A Beginner's Guide to the Baroque Natural Trumpet1

October 1, 2017 | Author: Vic Toriet | Category: Trumpet, Recorder (Musical Instrument), Aerophones, Musical Instruments, Brass Instruments
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A Beginner’s Guide to the Baroque Natural Trumpet BY


Trumpet players in the 17th and 18th centuries enjoyed an exalted status socially as well as musically. Poets lauded their artistry and painters captured their likenesses on canvas. Even today, we marvel at the great Baroque soloists like Girolamo Fantini, Gottfried Reiche, and Valentine Snow, who tamed the valveless natural trumpet and made it sing in the stratosphere. Thanks to the brilliant work of trumpeters such as Edward Tarr, Friedemann Immer, and Don Smithers, the technique of playing the natural trumpet is not the mystery it once was. The work of conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, and Ton Koopman has similarly done much to popularize and promote the performance of early music on historic instruments. A quick glance at the bibliography for this article will prove that publications devoted to the serious study of the Baroque trumpet have mushroomed in the past two decades. Most notably, Edward Tarr’s landmark three-volume method, The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, appeared in 1999-2000. Recent advances in scholarship, instrument construction, and pedagogy have created a veritable renaissance for the Baroque natural trumpet. Never before has information on playing historic instruments been as accessible as it is today. My purpose in this article is to consolidate resources and information that might be useful for any trumpeter who wants to study the natural trumpet, but doesn’t quite know where to begin. Benefits of Studying the Valveless Trumpet Trumpeters who learn to play a valveless Baroque instrument enjoy a host of benefits. They not only develop a new awareness of the trumpet’s regal heritage, but they improve their overall musicianship and technique on the modern trumpet as well. Playing the natural trumpet forces a musician to focus on the basics of sound production and fundamental techniques such as flexibility, range, note accuracy, articulation, embouchure strength, and breath control.1 Perhaps the greatest benefit is the enhancement of a

player’s aural skills. Since the natural trumpet requires pinpoint accuracy in the slippery upper reaches of the overtone series, the ability to hear intervals and pitch relationships is paramount. Like the human voice and unfretted string instruments, the natural trumpet is essentially a “blind” instrument that relies on expert ear training for successful performance. Those accustomed to performing Baroque music on the piccolo trumpet particularly benefit from learning to play the natural trumpet. They gain invaluable insights into appropriate Baroque phrasing and articulation as well as the unique personalities of the natural trumpet’s registers (principale, middle, and clarino). Although the somewhat homogenized sound of the piccolo trumpet is unable to reproduce the natural trumpet’s ethereal clarino or the characteristic earthiness of its low register, acquaintance with an authentic sound ideal enriches any musician’s performance. Issues of Authenticity One of the first steps on the road to playing the Baroque trumpet is the acquisition of a suitable instrument. This can be a daunting process for the uninformed. Modern builders of historic brass instruments usually model their trumpets after historic makers, such as Ehe, Haas, and Bull, and it is important to understand the differences between these models.2 Photos of several historic trumpets appear in the first two volumes of Tarr’s Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing along with photos of modern reproductions. The definitive work on the subject is Robert Barclay’s Art of the Trumpet-Maker. This book concerns the history of the Nuremberg trumpet-makers of the 17th and 18th centuries and includes step-by-step instructions for building a trumpet.3 Understanding the basics of historic instrument construction gives the trumpeter a fund of knowledge from which to make an informed purchase. Before going one step further down the path to purchasing an instrument, issues of authenticity must be confronted. Because the natural trumpet can only produce notes of the harmonic overtone series, some of

Fig. 1. The harmonic overtone series in C. These notes are all playable by a natural trumpet. Darkened notes indicate partials that are out of tune.

