Jump to content

Hear Conical Brass Instruments


Recommended Posts

Hello you all!

Brass instruments (labrophones) use to have a cylindrical portion before the flare. The longer cylinder and short flare give trumpets and trombones a brilliant sound, the cornet is intermediate, and the flugelhorn and lower saxhorns have a short cylinder and a long flare for deep mellow sound.

A air column conical right from the beginning gives also the natural harmonics in tune. But these instruments are rare.

The Alphorn is endemic to the Alps, more present in Switzerland, and is normally made of wood. The straight 3-4m are an eyecatcher, but a French horn is as long. It's a natural instrument played on modes 2 to 12 and more. Groups of instruments in varied tunes can complete the notes. Sound:
Solo XrO6XVX4C8s at 0:07 and 0:45 - Group 5vxyjLRb0TA - Concerto fXRLjVJQisw starts at 0:44

Valves to achieve intermediate notes are normally brought on the cylindrical portion normally absent from the Alphorn. Adaptations exist right behind the Alphorn's mouthpiece, but I suppose the intonation suffers. The other solution is to have sideholes on the tube, a true rarity at labrophones.

The cornett (the one with two t), cornetto or zink is a medieval instrument (or family with varied pitches) played up to the baroque era
0U3jGWLFmsQ Lo son ferito, starts at 0:12
g-7FxTPsR2s improvisation on "Io son ferito ahi lasso"
fNfLpwVaAvw Fontana's sonate N°4, more exist
The playing technique is lost, there are no professors, instruments in museums can't be played generally, their manufacturing method is lost. If it sounds imperfectly now, blame the centuries only. Among the records I heard, William Dongois (links) has a nice sound and plays more in tune, after both playing and manufacturing efforts.

The serpent (snake in French) was the bass, played before the romantic era. The bare tone holes are narrow and they muffle the sound
n-Sbq-XL_VU - t9mB72TC8Kw - kieyL2fynds

The variant with cups and keys was called ophicleide for keyed snake, it disappeared during the romantic era
odQ_Uzmnrns - GG5pbPcXnC0 - hGBmqthNjOs

Despite Berlioz recommended in his Traité d'instrumentation to remove the serpent and the ophicleide from orchestras, he used them in his Symphonie fantastique

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
On 12/23/2019 at 1:58 AM, Enthalpy said:

A air column conical right from the beginning gives also the natural harmonics in tune. But these instruments are rare.

You're joking, surely!

The nearly-fully conical brass instruments: flugle horn, euphonium, and tuba are hardly rare, and they present a by far greater challenge to in-tune harmonics compared to those instruments with a conventional Webster horn profile. Hence the prevalence of more-than-three valves on these instruments with additional compensating loops, especially on the tubas.

Really beautiful sounds in the hands of professional performers, but in the hands of amateurs? Sheesh! Worse that trying to keep in tune with herd of great Highland bagpipes!

A friend of mine, Rowuk on Trumpetboards.com is also a professional zink player when he's not tootling his baroque trumpets. I think he'd have a word or two to say about your assertion that 'the playing technique is lost'. Sat through a concert by a zink trio myself in York minster not so many years ago. They seemed to know which end to blow down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.