Bass v Treble, Cornet v Trumpet, Eb v French

picju96

Member
timbloke said:
Mike Saville said:
As for the perfect pitch thingy - I wish someone would let me in on the secret as I've always found aural a struggle :?

A few years back when I had an hour of theory lessons every saturday morning, my theory teacher told me about how you can teach yourself perfect pitch. It is apparently ultimately as easy as learning the names of colours, each note having it's own "colour".

I've tried this, but the only notes I can do are C and B on a Bb instrument, therefore Bb and A on the piano, because they're the tuning notes.
 

bladder

Member
Learning perfect pitch? Tricky one.

I wouldn't myself being blessed with perfect pitch, i.e. at birth [MoominDave], but I could easily play a sounded note on trumpet, and 'guess' quite accurately on piano. But picking notes and keys is a development of 'busking'.
I think it is much more advantageous to a performer to have more highly 'tuned' relative pitch. When sufficiently developed you can replace perfect pitch, as long as you can 'pick' out a reference note. How many of you can 'sing' a concert A, or concert Bb, the tuning notes that you play almost everyday of your life? Intervals can be recalled by association with well known melodies. Hey Presto! Psuedo-perfect pitch! It's difficult and will require shed-loads of practice. But it's possible...

Huummmmmmm...Eb...
 

horn1

Member
I began playing on flugel horn (can I have one like my friend please?!!) and moved onto cornet to enable me to play in higher sections/develop my playing etc. I never found these instruments to put me at a disadvantage when playing in other groups and regularly did so. When I changed onto tenor horn whilst studying music at university (due to problems with my teeth) I did find pitching difficult. I had been playing in Bflat for 12 years though!! This made me think, that although I don't have perfect pitch I had learnt to pitch and tune near perfectly but in Bflat. Whilst I was still studying music at a brass oriantated uni I didn't find the change to Eflat a problem ensembles wise. Now however I feel very limited by the instrument I play as there aren't many opportunities for tenor horn outside a brass band. Maybe I'll try to learn to French Horn? Maybe I've not got time!!
 

Cantonian

Active Member
I think that Old Trafford is a nearly perfect pitch.
Stamford Bridge is not a perfect pitch.
The Millennium stadium is a perfect stadium but far from perfect pitch.


..........What?????
 

asteria

Member
Nadia said:
Mike Saville said:
I also feel that teachers should push thier students towards the trumpet and french horn rather than cornet/tenor horn.
I know.. lets kill brass bands :roll:

I'm all for giving people the choice, but i don't think people should be pushed to play one kind of particular instrument.

Call me biased but i think the tenor horn is a fantastic instrument, it's got a most gorgeous sound, and i wouldn't want to play anything else. Yes its a shame it's not used in more kinds of ensembles, but i love playing in brass bands, and as long as i enjoy that i'll be happy. It annoys me when people compare tenor horn to the french horn when they're completely different, apart from the word 'horn' in the name.

At the end of the day, very few of us are actually going to make any money from playing these god damn instruments. I put a lot of effort into playing because i enjoy it, and i think playing an individual instrument is a lot more interesting! :D

Maybe we should think about converting the french horn players to tenor horn?! :twisted: (By the way, no offence intended to any french horn players out there!)
 

Aidan

Active Member
sort of off topic, but on the playing of tenor horn in other ensembles; the leader of the famouse "Loose Tubes" big band in the 80's and 90's was the jazz Tenor Horn Player Django Bates. An absolutely amazing band.. I have their cd "an open letter to pukwana", wondering if anyone else out there has any of their stuff??
 

amgray

Member
Interesting points Mike, but they do smack of musical elitism.

I also feel that teachers should push thier students towards the trumpet and french horn rather than cornet/tenor horn
Ever heard of Willie Lang, Maurice Murphy, John Wallace and Rod Franks? All cornet players originally.
Don Lusher came from the SA (as does Dudley Bright) and I suspect he probably learned Treble first, Ian Bousefield and Andy Berryman - both from famous banding families if they started in bands what clef do you think they started with?

As a trombonist I learned all the clefs (and to transpose French Horn and Tenor Horn parts), if the student wants to play in different styles and ensembles they will learn the other clefs.
On a practical note, 1st 'Bone parts in Big Bands usually use Bass Clef and still spend all their time up in the gods, it would make sense for them to in Tenor clef (or "correct" pitch treble).

Flame Away !!!!! :twisted:
 
amgray said:
Interesting points Mike, but they do smack of musical elitism.

Flame Away !!!!! :twisted:

The whole point of this discussion, is that of choice. As this is a Brass Band forum we naturally have a bias toward that idiom. What I would be keen to avoid at all costs is the teching of Brass Band methods to the exclusion of others. I have seen this happen and in my opinion it is not good for students.

As for elitism, I understand what you are saying as there is a lot of anti-Brass Band snobbery in the classical/jazz brass playing spheres, I for one though do not hold these thoughts and would rather someone play nothing but brass band music than no music at all. :) :)
 

Toby

Member
For a raw begginer, I don't believe it makes much difference with whichever clef is used. The advantages and disadvantages weigh up with only a slight bias to bass clef.

However, as the player improves, the ability to read in bass and tenor clef becomes far more essential. The catalogue of study material and solo music is far better and more extensive than it is with treble clef.

Also, I don't think it's too difficult to aquire knowledge of bass clef if there's a solid grounding in treble (and bass to treble).