the pitches, or partials, are inherently out of tune. The most problematic partials are the 11th (F) and the 13th (A). The 11th partial is too sharp for F and too flat for F-sharp while the 13th partial renders a rather flat A. See Fig. 1. Trumpet players in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries corrected these intonation problems by lipping, or note bending.4 This technique was also applied to occasional non-harmonic tones such as Bnatural (by lowering the 8th partial), C-sharp (by lowering the 9th partial), and F-sharp (by raising the notorious 11th partial). Around 1960, Otto Steinkopf devised a system of three vent holes for a natural trumpet built by the German maker Helmut Finke that rendered the fickle 11th and 13th partials in tune. Steinkopf was also a pioneer in the revival of the Renaissance cornetto and he perhaps found inspiration for the vent hole system from his experience with that hybrid wind instrument.5 Later, the British trumpeter Michael Laird devised a four-hole system that increased the stability of many pitches and offered additional solutions to intonation problems.6 Although vent holes made the natural trumpet safer to play, they altered the sound slightly. The resulting compromise instruments would not have been used by trumpeters 300 years ago and could hardly be called “natural.” In an attempt to clarify terms for these instruments, it is becoming accepted practice to refer to trumpets without holes as genuine natural trumpets and to label vented instruments as Baroque trumpets. With this in mind, it must be emphasized that the use of vent holes is only a modern convenience, but it is often deemed necessary for professional players. Performing on an instrument without the vent hole system pays dividends in terms of authenticity and sound, but it presents a daunting challenge when modern audiences expect flawless intonation in equal temperament and pinpoint accuracy. Although the number of musicians who play the Baroque trumpet exclusively has risen sharply in recent years, the vent hole system is favored by professional trumpeters who primarily play the modern trumpet because the technique of playing a vented trumpet is more secure. Using an appropriate mouthpiece is another consideration when approaching the natural trumpet. Most players get started by using their modern mouthpieces with natural trumpets, but an adapter is usually needed to fit the shank into the larger leadpipe. Authentic Baroque mouthpieces possess a wider cup diameter, larger, flatter rims, a sharper bite, and a longer, thicker shank. The longer shank encases a tapered backbore that compensates for the lack of taper in the leadpipe. These dimensions affect the sound and facilitate the practice of lipping. A shallower mouthpiece does not necessarily aid high register playing due to the expanded dimensions of the natural trumpet. The selection of a mouthpiece is a highly personal

issue, but players should seek to balance concerns of comfort with those of authenticity. A musician just beginning to play the natural trumpet may prefer to use his or her familiar modern mouthpiece at first and then switch to an authentic mouthpiece once acquainted with the feel of the instrument. Some makers provide instruments with tapered leadpipes that accept modern mouthpieces, but many do not.7 See Fig. 2. Although some professional players occasionally use modern mouthpieces, such compromises are made for enhanced security in the service of an historically

Fig. 2. A natural trumpet by Andrew Tomes (UK) pitched in D (modern pitch) compromised with a tapered leadpipe and vent holes. An adapter for a modern mouthpiece and tapered tuning bit may also be used with this trumpet. With these additions, the instrument should be labeled as a Baroque trumpet and not as a natural trumpet. This instrument is a modern reproduction of a trumpet built by the Nuremberg maker, Johann Leonard Ehe III, in 1746.

informed performance. Historians rightfully contend that the use of vent holes, tapered leadpipes, and modern mouthpieces borders on the heretical, but quibbling over equipment is not the primary concern of the beginning natural trumpet player. All musicians should begin by playing a natural, unvented trumpet with a familiar mouthpiece. Like any style tradition, the conflict between theory and practice in the 20th century Baroque revival rages on, and these issues must be confronted when a player purchases a professional instrument and seeks to perform in public.8 Any musician embarking on the study of the natural trumpet must respect authentic performance practices and strive to serve them as closely as possible. An instrument with vent holes does improve accuracy, but the added security can lead to overblowing and inappropriately harsh articulations if aesthetic standards are not observed, especially in the early learning stages. Finding an Instrument The Historic Brass Society is the best source of information about current makers of natural trumpets and authentic mouthpieces. The most recent compilation of makers was published in the Summer 2001 Historic Brass Society Newsletter.9 The purpose of this article is not to recommend specific brands of instruments; however, a sampling of current makers includes Robert Barclay (Ottawa), Rainer Egger (Switzerland), Keavy & Vanryne (Reading), Ewald Meinl (Germany), Andrew Naumann

