September 2014


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As you start back to school, set a variety of goals for the year, I would like you to consider adding a little extra study of history. In particular, trumpet history! How much about the history of the trumpet do you know? My goal with this website is to help direct you and give you things to listen to, think about, and work on in your practicing.

If you like to read, my favorite book on trumpet history is The Music & History of the Baroque Trumpet before 1721 by Don Smithers            (Southern Illinois University Press, 2ed. 1988). For trumpet/cornet history closer to the present time, I like The Cornet Compendium- The History and Development of the Nineteenth-Century Cornet by Richard I. Schwartz. Both works are full of fascinating details as well as a great over-view of trumpet/cornet history. (Both are great books to use over and over again- but you may also be able to get them at your home library through an  inter-library loan).

If you are more visually oriented than there are two wonderful websites with images and history too!
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National Music Museum-

Go to “Collections” than “Checklists of Musical Instruments” finally- “Brass Instruments”

The National Music Museum is a truly wonderful collection of musical instruments. If you are near Vermillion South Dakota- do stop in- it is a great place to visit live. I especially loved the jewel encrusted natural trumpet that I saw on one of my visits there!

Musical Instrument Museum of Edinburgh

Another gem of a museum is the Musical Instrument Museum of Edinburgh. They have a lovely collection of brass instruments as well. This site is nice because it contains sound files for some of the instruments in the collection. The trumpet performers are John Wallace and Crispian Steele-Perkins. They each perform beautifully on an assortment of instruments from the collection and the instruments shine on featured short melodies. You could also look on Youtube for more great playing by both of these gentlemen.

I hope you enjoy learning more about the trumpet. Sometimes it seems so amazing that so much great music has been written for brass instruments; instruments that through history have had an assortment of limitations and capabilities. But remember, always the players practiced and made the instrument sound wonderful and inspiring.