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The Trumpet

The Trumpet

John Wallace
Alexander McGrattan
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    The Trumpet
    Book Description:

    In the first major book devoted to the trumpet in more than two decades, John Wallace and Alexander McGrattan trace the surprising evolution and colorful performance history of one of the world's oldest instruments. They chart the introduction of the trumpet and its family into art music, and its rise to prominence as a solo instrument, from the Baroque "golden age," through the advent of valved brass instruments in the nineteenth century, and the trumpet's renaissance in the jazz age. The authors offer abundant insights into the trumpet's repertoire, with detailed analyses of works by Haydn, Handel, and Bach, and fresh material on the importance of jazz and influential jazz trumpeters for the reemergence of the trumpet as a solo instrument in classical music today.

    Wallace and McGrattan draw on deep research, lifetimes of experience in performing and teaching the trumpet in its various forms, and numerous interviews to illuminate the trumpet's history, music, and players. Copiously illustrated with photographs, facsimiles, and music examples throughout,The Trumpetwill enlighten and fascinate all performers and enthusiasts.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-17816-6
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-ix)
  3. List of illustrations, music examples and tables
    (pp. x-xiv)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

    It is a great privilege and pleasure to introduce this most necessary and inspiring book on the history of the trumpet, by two of its foremost exponents. As I shall explain, I have had a positive, but at times tortuous and chequered relationship with the trumpet world, and feel I must join John Wallace and Alexander McGrattan in encouraging stimulus, experimentation, change and transformation concerning any received ideas as to what the trumpet IS: its world is always in a state of metamorphosis, towards circumstances beyond our imaginings, as this book proves, over and over again. Perhaps I should apologise...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Trumpets have been made of many different materials, in many shapes and sizes, and numerous extinct subspecies, distant cousins, and aboriginal survivors permeate its family tree. Through their ability to project a sustained sound over a wide distance, trumpets fashioned from materials at hand were adopted by most ancient societies for signaling purposes. The trumpet’s identity and cultural significance often transcended its utilitarian function by serving as a marker of status and power in belief systems and their consequent ceremony. As Don Smithers remarked in his seminal study on the baroque trumpet, ‘the trumpet is more than a musical instrument:...

  8. Chapter 1 The trumpet in the ancient and non-Western world
    (pp. 5-35)

    The trumpet is a remarkably universal instrument. Evidence from social anthropology and ethnomusicology points to religious and sacred use of trumpets by primitive social organizations stretching back enduringly into prehistory. Human beings fashioned trumpets from any suitable local elements from the earliest times. Extant primitive societies indicate what human ingenuity can achieve with materials like wood and bark, bamboo, gourds, crustacean shells, and mammal horns. The horns of wild or domesticated animals can be crafted into simple trumpets by hollowing out the core with a heated stick. Conch shells can be dried and bored with a blow-hole. Tree-branches can be...

  9. Chapter 2 The trumpet: definition, manufacture and technique
    (pp. 36-63)

    The trumpet is a lip-vibrated wind instrument which amplifies sounds generated by a sequence of actions in the player’s body and communicates them through sound waves. At the simplest level, these sounds convey a signal and at the highest level they are organised into music. The lips of the player are central to this sound generation. They form the membrane which vibrates in the air blown from the lungs of the player to form standing waves within the instrument and sound waves without.

    The twice-folded metal trumpet, which by the early sixteenth century was the standard instrument for military and...

  10. Chapter 3 The trumpet in Europe and its environs to 1600
    (pp. 64-92)

    This chapter spans a period of more than a thousand years, from the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in the fifth century until the end of the sixteenth century. What is known about the trumpet, its players and its music during this era has to be pieced together from iconography, archival and literary references, correspondence and miscellaneous ephemera. The larger European context, historically and economically, is important to the manner in which the trumpet, as part of music-making generally, developed. The growth of Europe after 900—1000 led to increasing wealth and population, trade in manufactures, the...

  11. Chapter 4 The art of the trumpet player in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (pp. 93-116)

    The development of the trumpet in the seventeenth through to the early nineteenth century was affected by many interlinked factors of which three are prominent: societal change, evolutions in musical style, and developing technology. These changes, evolutions and developments happened on different, though overlapping time scales. Changes in fashion are constant, but superficial — deeper societal change is slower moving and often happens within a longer time frame than centuries. The daily culture of ordinary people — their behavior and habits — is deeply ingrained and impervious to passing trends. The new ideas and philosophies of the Renaissance and the...