(USA), Frank Tomes (London), and Geert Jan van der Heide (Netherlands).The authoritative source of information on the Internet is David Baum’s Natural Tr u m p e t R e s o u r c e We b S i t e , l o c a t e d a t http://www.goucher.edu/physics/baum/nattrump.htm10; this site includes links to information on current Baroque trumpet makers, scholars, study programs, and performers. Used natural trumpets occasionally appear at professional music stores and Internet auction sites, such as eBay. Although it is possible to build a natural trumpet out of parts of discarded modern B-flat trumpets, it is a challenge to accurately replicate the dimensions of an authentic instrument this way.11 Homemade natural trumpets are useful for starting out, but a professional-quality instrument will be necessary for serious study. Most natural trumpets come with sections that may be assembled to render an instrument playable in a number of different keys. These sections are the corpus (main body of the trumpet), crooks (curved tuning slides), and yards (pipes with or without vent holes that connect the crook to the corpus). It is important to note that these sections are not soldered together and are freely adjustable to improve intonation and flexibility. See Fig. 3. Instruments may also come with leadpipe extensions for tuning purposes called bits. See Figs. 4 & 6. Some modern compromise instruments come with an adjustable leadpipe to facilitate tuning. Depending on the maker, natural trumpets are usually available in the keys of D (modern pitch, A=400 Hz), Db (Baroque pitch, A=415 Hz), C (modern pitch), and Cb (Baroque pitch C). Fig. 5, shows a trumpet pitched in D (modern pitch) with crooks and yards

Fig. 4. A natural trumpet by Frank Tomes (UK) pitched in D (modern pitch) with additional crooks, shanks, and tuning bits for the keys of B-flat, C, and D which is playable in modern pitch (A=440), and Baroque pitch (A= 415).

Fig. 5. A trumpet by Andrew Naumann (USA) pitched in D (modern pitch) with additional crooks and yards with vent holes for the keys of Db, C, and Cb.

Fig. 3. A natural trumpet pitched in D (modern pitch) by Andrew Naumann (USA) dissembled to show how the corpus, tuning slide, and yard fit together. A wooden block wrapped in cord serves as a brace and provides a suitable hand grip for the trumpet. This modern reproduction of an instrument by Ehe features two 20th century additions: an adjustable leadpipe and an Amado water key.

in Db, C, and Cb, respectively. Once the decision is made to purchase a natural trumpet from a professional maker, there are many considerations to be factored into the final selection. The box below lists some of the factors to consider when selecting an instrument. As with any trumpet, price and playability determine most purchase decisions, but care must be taken to select an instrument that boasts a high degree of historic authenticity. Purists rightfully contend that no valveless trumpet employing vent holes is authentic, but other factors such as bell size, metal alloy, and workmanship may be faithfully reproduced on modern compromise instruments. Material for Study Until very recently, beginning study material for the natural trumpet was not readily available. There is no shortage of Baroque literature. The great works of Bach and Handel, however, are hardly appropriate for

What to Consider When Purchasing a Natural Trumpet Historic Models Which historic model does the maker follow? (Ehe, Haas, Bull, etc.) Mouthpiece Does the maker offer a selection of Baroque mouthpieces? Will a modern trumpet mouthpiece fit into the leadpipe or will an adapter be needed? Keys & Pitch In which key(s) is the trumpet pitched? (C, D, Cb, Db, Bb, etc.) Vent Holes or No Holes Does the trumpet come with yards with vent holes? Are yards without holes also available? Tuning Aids Are tuning bits or an adjustable leadpipe available for the trumpet? Case Is a case available? If not, an alto trombone gig bag is a good fit for the natural trumpet. A padded camera tripod bag is another option. Additional padded storage for crooks, yards, and mouthpieces will also need to be improvised for most cases and bags. The British company, Brass Bags, manufactures custom natural trumpet gig bags (home.clara.net/weswarren/more4.htm).

anyone just starting to play the instrument. With the publication of Edward Tarr’s new method in 1999, The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, trumpeters finally received a wonderful source of beginning exercises, repertoire, and advice for learning to tame the natural trumpet from a 20th century perspective.12 Before the publication of Tarr’s method, those desiring to study the natural trumpet gleaned exercises from historic methods like those of Fantini (1638), Altenburg (1795), and Dauverne (1857), and traveled to study with great teachers like Friedemann Immer, Michael Laird, or Edward Tarr himself. No book can replace the guidance of a good teacher, but Tarr’s method presents an overview of all the important historic methods (Bendinelli, Fantini, Altenburg, etc.) and their exercises along with his own practice material. Valuable information on practice techniques, ensemble intonation, and the proper execution of trills is also included. Tarr’s method does not discuss vent hole systems, but everything else related

