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BigDon
2017-Apr-29, 11:08 PM
Don't you just hate it when you live with somebody who's been into music long enough they feel the need to expand and experiment?

Yep, that's my brother right now. Has more guitars of different sorts than I have fingers and knows how to play them all. Except the "damn banjo". This is the same haunted banjo I posted about years ago. The one that played itself when you put it in the right alcove. Started doing it here as well, (new place), until I found a less acoustically active place to put its stand. Or appeased the poltergeist, whichever you prefer.

My brother's musical skill, (guitars) is where if his friends want to do a song he doesn't know, he'll pick up the lead, rhythm and bass lines simply by listening to the song for half a day and playing them out on the appropriate guitar.

I couldn't do that with a tape recorder.

And he would love it terribly if I were to play as well but I have some neuro issues that make most musical instruments not possible for me to utilize properly.

But anyway, looking for new beats and rhythms he's been listening to popular music in languages he doesn't know, thereby rendering the singer's voice "all melody".

Looks sweet on paper doesn't it?

Hey Clev, you know what this means in reality?

It means you get stuck with the chorus of Hyuna's "Roll Deep" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib_1ATfr8wM lodged in your head for the last three weeks.

Since I haven't the slightest hint of Korean I technically CAN'T have the chorus going through my head, so it's all melodic jibberish, on a loop.

Still, it was better than when the two guys I used to work for at the fish store would endlessly play "Deep Forest" a compilation of songs sung by women of the Mbuti pygmies, put to music. The chorus of their most popular track sounding remarkably like "Itty bitty witty kitty di di mau!" So much so I got hollered at for singing it out loud and annoying my boss, who then couldn't unthink it.

Anyway I have a question for Hornblower. Or anyone else who feels qualified to comment.

Would a trumpet or French horn sound the same if they were straightened out?

(Wow that was a long lead in to a simple question. Maybe a future in law or politics is in order.)

Hornblower
2017-Apr-30, 03:27 AM
Anyway I have a question for Hornblower. Or anyone else who feels qualified to comment.

Would a trumpet or French horn sound the same if they were straightened out?

(Wow that was a long lead in to a simple question. Maybe a future in law or politics is in order.)If I am not mistaken, straightening out the horn will have little if any effect on the tone. It might blow a little easier and perhaps be a bit more brilliant, but nothing major. Our straight-line herald trumpets in my military band sounded pretty much like regular orchestral trumpets.

grant hutchison
2017-Apr-30, 01:55 PM
Yes. There are at least three different ways of curving the old serpent wind instrument - straight with a fold in the middle, and "church serpentine" and "military serpentine", which are both double S shapes, but with tighter curves in the military version, which needed to be more portable. They all sound the same, and the curves are only there to bring the finger-holes within reach. (If it were straight, the most distant holes would be 1.7 metres from the mouthpiece!)

Grant Hutchison

publiusr
2017-Apr-30, 07:16 PM
And people thought the bullpup design was first used on carbines...

BigDon
2017-May-01, 03:55 PM
Thanks Hornblower, Doc.

Here's something for you guys to contemplate. I present to you the War Tuba.

I'll leave it to somebody else to explain what those actually are, well, okay I'll spill.

Those aren't war tubas those are ear trumpets on steroids.

Designed to direct guns onto aircraft in the pre-radar days. At least in theory.

Delvo
2017-May-03, 01:32 AM
Our straight-line herald trumpets in my military band sounded pretty much like regular orchestral trumpets.The same thing it also taken advantage of in "marching" versions of bigger brass instruments. French horn, baritone horn or euphonium, and tuba are normally held in the lap and designed to rest on a leg and still have the bell point in the usual direction, but, in a marching band, the former two are normally rewound into a format more like a large trumpet, and the latter is rewound into a big loop that actually goes around the player and rests on one shoulder (sousaphone).

Hornblower
2017-May-03, 02:43 AM
The same thing it also taken advantage of in "marching" versions of bigger brass instruments. French horn, baritone horn or euphonium, and tuba are normally held in the lap and designed to rest on a leg and still have the bell point in the usual direction, but, in a marching band, the former two are normally rewound into a format more like a large trumpet, and the latter is rewound into a big loop that actually goes around the player and rests on one shoulder (sousaphone).

Most of the available marching substitutes for the French horn (mellophone, altonium, etc.) are of pitifully poor quality. The best ones I used in military service were the British tenor horns that are used by the competitive brass bands in the UK. Most of us in American military bands prefer to stay with the French horn despite the extreme difficulty of playing it while marching.

Delvo
2017-May-03, 04:26 AM
Ha! I didn't even think about your name or avatar while I was writing that. But ya, the concert versions aren't impossible to march with, just less convenient; I've even seen guys marching with (relatively small) concert tubas, with the bells pointed to the sky! (Although that would have been quite impossible with the extra-wide ones I once played.)

Back on the subject of the original question, though...

