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Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best
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#beginquote# Brass instruments have a "fundamental tone" which is to say the basic tone on which the overtone series is based. The fundamental tone is determined by the bore and length of the tubing. Players would use different "crooks" (set of slides) to play in different keys. The Composer would ask for the key desired. When the music modulated to other keys, the players would have to switch crooks making their instrument follow the overtone series of a different fundamental note. They basically played the root and fifth tenth and twelfth of any given key(unless played in the extreme upper register as in the Brandendurg Concertos and other compositions of the time). I am sure you have heard the brass parts sound this way in Mozart, Beethoven and others. Before valves allowed the instrument to play all chromatic tones, the players had to make their instruments longer, or shorter to be able to play in different keys. So the instrument WAS actually in a different key itself. Calling it by it's fundamental tone actually allows the player to avoid transposing. The composer transposes so the player does not have to. It's a physics thing . . . so to speak. The brass player would have had to use different fingerings for the same written note depending on the key(even more confusing). Tough to explain, but necessary. Different "keys" of trumpets are commonly used today. Much (most) of the orchestral repertoire calls for "C" trumpet. Much of the Classical solo repertoire is best performed on Eb trumpet (like the Haydn and Hummel concertos). Because they were written for that instrument, the valve combinations and intervals are best achieved on the Eb trumpet. Many players prefer to play the Brandenburg Concertos on F trumpet for the same reasons. The Bb trumpet is the standard used in band music and jazz. I guess it is tough for non brass players to understand how this makes our life easier and how it historically developed but. . . . . GOOOOOOROOOOOO #endquote#
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