to natural trumpet study can be found within its three volumes. Those interested in learning to use the vent hole system will find useful information in Michael Laird’s BrassWorkBook for Natural Trumpet.13 Although it is certainly possible to gain a working knowledge of the valveless trumpet from these fine books, it is vital to seek out the tutelage of a professional natural trumpet player, especially in the early stages. Once a working fundamental technique is within reach, a wealth of literature awaits the natural trumpeter. Thanks to the pioneering work of Edward Tarr, Ludwig Güttler, and others, reliable printed editions of Baroque trumpet repertoire are readily available. In the realm of orchestral and ensemble repertoire, it is advisable to begin with the works of Henry Purcell before moving on to the music of Handel and Bach. Purcell’s works do not pose the same challenges in terms of endurance and range, and are usually scored for two trumpets. Pieces like the Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day and The Fairy Queen, with their egalitarian part writing and playful, imitative passages, provide rewarding practice material for two natural trumpeters working together. Purcell’s complete trumpet music, as well as the music of Bach and Handel, is published in collected editions by Musica Rara. This repertoire belongs in every trumpeter’s library. One of the major challenges in ensemble playing is intonation, and this problem is compounded by the unequal temperament of the harmonic overtone series produced by natural trumpets. With that in mind, a welcome reprieve from the isolation of the practice room may be found in playing ensemble literature as a section with fellow Baroque trumpet enthusiasts, if possible.14 When approaching the major works of Bach and Handel it is beneficial to begin by playing the lower parts before moving up into the clarino register and the solo arias. In the realm of solo literature, Purcell’s works are a good starting point. Other suitable solo pieces for the beginning natural trumpeter are the sonatas for trumpet and organ by Fantini and Viviani, and the suites in D major by Handel and Jeremiah Clarke. Beginning to Play When trumpeters approach a valveless instrument for the first time, they are often unsure of quite how to hold a natural trumpet. Depending on the maker and type of instrument, the natural trumpet is usually held primarily with the left hand, like the modern trumpet. There is often an ornamental ball (sometimes called the boss) or a brace made of a wooden block wrapped with cord that serves as a suitable handgrip. The right hand grasps the parallel tubing on the other side of the trumpet or just simply hangs at the player’s side. If the instrument employs the vent hole system, the right hand would then manipulate the holes.15 The manner of holding a long natural trumpet may take consider-

able adjustment for the new player. Although the instrument is much lighter than the modern trumpet, the longer arm extension and stretched hand position can be fatiguing at first. As with any new skill, short practice sessions on a regular basis are advisable to avoid overuse injuries and undue strain. Once a workable posture has been found, the player can concentrate on making music. One thing that will strike any musician during the first few encounters with the natural trumpet is that it will not behave! New players often experience a sense of disorientation caused by the lower fundamental of the natural trumpet’s harmonic series, the unequal temperament of those harmonics, and the response of a longer, untapered leadpipe. Careful practice with the aid of an electronic tuner helps to clarify reference pitches and, with time, the ear, the lungs, and the embouchure “remember” the physical reflexes that accompany specific intervals and patterns. Even the most accomplished modern trumpeter will need to spend some extended time working on basic triadic exercises in the low register to develop an acquaintance with the feel of the natural trumpet. It must be emphasized that vent holes should not be used when first learning to play the Baroque trumpet. Most of the initial work will be in the principale register with pitches that would not benefit from nodal venting, and it is important for the player to become familiar with the unique characteristics of the natural trumpet. Musicians must resist the impulse to “correct” the out-of-tune notes in order to play in equal temperament. Once given the permission to blow freely, players will discover that the natural trumpet is far more flexible and resonant when you’re not “battling nature,” so to speak. Exploring the natural tendencies of the overtone series yields insights that aid future intonation work, such as the pronounced flatter pitch of the lower register, the relative stability of the tonic triad (C, E, and G), and the malleability of the 7th, 11th, and 13th partials (B-flat, F+/-, and A). Following an honest appraisal of the pitch tendencies of the natural trumpet, the real work begins. Careful practice on long tones, flexibility studies like those of Schlossberg and Irons, and “target practice” on isolated pitches builds a strong foundation for a reliable technique. The studies found in the first volume of Tarr’s method, the natural trumpet exercises of Dauverne, and the warm-ups in Laird’s BrassWorkBook for the Natural Trumpet are highly recommended. Trumpeters familiar with James Stamp’s note bending exercises and Carmine Caruso’s endurance routines will find that these studies are especially beneficial for learning lipping technique and developing strength and accuracy on the natural trumpet. If a player wishes to learn the vent hole system, the proper positioning of the yard with the holes is essential. A good way to check the positioning of the

