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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: BGuttman) Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing?
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Author Topic: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing?  (Read 8805 times)
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MrPillow
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« Reply #100 on: Feb 21, 2017, 07:19AM »

Blaming the situation on Remington and the 88H blatantly overlooks the tradition of large-bore instruments in American symphonic playing that had been growing since the late-1800s. It might be apt to say that Remington helped spread the influence of the American-style instrument through the 88H, but he was no fountainhead by any measure. The transition happened first in basses, with tenors following suit, and the trend was pretty well established by the time the 88H was introduced.
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« Reply #101 on: Feb 21, 2017, 08:26AM »

But your argument also outlines the problem we're discussing here. Problem? Perhaps not a problem-- more likely a trend lasting some 65 years. You quite clearly write that you make the choice of instrument with the student. So, the student will always do what the teacher wants. Of course they will.
YOU recommend their instrument. And who will the student trust?-- their own inexperienced self, or a successful professional? End of that argument for "free will" given freely to the student.

It is a fallacy. The student is free to play whatever they choose as long as they are phenomenally successful with their choice. But if they know how to play already, then they are not a student. A vicious circle.

I make recommendations.  :)  They, their parents, and/or their loans make the decisions.   Good!

When someone asks you for a recommendation, don't you always start with what you prefer?  Most people recommend what they prefer; that's pretty natural.  I don't force students to do anything.  I don't lower their grades or kick them out of the studio if they pick horn B, C, or D when I might recommend A.  But whatever they choose needs to lead them down the path toward whatever level/type of employment they're seeking or they've wasted their money.  I encourage students to attend the state Music Educators convention and play every horn in the exhibit hall.  It's part of them figuring out what they like.  And just because they might decide on a .547 horn based on my recommendation doesn't mean they're stuck with it for life.  That's what gets lost in these discussions.  Just because a university professor recommends something it doesn't equate to a life sentence on that horn.  People should grow and develop enough over time as musicians to learn what they need.  When you figure out something doesn't work, change it.

Let's go outside of music for an analogy.  I'm a sedan guy.  If someone asks me for a generic car recommendation, I'll go sedan first.  I know sedans, I like sedans, they fit what I do and need.  Now if they tell me they want to haul tons of kids and cargo or go off-road, I'll change my rec.  I won't force them to buy a sedan.  If they buy something and later decide it doesn't fit them, they sell/trade it in and get something that works better.  Life moves on, people evolve and grow, and people's needs change. 

I try to be very careful not to force students into a particular horn.  In fact, I almost went to a particular university but changed my mind partially because one teacher wanted me to play a different horn and mouthpiece than what I'd auditioned on (and been accepted on and offered scholarship on).  It was off-putting to essentially be told I was good enough to get in but that my equipment (a very good Elkhart 88H at the time) wasn't "correct" in that teacher's opinion.  So I went somewhere where the teacher worked with what you had and have been better for it.

Play what works for you and whatever musical scenarios you seek.  :)
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« Reply #102 on: Feb 21, 2017, 08:33AM »

Blaming the situation on Remington and the 88H blatantly overlooks the tradition of large-bore instruments in American symphonic playing that had been growing since the late-1800s. It might be apt to say that Remington helped spread the influence of the American-style instrument through the 88H, but he was no fountainhead by any measure. The transition happened first in basses, with tenors following suit, and the trend was pretty well established by the time the 88H was introduced.
Not just trombones. You see it in other instruments, too. The rise of the French horns in the Kruspe Horner style (Conn 8D's and the like). Bigger tubas (Chicago York, anyone?). Remington was far from the first person to use a larger-bore trombone for orchestral playing. Gardell Simons was using an 8H in the 1920's.

There's an exhaustive discussion of the rise of the modern "symphony-bore trombone" in this thread:
http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,19093.20.html

You want to popularize smaller-bore trombones for the orchestral rep? It's simple.
1) Get really good on a modern orchestral tenor.
2) Get a job as principal with a major orchestra.
3) Start playing you preferred smaller horn exclusively.
4) Take on a bunch of students and guide them toward playing smaller horns.
5) Have them win jobs with major orchestras playing those smaller horns.