  12. Chapter 5 Italy and the imperial court at Vienna in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (pp. 117-138)

    Whereas the trumpet was introduced into concerted music in Germany through the insertion of short, essentially self-contained, ensemble pieces in the Italian style, it was the instrument’s solo idiom, as demonstrated by Fantini, that influenced its introduction into art music in Italy. The Toccata from Monteverdi’sOrfeomay be representative of the type of instrumental piece performed to announce the commencement of the most lavish dramatic performances, but most early seventeenth-century operas were more intimate affairs, for which a small ensemble of strings augmented the continuo group for introductory sinfonias and ritornelli. From early in the seventeenth century, military or...

  13. Chapter 6 Germany in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the trumpet writing of Handel, Telemann and Bach
    (pp. 139-161)

    The importance of Germany and Austria to the development of trumpet playing in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was highlighted in Chapters 4 and 5 , with the discussion of the Imperial Guild of Trumpeters and Kettledrummers and the use of the trumpet by composers in Leipzig and at the Imperial court at Vienna. In this chapter we will consider the traditions of trumpet playing and the styles of writing for the trumpet at other musical centers within the network of more than 300 principalities, ecclesiastical states and municipalities in the German-speaking realm, before assessing the music of Handel, Bach...

  14. Chapter 7 France and Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (pp. 162-176)

    The reputation of French trumpet music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has fared poorly in comparison with other European national styles. Don Smithers’s assertion that there was ‘almost no tradition of “clarino” playing’ in France and that French trumpet writing was ‘in a simpler style than elsewhere in Europe’ was for many years widely accepted.¹ Peter Downey has challenged this view, arguing that the survival of an ‘unprecedented and rich trumpet ensemble repertory’ points to a flourishing tradition of trumpet playing at the French royal court and that the high tessitura and technical demands of much of this repertory...

  15. Chapter 8 The concertos of Haydn and Hummel
    (pp. 177-193)

    Chapter 7 ended with the reappearance of the slide trumpet in England. Another manifestation of the quest to chromaticise the trumpet was the application of keys. The Enlightenment and the Romantic era which followed was an age of inspired individual genius, and it was the Viennese Court trumpeter Anton Weidinger who became the first to explore more fully the chromatic potential of the trumpet. In one short decade he provided the inspiration for the concertos of Haydn and Hummel, and further repertoire by Kozeluch, Weigl and Neukomm.

    In these works, the technique of the chromatic trumpet advanced such a long...

  16. Chapter 9 The trumpet and its players in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    (pp. 194-224)

    The nineteenth century was a century of reform, politically, socially and economically. The Industrial Revolution that drove western economies during this century gave rise to the idea that the environment could be understood, manipulated, and shackled to progress. The period that began with the high ideals and certainties of the American and French revolutions and ended with the First World War featured long periods of stability punctuated by periodic volatility. The growth of democracy, the migration from countryside to town, the revolution in the methods of production and finance which instigated a vast increase in trade and a new era...

  17. Chapter 10 The ‘Bach revival’, ‘Bach’ trumpets, and the advent of the piccolo trumpet
    (pp. 225-241)

    The revival of the music of J. S. Bach, which gathered pace during the second quarter of the nineteenth century and coincided with the advent of the valve trumpet, had profound consequences for the development of the trumpet and trumpet playing. For the generation of trumpeters schooled in the orchestral repertoire of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Bach’s trumpet parts presented a seemingly insurmountable challenge. As players strove to negotiate a repertoire that appeared to many to represent a ‘lost art’, the higher pitched instruments that emerged influenced the trumpet writing of contemporary composers and initiated the trend...

  18. Chapter 11 Repertoire, technique and performance idioms since 1900
    (pp. 242-265)

    Three clear trends are apparent in the trumpet in the twentieth century: experimentation with the use of trumpets as sound colours in orchestral writing; its re-introduction as a solo instrument; and the emergence of new idioms deriving from popular music, especially jazz. The jazz idiom is a main theme of Chapter 12 . In Chapter 11 we shall consider the twin influences of jazz and modernism on composers writing for trumpet in ‘classical’ or ‘art’ music, and the consequent rapid evolution of trumpet technique and idiom for players schooled in that tradition.

    Musical modernism and the emergence of jazz coincided...

  19. Chapter 12 Jazz and the image of the trumpet since 1900
    (pp. 266-282)

    In this final chapter jazz is the dominant theme. Jazz, though a highly absorbent form open to outside influences including that of classical music and its players, was, in itself, an irresistible influence. The central discussion of the chapter concerns jazz trumpet players, the integration of their music with audiences, their influence on the way the trumpet is understood and, finally, their impact on the way that the sound and image of the trumpet and the personalities who have been most strongly associated with it, have been projected since the start of the twentieth century.

    The favoured instrument of jazz...

  20. Appendix A selective list of twentieth-century solo works
    (pp. 283-287)
  21. Notes
    (pp. 288-313)
  22. Bibliography
    (pp. 314-329)
  23. Index
    (pp. 330-338)