vented yard with the system is by playing the open C5 (3rd space C, or C'') and the G above, and compare the tuning with the last hole covered and then open again. If the vented yard is positioned correctly, the pitches will match when played with the hole open and as well as closed. If the open-hole C or G does not match the closed-hole C or G, the yard should be adjusted back and forth to find the proper placement. Depending on the particular design of the instrument, the back-bow (tuning slide closest to the mouthpiece) and the leadpipe (or tuning bits) may need to be adjusted to ensure proper yard positioning and tuning. Incidentally, vent holes are not numbered uniformly by all makers. The numbering system used by Michael Laird, the creator of the four-hole system, is based on the fingers used to manipulate the holes (e.g. T, 2, 3, 5) rather than their sequential order (1, 2, 3, 4).16 Laird’s numbering system works as follows: T= thumb (the first hole), 2 = index finger (the second hole), 3 = 2nd or 3rd finger (the third hole), and 5 = pinky, or little finger (the fourth hole). The three-hole system is similar, but omits the third hole (e.g. T, 2, 5) from the previous list. The stretch of the hand required by the four-hole system is often uncomfortable at first, and the woodwind-like fingering technique can be rather disorienting for players accustomed to piston valves. Initial fingering technique should focus primarily on using the thumb to adjust the 11th partial F and then build from there. On a more practical note, the manner of emptying excess moisture from the natural trumpet also deserves comment. Some makers include Amado water keys on their instruments, but this is not always the case, and historic instruments certainly did not have them. The best method to use is very similar to that of the French horn; turn the trumpet end over end and allow the water to drip out of the leadpipe. With Baroque trumpets with vent holes, the water can simply escape through the thumb hole. Ideas for Serious Study If a musician seeks to play the natural trumpet professionally, it is important to seek out a reputable teacher and devote considerable energy to perfecting a reliable technique, studying appropriate performance practice, building range, and learning the repertoire. It should be remembered that trumpeters in the 17th and 18th centuries usually studied the instrument in a two-year apprenticeship which often involved daily lessons with a master teacher. If the vent hole system is used, dedicated work on fingering technique is also required. Listening to recordings of Baroque trumpet soloists and period instrument performances is especially important. Attending live performances is even better. A good source of information on active early instrument groups is the Period Instrument Performing Ensemble [PIPE] web page (http://gfhandel.org/bleissa/pipe/). The site lists infor-

mation on groups all over the world and includes performance schedules, when available. Aside from the physical challenges of playing the valveless trumpet, the study of appropriate Baroque performance style should be an ever-present task. The primary differences between modern performance traditions and those of the 17th and 18th centuries concern intonation, improvisation and ornamentation, articulation (especially unequal tonguing patterns), a heightened emphasis on strong vs. weak beats, and a more bel canto sound ideal.17 Luckily, several good references have recently been published that provide sound advice for those new to Baroque performance. In 1999, Cambridge University Press instituted a new series devoted to performance practice, Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music. The first volume in this series, The Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction, by Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell, delivers precisely what its title offers: a valuable overview of the major issues involved in performing early music.18 Similarly, Donington’s classic Baroque Music: Style and Performance. A Handbook is a fertile source of information. Although modern research is useful, there is no substitute for reading the original historic treatises. Most are available in good English translations. Thanks to the efforts of Edward Tarr, Igino Conforzi, and others, the trumpet treatises by Bendinelli, Fantini, and Altenburg are all available. Although Fantini and Alternburg provide enlightening comments on articulation, ornamentation, and trills, perhaps the most useful source of information on Baroque music performance was written by a flutist who also played the trumpet, Johann Joachim Quantz.19 Quantz’s early training as a town musician required him to acquire passable proficiency on a variety of instruments and, in addition to the flute, he was an accomplished violinist and oboist as well. Consequently, Quantz’s treatise is a veritable gold mine of information on all aspects of musical performance in the first half of the 18th century. Many professional valveless trumpeters today take a page out of Quantz’s book and double on the cornetto, the premier wind instrument of the Renaissance. This not only presents new repertoire, but it emphasizes the subtle articulations and phrasing of early Baroque wind playing. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss cornetto playing, but the curious will find a wealth of knowledge in Jeremy West’s excellent method book, How to Play the Cornett.20 West’s book is available along with inexpensive resin cornetti on his web site (www.jeremywest.co.uk). Since the cornetto is a hybrid instrument that requires a trumpet embouchure and woodwind fingering technique, it is advisable to spend some time studying the recorder before approaching the cornetto.21 Soprano (descant) recorders are readily available and provide an enjoyable break from trumpet playing with the instrument’s