1. Although the bends & curves don't change the sound, another aspect of shape does: the change in diameter from mouthpiece to bell. In general, if the pipe gradually gets wider and wider the whole time (usually resulting in a bigger bell than the alternative, unless it has almost no flare-out at the end), you get a sound that's described as more mellow, softer, darker, or warmer; if it stays close to the same diameter most of the way through and suddenly flares out all at once at the bell (usually a visibly smaller bell than the alternative), you get a sound that people call brighter, colder, or more piercing (they'd probably say "sharper" if that word weren't taken). The former is called a "conical bore" and the latter is called a "cylindrical bore". A trumpet has a rather cylindrical bore; its most radically conical counterpart is a flugel horn, and an intermediate between those extremes is a cornet. (And one with no valves is a bugle.) At twice the length and an octave lower, a trumpet's counterpart, with a cylindrical bore, is a trombone; the most conical horn at that size range is a euphonium, and an intermediate between them is a baritone horn. In both of these size ranges, an orchestra typically has only the skinny cylindrical types; the wider conical types only show up in bands and brass choirs or smaller brass groups like quintets. Another doubling of length and another octave down, they're all just called "tubas" regardless of bore profile, but they can still come in just as much variety of profiles.

...Because of the slide, a trombone really couldn't work with a conical bore. There's really no reason why a cylindrical bore the length of a trombone/baritone/euphonium, with valves, couldn't be made in the shape of a large trumpet, or a lap-horn like a skinnier concert baritone/euphonium, but apparently few or no manufacturers bother to make one because there's already a standard cylindrical horn at that size & pitch range, and it's the trombone. So the separation by bore profile also ends up equating, in practical terms, to a separation between slides and valves. Strangely, there are instruments made in this size range with a cylindrical bore like a trombone's, and valves, but not in either of those two normal valved-horn shapes (lap-horn or overgrown trumpet); instead, they're made to completely pointlessly mimic the shape of a trombone (long U-turn bit sticking out in front, bell-piece over the shoulder), and they're called "valve trombones". If I were still playing now, I might be using a valve trombone, but I'd be wishing the whole time that it weren't designed to try to imitate a slide trombone's superficial appearance.

2. If you're one of those people who can hear the difference between a French horn and other brass instruments even without much experience in bands or orchestras, that's because it's a bit of a freak in another aspect of shape: the ratio of mouthpiece size to horn size. The rest mostly scale proportionally, but a French horn has a smaller mouthpiece than a trumpet on a bigger horn (with an even more bigger bell, proportionally for its length; it's shorter than a trombone but can have a wider bell than some trombones). I've played every basic modern brass instrument type except French horn. I took one look at its excuse for a "mouthpiece" and said "that's not a mouthpiece; that's just the end of the pipe where you're supposed to attach the mouthpiece".

Jens
2017-May-03, 05:06 AM
Most of the available marching substitutes for the French horn (mellophone, altonium, etc.) are of pitifully poor quality.

Judging my the sound, I would have to say that all French horns are of pitiful quality. Either that, or people don't know how to play them. :)

Hornblower
2017-May-03, 11:16 AM
Judging my the sound, I would have to say that all French horns are of pitiful quality. Either that, or people don't know how to play them. :)

It is a wonderful instrument when wonderfully played. If straightened out it would actually be longer than a straightened-out trombone, and as a result there are many different notes close together in the scale that can be played with the same fingering. This makes the horn very unforgiving of minor errors in mouth formation, with the result being missed or splattered notes. Playing a solo part on this horn is not for the faint-hearted.

grant hutchison
2017-May-03, 11:38 AM
Judging my the sound, I would have to say that all French horns are of pitiful quality. Either that, or people don't know how to play them. :)The tone's not to everyone's taste, but it's also an easy instrument to play badly, I think.
However, here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNuJVfe-t3o&feature=youtu.be&t=6m13s) is Radek Baborák rendering Mozart's Horn Concerto No.3 (my link should drop you into the YouTube video at 6m13s, as he starts his solo). If you feel that's of pitiful quality, then we simply have to conclude that you don't like French horns!

(And now pause to be astonished that Mozart originally wrote that piece for the Natural horn, which had no valves.)

Grant Hutchison

BigDon
2017-May-03, 03:57 PM
Judging my the sound, I would have to say that all French horns are of pitiful quality. Either that, or people don't know how to play them. :)

Hey Hornblower, do you still have that link to the woman playing the French Horn that was so wonderful?

Trebuchet
2017-May-03, 05:07 PM
Most of the available marching substitutes for the French horn (mellophone, altonium, etc.) are of pitifully poor quality. The best ones I used in military service were the British tenor horns that are used by the competitive brass bands in the UK. Most of us in American military bands prefer to stay with the French horn despite the extreme difficulty of playing it while marching.
I played it while marching for six years in Jr Hi and High School. In Montana. Where all parades have horses. In an era when they hadn't figured out having someone follow behind picking up the horse puckey. I High School, our uniforms had spats, with a little buckle under the arch of the foot. I hated taking those off.


Judging my the sound, I would have to say that all French horns are of pitiful quality. Either that, or people don't know how to play them. :) You must have been listening to my playing.


It is a wonderful instrument when wonderfully played. If straightened out it would actually be longer than a straightened-out trombone, and as a result there are many different notes close together in the scale that can be played with the same fingering. This makes the horn very unforgiving of minor errors in mouth formation, with the result being missed or splattered notes. Playing a solo part on this horn is not for the faint-hearted. Especially if your skill are like mine were.


The tone's not to everyone's taste, but it's also an easy instrument to play badly, I think.

Grant Hutchison

I disagree. I played badly, and still found it difficult.