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1096476 Posts in 72523 Topics- by 19536 Members - Latest Member: devnull2112
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Bass Trombone for student? on: Yesterday at 07:42 PM
Would I be wrong to say a double trigger is over-kill for a high school student?

How often is the extra B at the bottom an issue in the repertoire that gets played in high school?
2  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: 20 cellos compared in one minute on: Yesterday at 12:50 PM
Tried... but what did it actually sell for? Or did it even sell?
3  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Define "breath support" on: Yesterday at 09:19 AM
"Breath support" is a venerable brass teacher term.  Do you use the term in your teaching?

If so, what do you say it is, in a brief sentence or two? (Preferably without re-using "breath" and "support"  :) )

If you are not a brass teacher, how did your teacher define it to you?
4  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: New Forum Members! on: Yesterday at 07:31 AM
You've never had a course in Physics, I'll bet.

Or maybe he has and that's the problem.  :)

The physics classes I had in high school and college dealt with sound and resonance in the most over-simplified and "ideal body" sort of way.

Lacehole's question and its presumptions are not unreasonable given the basics and formulas that are taught in an Intro to Physics.

Want to hear some howlers? Let a physics teacher start talking about music for a while.  Yeah, RIGHT.

5  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: 20 cellos compared in one minute on: Feb 16, 2018, 08:40PM
I've been considering taking up violin...

Seriously... violin is for people who can start as children and still have bones mostly made of cartilage.

I've been an adult starter on both viola and cello.  Cello is way easier on the ergonomics.
6  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:38PM
I'll note that not all descriptions of trombone playing previous centuries is complimentary

From the briefest perusal of Will Kimball's Trombone Timeline.

1628—Durham, England: Peter Smart... brings a lawsuit against John Cosin, fellow-Prebendary and Bishop of Durham, complaining about Consin’s “Popish” activities. Among Smart’s specific complaints are the following: “Article 7: He has divided the morning service into two parts; the six o’clock service which used to be read only and not sung, he chants with organs, sackbuts and cornetts, which yield a hideous noise

1647—Venice, Italy: Trombonist-composer Paul Hainlein, who is visiting from Germany, complains about the quality of trombonists in Venice: “I have no desire to study with what passes as a trombonist here, for I have heard much better players before. I don’t think that much attention is given to this instrument in all of Italy—even in Rome. I wouldn’t know at this time where a really good artist on this instrument could be found. I also have no desire to spend much money on this, because all I need is practice” (Samuel 15).

1636—Seville, Spain: Organist, composer, and theorist Francisco Correa de Arauxo makes the following comment in his treatise, Facultad orgánica, in regard to a trombone-playing colleague: “There was... a man remarkable in knowledge and especially in skill of embellishing on this instrument. One critic said of him that he had ruined [echado a perder] many trombone players of his time, because in imitating his embellishments they revealed faults that they hid [when] playing quietly; that is, plainly [unembellished]”

So, yes, there were skilled trombonists... but many mediocre ones as well.

It is just not plausible that they were all masters, even if they had a job doing it.
7  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 01:26PM
Not quite.  In the first several centuries of the instrument's existence, it was a professionals-only instrument.  Those guys were likely every bit as capable as top-tier professionals today.  We've got the music that was written for them, and a lot of it is extremely difficult. 

I would bet that players in the 16th and 17th centuries were, on average, much much better than the average player today.  Don't make the mistake of comparing yesterday's professionals with today's abundance of amateurs. 

It's too easy to make bets on cards that will never be laid on the table.

I would bet that the polished nature of today's professional authentic instrument ensembles has seriously colored our imagination of what was common back then.

8  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 11:54AM
We can have a boxing glove on our instrument and knock a viola player.

If it didn't exist, the cartoonists would demand we invent it.

9  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 09:07AM
Your basic premise is wrong from a music-history standpoint.  The trombone was, for centuries, the only instrument that could play loud or soft and perfectly in tune in any key or mode.  Its technical abilities are solely limited by the skill of the player.  Those factors, combined with its abilities to blend in absolutely any ensemble, and to cover the bass, tenor, and alto instrumental ranges, have kept it alive and flourishing. 