relaxed embouchure and gentler airflow. Recorder fingerings are not identical to those of the cornetto, but the fingering technique is the same, and the switch from recorder to cornetto is not difficult for trumpet players accustomed to transposing. Finally, since the human voice was (and remains) the model for all wind instruments, taking private voice lessons further enhances the musicianship of any instrumentalist. Back to the Future Playing the valveless trumpet and other early brass instruments clarifies the artistic heritage of brass playing and demonstrates that the fundamentals of good trumpet playing are timeless. Furthermore, the rapid rise in the performance of early music on period instruments is a cultural phenomenon that has impacted performances on modern instruments in addition to invigorating classical music-making in general. The cultural historian Jacques Barzun wisely observes that: The recent interest in playing old music with the instruments of its own day has shown the difference it makes not merely in dynamics but in meaning. The absence of certain timbres and the presence of others affect the force and the atmosphere of the passage and dispose of the idea that a note is a note whether played on the kettledrum or the ocarina. Also of our time, the retreat from the 19C orchestra and the popularity of chamber music, partly due to economic reasons, have arisen from the feeling that Romanticist passion is passé.22 A topic that most definitely is not passé is the controversy over the use of vent holes on the natural trumpet. The battle between purists and practitioners has at times created a rancorous partisan atmosphere. Brilliant scholars such as Robert Barclay object strenuously to the use of vent holes, while great artists like Michael Laird have furthered the art and built audiences for the Baroque trumpet by employing vent holes in countless fine performances and recordings. See Figs. 5 & 6). Although the purists rightfully voice the conscience of authenticity, the overwhelming majority

Fig. 6. A trumpet by Frank Tomes (UK) pitched in D (Baroque pitch) compromised with a tapered leadpipe and vent holes along with crooks and vented yards to render the instrument playable in the key of C in both modern pitch (A=440), and Baroque pitch (A=415). With the use of tuning bits and additional vented yards (not pictured) the trumpet is also playable in Classical pitch (A=430).

of professional Baroque trumpeters currently play vented instruments. Advocates of authentic performance traditions, though are beginning to gain momentum. Perhaps the best approach to adopt for a trumpeter new to the world of historic performance is one of humility and curiosity. We live in what I believe is a new “golden age” of trumpet playing. Ever since I first heard Edward Tarr’s early recordings, I have been fascinated by the regal beauty of the natural trumpet, but had no way to find an instrument or learn how to play one. Now things have changed. The Historic Brass Society was founded in 1989, and has encouraged more trumpeters to play the natural trumpet. The first International Altenburg Competition for Baroque Trumpet Soloists was held in 1995, and the second took place in November 2001. Playing the natural trumpet requires great discipline and strength, but its enormous dividends are well worth the effort. If you are one of those musicians who has always wanted to play the natural trumpet, but never thought it was possible, I sincerely hope that this article has provided useful information you can use to make your dream a reality. All photographs courtesy of Elisa Koehler. Bibliography

tromba [1638]. Edited by Igino Conforzi, Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 1998. Quantz, Johann Joachim. On Playing the Flute [1752]. Second Edition. Translated with notes and an introduction by Edward R. Reilly, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001. Study Material Bach, J. S. Complete Trumpet Repertoire. Three Volumes. Edited by Ludwig Güttler, Monteux: Musica Rara, 1971. Blümel, Christian, ed. Original Duets from Old Trumpet Methods. Köln: Mark Tezak Verlag, 1985. Handel, G. F. Complete Trumpet Repertoire. Four Volumes. Edited by Robert Minter, Monteux: Musica Rara, 1974. Laird, Michael. BrassWorkBook for Natural Trumpet. Essex: BrassWorks, 1999. Plunkett, Paul. Technical and Musical Studies for the Baroque Trumpet. Herrenberg-Kuppingen: Musikverlag Spaeth/Schmid, 1995. Purcell, Henry. Complete Trumpet Repertoire. Edited by John King, Monteux: Musica Rara, 1975.

