By Engelbert Schmid
At the age of 20, as first horn in a professional orchestra, I already felt that a double horn that combined Bb and high Eb would be ideal for many passages.
Many years later, when I was able to hold such a horn in my hand for the first time, I had the feeling of always having played it. The fingerings came automatically, already being in my fingers. Nevertheless, some hornists are already so used to the fingerings of the high F horn that they can’t or don’t want to change. There are also many who wish in principle to play almost everything on the double horn. I have no objection to that. Continue reading
Why Are Some Trumpets Better Than Others?
As far back as I can remember, it’s been an article of faith for trumpet players: To get a good trumpet, go somewhere where you can try a lot of identical instruments and pick out the good one. That used to work, sort of. Years ago, large stores, and even some smaller ones carried multiple samples of the same instrument which they would dutifully roll out to be tried. The problem was that, unless you happened to be there when a new shipment arrived, you could safely assume that the trumpets you were trying had already been picked over by numerous players. Plus, it can be very difficult to access small differences in a short time span and in an unfamiliar acoustic. Now days it’s pretty much a moot point. The economics of the music business make carrying a large stock of instruments a losing proposition. Continue reading
Bach trumpets are available with a lot of different mouthpipes. The purpose of this article is to explain the differences between the different C trumpet pipes and suggest appropriate uses for each model. Continue reading
By William Osborne
In 1980 trombonist Abbie Conant auditioned and one the principal trombone position with the Munich Philharmonic. The audition was held behind a screen and, due to the vague gender identity of the name “Abbie”, the orchestra did not realize that they had offered the job to a woman. When they found out they immediately recinded the offer, triggering an almost twenty year legal battle. This is the story. Continue reading
We get a lot of inquiries from people about mouthpieces for doubling, especially between horn and instruments with similar size mouthpieces: trumpet, alto horn, mellophone. The following letter is typical. Continue reading
This diagram reperesents three stock shapes for Osmun horn mouthpieces. The shaded area is our standard blank. Then green lines show our #2 blank. It adds about twenty percent more mass to the standard blank and has a little more core and stability at the expense (we think) of tone color. The red lines outline our heavy blank, which is fifty percent heavier that the standard one. It is extremely stable and focused but the extra weight makes it more fatiguing to play, especially in the upper register. The heavy blank can also be supplied with ribs, which lessens the weight and increases the surface area.