When we talk about the unique ability of the trombone to do perfectly this and to do perfectly that as a reason for its longevity ... we are presuming that players back then were, on average, substantially better at this than players are, on average, at those things today.

When we consider that they probably weren't any better, the "slide trombone" becomes a bit more mysterious.  :)

10  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Feb 16, 2018, 08:38AM
Copied and posted from Quora... ex-mil and airline pilot who has met Donald Trump...

Q:Is Trump the first president in your life time that you respect and support?


Ron Wagner, I met Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41 & Trump.

Answered Thu

I’ll probably be the only person answering this question who has met six U.S. Presidents, including the one in question, so maybe I have a deeper perspective.

The short answer is NO, but before I explain about meeting so many Presidents, let me add a quick sidebar.


So, whoever asked this question, I’d like to ask you one: Is there, seriously, anyone in this country who respects Trump?

Do you?

If you respect that man, rather than ask questions like this, have the convictions to come out and state your respect and proudly give the reasons. Why are you reluctant to put your respect for him on record?


Long before meeting Trump, I had met and flown the first five on that list up there as my “credential.” I did not fly Air Force One, but I was a pilot in the 89th at Andrews AFB in DC.

I flew Richard Nixon on his first trip back into the public spotlight after his exile.

I flew Gerald Ford when he was a “former” POTUS. I flew Betty Ford and two of his kids, Steven and Susan, while he was POTUS—in other words, they were First Family.

I met Jimmy Carter while he was POTUS, but didn’t fly him until afterward. I flew Rosalynn twice while she was First Lady, and both of them after his term. I flew Carter’s mother, Miss Lillian, and brother Billy while they were First Family.

I flew Ronald Reagan before he was POTUS.

I flew George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, while he was Director of the CIA, then I flew them both when he was VP.

And so, there I sat, with bragging rights of meeting and flying five Presidents and three First Ladies, and several family members.

They were all worthy of respect, well, maybe not Billy. But everyone else!


Oddly, even after I left Andrews, my connection with future Presidents continued when I flew for Eastern Air Lines, based at Washington National, just across the river from my former home base. I mostly flew the Eastern Shuttle between DCA and LGA, in New York. During that time I flew Trump several times, never giving him much thought because we flew just about everybody famous you could think of. He was just one more, and not really very famous. More like infamous.

In 1989, Eastern went bankrupt and Trump offered to buy the Shuttle. He seemed sleazy to me, but I went to the meeting he held to sell his pitch to the pilots.

From behind those beady, hollow eyes, and through that weird, squarish mouth of his, he made a glowing pitch. The phrase I recall the most is, “I’m going to run it like a diamond. Like an absolutely diamond.” I still cringe at the way he said the word “diamond.” It made his mouth pucker up even squarer and he did that thing with his hands. Ugggghhhhhh. Creepy.

If his sleaziness didn’t drive me away his “diamond” dreams would have. I’d flown the Shuttle for years and knew the rich and the famous and they all rode the Shuttle for one reason: a fast trip between NYC and DC. We were in the air about 35 minutes. There was no demand for, nor time for, any kind of “diamond” service. They just wanted a no-fuss seat and not to be bothered while they read the WSJ.

I declined Trump’s offer.

He bought the Eastern Shuttle—like everything he bought—with highly leveraged borrowed funds. In less than two years, the truth was out.

While he owned it, he formed one of those hundreds (thousands?) of pop-up corporations, to which he sold one Boeing 727 for practically nothing and then made the Shuttle lease it back. When he bankrupted the Shuttle, his leasing company got to keep the one jet, which he painted up as the first big TRUMP jet. And somehow he also got to keep 12 million in cash.

I flew this jet when it belonged to Eastern, before Trump stole it with manipulative corporate shuffling. Of course he touted it as a symbol of his enormous wealth, when in reality it was a symbol of his debased soul. In essence, his bankruptcy creditors paid for it.

    Here’s a weird aspect of the Trump Shuttle. Trump designed new pilot uniforms and they looked like business suits and the official uniform tie was bright red—you know, like a Trump “power tie.” He wanted an army of little Trumpkins flying the planes with his name on them. It was disconcerting to me to see former crew members with their red ties. They looked more like clowns than professionals.