Historic Methods Altenburg, Johann Ernst. Essay on an Introduction to the Heroic and Musical Trumpeters’ and Kettledrummers’ Art [1795]. Translated by Edward H. Tarr, Nashville: 1974. Bendinelli, Cesare. The Entire Art of Trumpet Playing [1614]. Translation and Critical Commentary by Edward H. Tarr, Nashville: The Brass Press, 1975. Dauverné, François Georges Auguste. Méthode pour la trompette [1857]. Paris: Editions I.M.D. Diffusion, 1991. Dauverné, François Georges Auguste. Méthode pour la trompette [1857]. Complete English Translation by Gaetan Chenier, Ruby Miller Orval, Rebecca Pike, and Jeffrey Snedeker, Historic Brass Society Journal 3 (1991): 179-261. Fantini, Girolamo. Method for Learning to Play the Trumpet [1638]. Translation and Critical Commentary by Edward H. Tarr, Nashville: The Brass Press, 1975. Fantini, Girolamo. Modo per Imparare a sonare di tromba [1638]. Facsimile, Nashville: The Brass Press, 1978. Fantini, Girolamo. Modo per Imparare a sonare di

Tarr, Edward H. The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, Vol. I: Basic Exercises. Mainz: Schott, 1999. Tarr, Edward H. The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, Vol. II: Method of Ensemble Playing. Mainz: Schott, 2000. Tarr, Edward H. The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, Vol. III: A Beautiful Bouquet of the Finest Fanfares. Mainz: Schott, 2000 Books and Articles Baines, Anthony. Brass Instruments: Their History and Development. London: Faber, 1980. Barclay, Robert. The Art of the Trumpet-Maker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Barclay, Robert. “A New Species of Trumpet: The Vented Trumpet in Context.” Historic Brass Society Journal 10 (1998), 1. Barzun, Jacques. From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. Collins, Tim. “So, How Many Holes is a Baroque Trumpet Supposed to Have?” Historic Brass Society Newsletter Issue 9 (Summer 1996): 11-15.

Donington, Robert. Baroque Music: Style and Performance. A Handbook. New York: Norton, 1982.

Trumpets by Andrew Naumann http://members.aol.com/andrewn26/index.html

Herbert, Trevor and John Wallace, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Christopher Monk Instruments www.jeremywest.co.uk/cmi.html

Lawson, Colin and Robin Stowell. Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Menke, Werner. History of the Trumpet of Bach and Handel. Translated by Gerald Abraham, Nashville: The Brass Press, 1985. Nussbaum, Jeffrey. “A Survey of Baroque Trumpet Makers Worldwide.” Historic Brass Society Newsletter Issue 14 (Summer 2001): 12-19. Owens, Frank J. “Creating a High School Baroque Trumpet Ensemble.” M.M. thesis, Towson University, 2000. Smithers, Don L. The Music and History of the Baroque Trumpet before 1721. 2nd ed. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988.

About the Author: Elisa Koehler is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Trumpet Instructor at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Frederick Orchestra in Frederick, Maryland. Koehler performs with the Lyric Brass Quintet, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, and the Orchestra of the 17th Century. Dr. Koehler holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Tennessee, and has studied at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. The author thanks the following for their kind assistance: David Baum, Stanley Curtis, Kris Engle, Flora Newberry, Frank Owens, and John Thiessen. Endnotes 1

Frank J. Owens. “Creating a High School Baroque Trumpet Ensemble” (M.M. thesis, Towson University, 2000), 5 – 8.


Daniel J. Leavitt. The Trumpet Workbook. Teacher’s Guide. (Aurora, CO: West Wind Music Company, 1996), 83. Leavitt wisely refers his readers to the Historic Brass Society for more information and advises that they “become very familiar with the various manufacturers of the past and the history of mechanical inventions.”


Robert Barclay, The Art of the Trumpet-Maker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 9. Barclay has also led annual summer workshops along with Richard Seraphinoff in which participants spend an entire week following the procedures outlined in his book to build authentic natural trumpets (without vent holes) that they take home with them at the end of the week. The cost of the workshop is usually less than half the cost of a new instrument. For more information on these workshops, consult the link for Robert Barclay on David Baum’s Natural Trumpet R e s o u r c e We b S i t e , w h i c h i s l o c a t e d a t : http://www.goucher.edu/physics/baum/nattrump.htm


Edward Tarr, The Trumpet (Portland: Amadeus Press, 1988), 11-14 and 85-90.


Anthony Baines, Woodwind Instruments and Their History, 3rd ed. (Mineola, NY: Dover, 1991), 262.