Toby Bannan
 

amgray

Member
Mike,
What I would be keen to avoid at all costs is the teching of Brass Band methods to the exclusion of others

I agree, but this also applies to Jazz and to a lesser extent Classical Brass. However, I remember as a kid that the banders had better stamina than their non-banding counterparts in the youth bands (Wind bands mainly). The kids who played in bands also had better technical ability (of the notes per second variety). Unfortunately some of the Peripatetic Teachers in Sheffield in my youth were rabidly anti-brass band.

Toby,
Also, I don't think it's too difficult to aquire knowledge of bass clef if there's a solid grounding in treble (and bass to treble)

I agree completely, if the player wants to do it they will. If you can learn one clef you can learn them all.
 
I think that people, if trained by a band putting resources and often considerable time into them, would tend to play in the clef for their particular instrument that is used in a brass band. There is nothing wrong with this because the players play for the band first and themselves later. Any decent players will naturally learn all clefs when and if required. There could be said to be a special case with the trombone because it uses so many clefs, but as I said, any decent player will learn them all eventually. People learning at school without reference to a brass band, however, will normally learn in the clef as used in orchestras. I know of a county music service local to me that now buys (and supplies) trumpets instead of cornets. Because they're cheaper!!!?
Personally, I learnt bass clef trombone from teaching someone else it. I now can play in either on trombone or euphonium. Didn't prevent a few mistakes though (i.e. play that F..... I mean G etc.).

p.s. Geraint Griffifths (faireys BT player) as I recall, doesn't read in bass clef, but transposes everything! End of story, He's pretty good, eh?

p.p.s. aren't tenor trombones pitched in B flat. Why not C?

As for perfect pitch, it must be a curse. Relative pitch is much more useful.

I'll get off my high horse now in a cold sweat (my first post finished- fingers crossed)
 

amgray

Member
Welcome to tMP BeatTheSheep, interesting name :shock:
Geraint was on tenor trombone when I knew him, typical he should choose to play BT the hard way!!!
 

neiltwist

Active Member
that's kind of how i learned bass cleff, started just learning which position to play each note, without learning the names, and then learned the names later.
 

blue euph

Member
For trumpet vs cornet, I would say they should have both instruments. But having said that, a cornet can do 95% of what a trumpet can do without making a band sound too bright. Cornets and trumpets are relatively cheap instruments so the player should own both instruments.

BC vs TC. In a perfect world, euphonium would be a tenor clef instrument when it was invented but we don't live in a perfect world. I say learn BC first but the player should TC and tenor clef after a year or two of playing as it opens up the reportoire big time. Its ok for an euph. player to start TC but they should learn BC too and keep up their TC playing as well. Trombone players should atleast be familar playing in TC and definately learn to be comfortable playing tenor clef. When I do play trombone (once and a while), I have no problems playing TC music.

I don't know of anybody starting out playing tenor (what North Americans call alto) horn. Of what I can gather, they play and feel completely different than the double horn (or what is mistakently call the french horn).
 

neiltwist

Active Member
blue euph said:
For trumpet vs cornet, I would say they should have both instruments. But having said that, a cornet can do 95% of what a trumpet can do without making a band sound too bright. Cornets and trumpets are relatively cheap instruments so the player should own both instruments.

BC vs TC. In a perfect world, euphonium would be a tenor clef instrument when it was invented but we don't live in a perfect world. I say learn BC first but the player should TC and tenor clef after a year or two of playing as it opens up the reportoire big time. Its ok for an euph. player to start TC but they should learn BC too and keep up their TC playing as well. Trombone players should atleast be familar playing in TC and definately learn to be comfortable playing tenor clef. When I do play trombone (once and a while), I have no problems playing TC music.

I don't know of anybody starting out playing tenor (what North Americans call alto) horn. Of what I can gather, they play and feel completely different than the double horn (or what is mistakently call the french horn).

eh?

sorry, but i don't agree.

euph players should start in bands if they get the opportunity, and hence should start on treble cleff, learning bass clef later. This is only my opinion, but it is so because there are only a limited number of opportunities outside of banding, and the best euph players play in banding.

and how can you say that the 'double horn' is called french by mistake? in my view it is the other way around.


by the way, bass trombone players should learn bass clef first, but for other trombones, i would say learn treble if you are in banding, or bass for orchestras, then the one you didn't learn, then tenor later (shouldn't be too hard after learning treble).
 
neiltwist said:
euph players should start in bands if they get the opportunity, and hence should start on treble cleff, learning bass clef later.

For once we agree!! :) :)

neiltwist said:
This is only my opinion, but it is so because there are only a limited number of opportunities outside of banding, and the best euph players play in banding.

I knew it couldn't last :( - Not sure all the best Euph players play in bands. There are lots of good pro players in the London area not with any band . . .
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
neiltwist said:
euph players should start in bands if they get the opportunity, and hence should start on treble cleff, learning bass clef later. This is only my opinion, but it is so because there are only a limited number of opportunities outside of banding, and the best euph players play in banding.

I don't know whether you spotted that blue euph is posting from Canada, where there may not be so many brass bands in operation as opposed to concert/wind bands.

neiltwist said:
and how can you say that the 'double horn' is called french by mistake? in my view it is the other way around.

As I understand it there is no agreed reason why the instrument became known as the "french" horn, and if anything the modern double horn is a predominantly german-inspired beast, taking over from the more gentle, narrower-bore french instruments.
 

neiltwist

Active Member
PeterBale said:
neiltwist said:
euph players should start in bands if they get the opportunity

I don't know whether you spotted that blue euph is posting from Canada, where there may not be so many brass bands in operation as opposed to concert/wind bands.

that's why i said if they get the opportunity.

Mike Saville said:
There are lots of good pro players in the London area not with any band . . .

sorry, didn't know about any. what ensembles do they play in?
 

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