110 C Piccolo
Thein Piston AND Rotary C Piccolos
Kromat C Piccolo - the only 3+1 valve configuration of the bunch
Anyway, I'm very interested to see if I missed anything - I'm always inspired by the depth of knowledge in this community! Here is the video if you feel like checking it out.
Joined: 12 Nov 2001 Posts: 1454 Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:58 pm Post subject: C piccolo
I would love to have a C pic. I realize that it would be great for the Bach pieces, but they are just out of my reach. I run into Brass group arrangements that seem would be appropriate for that horn...Bb or A side seem to have an awkward trill, but a C horn would make it easier. If I had a C pic, I would use it in church at least twice a year for convenience. There lies the reality of thousands of dollars sitting in the closet most of the time...For me. I already have too many horns that sit. _________________ Christian K. Peters
Schilke Loyalist since 1976
Berndt C Meyer in Dresden builds rotary C piccs as well. _________________ 2019 Martin Schmidt eXcellence
1992 Bach 43GH
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15
1980/2023 Franken C incoming soon 😎
1966 Holton Collegiate cornet
AR Resonance pieces
Not having seen the video, I can think of many solo or ensemble pieces where a C Piccolo would be useful from an efficiency standpoint. Many pieces I play go up to a D on a C trumpet and quite frankly, my range can only accommodate that for a 10-15 minute interval during a session. Towards the end of a session even a high C goes away.
Joined: 28 Sep 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Orange County, CA
Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 8:33 am Post subject:
Jens Lindemann talks about using the Yamaha YTR 9910 as well.
I found this quote online.
"The last model in the 3rd generation of “Custom” model piccolos is the YTR-9910. The YTR-9910 replaced the YTR-991 but was the final flowering of the piccolos pitched in high C for Yamaha. It was produced in limited numbers for one year only in 1982. The YTR-9910 was different from its earlier models in that the leadpipe was straight and featured a tuning leadpipe, rather than dropping down in a curve. It also differed in that it was supplied with bell adaptors to allow it to play in the keys of C. Bb and A, unlike the earlier one which were only pitched in C. "
Joined: 02 Jun 2006 Posts: 1007 Location: Salisbury, MD
Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 10:21 am Post subject:
Fun topic. I had my hands on both an older Yamaha and a Scherzer for a while. Then, I bought a used Blackburn. There weren't many Blackburn C piccs made and somebody who collects and plays wanted it really bad so I finally sold it to him. And, what did I do, turn right around and buy a Schilke C5-4.
Each horn has its own merits and challenges. In total, I think I find the Schilke the easiest to play but intonation was easier on the the Blackburn.
It's definitely a specialty horn that isn't needed everyday. _________________ Pat Shaner
Play Wedge Mouthpieces by Dr. Dave exclusively.
Experiment with LOTS of horn makes and models.
Joined: 14 Aug 2009 Posts: 260 Location: Charlotte, NC
Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 12:23 pm Post subject:
Christian K. Peters wrote:
I would love to have a C pic. I realize that it would be great for the Bach pieces, but they are just out of my reach. I run into Brass group arrangements that seem would be appropriate for that horn...Bb or A side seem to have an awkward trill, but a C horn would make it easier. If I had a C pic, I would use it in church at least twice a year for convenience. There lies the reality of thousands of dollars sitting in the closet most of the time...For me. I already have too many horns that sit.
Yeah, it definitely falls into the category of mostly sitting in it's case - but then once in a while it could really save your butt potentially (like the studio thing Ray Mase recorded that I referenced earlier). That said, I definitely don't need 2, and will sell one of my Yamaha C piccs fairly soon.
Berndt C Meyer in Dresden builds rotary C piccs as well.
Oh, excellent! I knew I couldn't have found *all* of them. You're right though, you can even see it on their website.
Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2023 9:29 am Post subject: Re: C Piccolo Trumpet
I was looking at the beautiful videos in the links posted by @JonKaplan, and it brought a very bittersweet feeling.
My house was broken into in May 2022 while we were on vacations. As part of the $50K+ of stuff that was stolen, there was my entire collection of trumpets (except for a piccolo I was traveling with, which escaped the carnage).
As part of that collection, I had a beloved Yamaha YTR-9910, which I used from time to time for the Brandenburg, but also for a bunch of other pieces that I was finding easier with the C piccolo (Vivaldi concerto for two trumpets, Albinoni Concerto a Cinque, etc.). The sound was just strikingly beautiful. Sharp, clear, extremely bright.
For those of you wanting some pics, here are a couple:
Of course, if anyone sees a YTR-9910 for sale, please let me know!
I've started "rebuilding the herd", but it's quite slow going. It took months to get a new Stradivarius in C. And more months for a Bach 189 (apparently they now make them by order only). I might not replace some of the other trumpets, as I was playing them quite rarely. But trying to get a new YTR-9910 is proving near impossible.
Any advice? (Or another piccolo in C)?
Jon Kaplan wrote:
I hope you are all having a wonderful spring! In the video I released today, I talk about the C piccolo trumpet.
That is really sad to hear about you losing your trumpet collection like that.
Good luck with "rebuilding the herd"!
As for C-Piccolos, if you cannot get one or do not want to pay an extravagant sum for it, how about a budget G?
I was looking for a "high" trumpet for the C-Major stuff (Vivaldi, some Bach, Handel, Eberlin and maybe even Mozart Masses). In the end I found a used Yamaha YTR-6810 Piccolo and had my trumpet builder/repair tech convert it to the key of G. He did so by adding a standard tuning slide (where it would be on a “big” Bb), which seemed to improve the tone stability and sound as well. We did not want to cut off and replace the 2nd valve loop, so the notes a and e are quite sharp with valves 1+2, but since 99% percent of the music played would be in concert pitch C Major (F Major on the trumpet), we set the third slide to be a perfectly tuned a/e. The b and c# even seem to benefit from the shorter loop.
I don't think this setup would work for Brandenburg 2, but then I'll never play that for lack of range (and I still think it's a horn part anyway ... would make so much more musical sense to me).
In the end this cost me about EUR 1500,- (used trumpet + conversion, I chose not to re-lacquer or plate). The sound is still bright, but never piercing and mixes well with a C Trumpet on 2nd.
I am trying to set a link to a “before” and an “after” photo and a sound clip. You may have to copy and paste it to your browser.
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