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Clarinos, Horns & Trumpets

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Author Topic: Clarinos, Horns & Trumpets  (Read 96 times)
Neil McGowan
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« on: February 04, 2012, 10:31:13 pm »

Horns and Trumpets are both brass instruments - but their characteristic sounds arise from different constructions.

HORNS have tubing which is conical for its entire length - in other words, the diameter of the tubing increases slowly but continuously throughout its length.  Examples of horns include French Horns, Hunting Horns, and most brass band instruments (including cornets, which are soprano horns).  Horns play best with a reverse-conical mouthpiece (ie one that tapers inwards towards the mouthpiece tip of the instrument).

TRUMPETS have tubing which is cylindrical for 2/3rds of the length, and only becomes conical towards the end, finally ending in a flared bell. Examples of trumpets include modern orchestral trumpets, baroque clarino trumpets, and all kinds of trombone.  Trumpets and trombones play best with cup-shaped mouthpieces.  Some trumpeters put their trumpet mouthpieces in cornets to play them - but the sound is wrong.

[Neil played the cornet in a brass band for 5-6 years when he was a kid, and the trumpet in the London Schools Symphony Orch]

Evidence suggests that in the C18th the same players did duty on both families of intruments, BUT the instruments themselves aren't interchangeable.
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