Edward H. Tarr, “The trumpet before 1800” in The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments ed. Trevor Herbert and John Wallace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 100-101. The Steinkopf-Finke trumpet was a coiled trumpet patterned after the Jädgertrompete held by

Smithers, Don and Klause Wolgran and John Bowsher, “Playing the Baroque Trumpet.” Scientific American, Vol. 254, No. 4, April 1986, 105-108. Tarr, Edward H. The Trumpet. Translated by S. E. Plank and Edward Tarr, Portland: Amadeus Press, 1988. West, Jeremy with Susan Smith. How to Play the Cornett. London: JW Publications, 1997. Web Sites The Historic Brass Society http://www.historicbrass.org The Natural Trumpet Resource Web Site http://www.goucher.edu/physics/baum/nattrump.htm The Natural Trumpet Discussion List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/naturaltrumpet The Period Instrument Performance Ensembles [PIPE] Web Page http://gfhandel.org/bleissa/pipe/ Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute http://www.oberlin.edu/con/summer/bpi/ Trumpets by Rainer Egger www.eggerinstruments.ch/home.htm

Gottfried Reiche in his famous portrait painted by E. G. Haussmann. Michael Laird’s four-hole system was employed on a traditional long, singlefolded trumpet.


Edward H. Tarr, “The trumpet before 1800” in The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments ed. Trevor Herbert and John Wallace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 96-98. Musicians interested in a total immersion approach to Baroque performance practice may attend the two-week Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College (web address http://www.oberlin.edu/con/summer/bpi/) held each summer. Master classes in natural trumpet are offered as well as classes in ornamentation, Baroque dance, and most other period instruments.


One such maker is Keavy & Vanryne (Reading, England).


Tim Collins, “So, How Many Holes is a Baroque Trumpet Supposed to Have?” Historic Brass Society Newsletter Issue 9 (Summer 1996), 11-15. See also Robert Barclay, “A New Species of Trumpet: The Vented Trumpet in Context.” Historic Brass Society Journal 10 (1998), 1.


Jeffrey Nussbaum, “A Survey of Baroque Trumpet Makers Worldwide.” Historic Brass Society Newsletter Issue 14 (Summer 2001), 12-19.


Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell. Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).


Dave Baum is a Professor of Physics at Goucher College and builds his own trumpets. I am indebted to Dr. Baum for his enthusiastic support of my efforts in learning to play the natural trumpet and for his inspirational devotion to the instrument.



Owens, “Creating a High School Baroque Trumpet Ensemble,” 9-21. Frank Owens provides a detailed description of the procedure he followed for building natural trumpets this way. Information on authentic 18th-century procedure is found in Barclay’s Art of the Trumpet Maker, 102168.

Johann Joachim Quantz. On Playing the Flute [1752]. Second Edition. Translated with notes and an introduction by Edward R. Reilly (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001), xii-xiii, 27. Quantz was skilled enough on the trumpet to receive offers for professional positions following his apprenticeship.


Jeremy West with Susan Smith. How to Play the Cornett. (London: JW Publications, 1997).


The Trapp Family Singers. Enjoy Your Recorder. (Sharon, CT: Magnamusic Distributors, 1954). Since the soprano (descant) recorder is often used as a tool for rudimentary music education, many beginning recorder methods cover material at too slow a pace for the trained musician. That is not the case with this excellent method by the Austrian musical family of The Sound of Music fame. Although the soprano recorder is popular with students, the alto (treble) recorder pitched in F is the authentic solo recorder favored by Baroque composers. For example, the solo flauto dolce part in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 was written for the alto recorder.


Jacques Barzun. From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life. (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), 547.


Paul Plunkett’s book, Technical and Musical Studies for the Baroque Trumpet, published by Musikverlag Spaeth/Schmid in 1995, was the first modern method for the natural trumpet, but its length (32 pages) and coverage are certainly not on the same scale as Tarr’s 3-volume work. The book often refers the reader to exercises in Dauverne’s method and so works well as a companion to that book.


Michael Laird, BrassWorkBook for Natural Trumpet. (Essex: BrassWorks 1999) 5, 9-14, 20. Laird’s book also includes an appendix by Crispian Steele-Perkins that lists instrument makers.


Edward H. Tarr. The Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing, Vol. II: Method of Ensemble Playing. (Mainz: Schott, 2000). This volume includes valuable resultant tone intonation exercises for two and three trumpets along with a wealth of literature and helpful text. The third volume of Tarr’s method, A Beautiful Bouquet of the Finest Fanfares, provides more fine ensemble literature.


Musicians who play authentic natural trumpets without vent holes sometimes strike a dramatic pose with their right hands on their hips to highlight this technique.


Laird, BrassWorkBook for Natural Trumpet, 5, 9.

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