We’d have all blown a gasket if we’d known we were flying a future President. Or maybe thrown up.


So, now, if the topic of my past comes up, I lie and tell people I flew five Presidents. I do not want to contaminate the names of the five good ones I flew with the filth of mentioning the sixth.

I never thought I’d have so much respect for Richard Nixon!
11  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:47AM
In addition to the above theories of chromatic ability, intonation, low cost and serendipitous right-place-at-the-right-time happenstances, I propose one other factor...

The outsize visual nature of it!
It isn't just big, you play it big in a manner unlike any other instrument.

It is compelling for civilians to watch being played. They can watch you play and think they know how it works. 

There is an 18th Century story of trombones appearing in an opera orchestra in London after having been completely unknown in the UK for many decades. Just about everyone in the audience had to saunter by the pit during intermission to get a look at the thing.

Although it is mechanically simple the exact mechanism remains an elusive curiosity. You could probably make a book out of all the Renaissance paintings where someone has tried and failed to depict a slide trombone.

The slide trombone is an icon of music, like the shape of the violin or a treble clef sign, in a way that the valve trombone will never be.

12  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Feb 15, 2018, 02:49PM
Why, it's almost as if the Twitter hand doesn't know what the Signing hand is doing...

13  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Braces or Invisalign? on: Feb 15, 2018, 12:37PM
Aside from a dentist's desire to get done with a patient ASAP, is there any reason you couldn't wear each form for 2 weeks + one day and get more non-form hours available in a day?

14  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Braces or Invisalign? on: Feb 14, 2018, 01:31PM

I'll just rob some of the time I would have used for eating to play trombone. Then I'll truly be a starving musician.

Get a blender.  Liquid diet. Won't even need teeth.
15  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Feb 14, 2018, 09:53AM
I wonder.  Since so many Generals and Admirals are in key Trump positions, is this a sort of military coup? Don't know

I see it as an indicator of how little talent and expertise there is to draw upon in Trump's regular entourage.

But outside of stopping Trump from nuking Canada because Justin Trudeau has better hair I don't see the generals as trying to derail the Trump agenda. Kelly says he's there to enable it.
16  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our (semi-)balanced former POTUS on: Feb 14, 2018, 09:43AM
To paraphrase an old Disney artist I knew, it's not a picture OF Michelle Obama, it's a picture ABOUT Michelle Obama.

The Obamas Wrest Presidential Portraiture From Its Traditional (White) Trappings

...Michelle Obama and Amy Sherald, the artist the former first lady carefully selected to paint her official portrait, took the stage. Together, they tugged on one of the fabric coverings until it fell to the ground. The crowd gasped audibly when the larger-than-life painting appeared before them and then broke into enthusiastic applause.

Sherald described her painting practice as a conceptual one, founded not upon accuracy but imagination. “Once my paintings are complete, the models no longer live in the paintings as themselves,” she told the crowd. “I see something bigger in them, something more symbolic, an archetype. I paint things I want to see. I paint as a way of looking for myself in the world.”

17  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Feb 14, 2018, 09:17AM
Or that THIS is what could bring down Kelly?

I think when Kelly leaves it will be because he's sick of Trump et al. and any scandal of the moment will be used as a convenient excuse to not come out and say he's sick of Trump et al..

18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Feb 14, 2018, 08:17AM
It seems impossible for anyone, no matter how honorable their intentions, to get involved with this administration and not end up looking bad.

‘Big Fat Liar’: WaPo Reports On White House Staff’s Frustration With Kelly

One unnamed White House aide told the Post that Wray’s testimony was “a killer” and, asked if Kelly could have been more truthful about the scandal, said: “In this White House, it’s simply not in our DNA. Truthful and transparent is great, but we don’t even have a coherent strategy to obfuscate.

But I'm surprised this Rob Porter scandal has legs past one news cycle. After all the other crazy stuff, a guy beating his wife is the thing people keep talking about?
19  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Braces or Invisalign? on: Feb 13, 2018, 06:22PM
I presumed one would take the invisaligns out while playing.
20  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our (semi-)balanced former POTUS on: Feb 13, 2018, 08:02AM

The Hidden Political Message of Michelle Obama’s Portrait Dress
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