I said it was simple. I didn't say it was easy.
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« Reply #103 on: Feb 21, 2017, 08:45AM »

Blaming the situation on Remington and the 88H blatantly overlooks the tradition of large-bore instruments in American symphonic playing that had been growing since the late-1800s. It might be apt to say that Remington helped spread the influence of the American-style instrument through the 88H, but he was no fountainhead by any measure. The transition happened first in basses, with tenors following suit, and the trend was pretty well established by the time the 88H was introduced.

Bryan, I concede the trend but not the standard.  The general increase in trombone sizes in American orchestras had as much to do with the German(ic) musicians playing German and German-inspired instruments than some general taste for a larger instrument.  I think the standardization of the large tenor as the "orchestral tenor" has a pedagogical underpinning.  Remington didn't invent the large bore tenor, but he went a LONG way towards standardizing it.
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« Reply #104 on: Feb 21, 2017, 08:46AM »

I don't have a clue about this but in the history is there any that use say a Bach 36 as the main horn? Or won an audition on it?

Leif
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« Reply #105 on: Feb 21, 2017, 09:05AM »

I don't have a clue about this but in the history is there any that use say a Bach 36 as the main horn? Or won an audition on it?

Leif

Sure.

Jacob Raichman played principal in the Boston Symphony on a Bach 36.  Hansotte, his 2nd, played a Conn 8H with F.  Johannes Rochut (Principal in the 1920s) played an even smaller instrument.

There is a famous picture of the Boston Symphony Orchestra trombone section of around 1910 showing the three of them with Holton-made German style trombones.
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« Reply #106 on: Feb 21, 2017, 10:06AM »

You want to popularize smaller-bore trombones for the orchestral rep? It's simple.
1) Get really good on a modern orchestral tenor.
2) Get a job as principal with a major orchestra.
3) Start playing you preferred smaller horn exclusively.
4) Take on a bunch of students and guide them toward playing smaller horns.
5) Have them win jobs with major orchestras playing those smaller horns.

I said it was simple. I didn't say it was easy.

It's like winning a trumpet audition with a Monette. It's not going to happen. But that doesn't mean that you should never use one when you get a good grip on your principal position.
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #107 on: Feb 21, 2017, 01:31PM »

I played my .525 horn when I got called to sub in the local symphony in December. Nobody knew or cared, but I felt like a little bit of a rebel inside.
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Steven

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« Reply #108 on: Feb 21, 2017, 02:47PM »

I played my .525 horn when I got called to sub in the local symphony in December. Nobody knew or cared, but I felt like a little bit of a rebel inside.

Were you playing first or second?  What was on the program?
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Steven Cangemi
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« Reply #109 on: Feb 21, 2017, 04:32PM »

Blaming the situation on Remington and the 88H blatantly overlooks the tradition of large-bore instruments in American symphonic playing that had been growing since the late-1800s. It might be apt to say that Remington helped spread the influence of the American-style instrument through the 88H, but he was no fountainhead by any measure. The transition happened first in basses, with tenors following suit, and the trend was pretty well established by the time the 88H was introduced.

It was always my understanding that Remington advocated the 88H because it could pass as a bass trombone well enough that his students didn't need to specialize right away. Ray Premru, after all, went through Eastman as a tenor trombonist, then went to London and won two auditions - London Philharmonic 2nd trombone and Philharmonia bass trombone - on his 88H. Then got himself a bass trombone after accepting the Philharmonia job.

Incidentally, I've always wondered this...does anybody know what bass trombone Ray played before 1963 when the Holton 169 was introduced? If I understand the chronology correctly, he had about 5 years in the Philharmonia job by that time. I know he didn't like Conn basses, and maybe that was the result of struggling with one during that time.
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« Reply #110 on: Feb 21, 2017, 06:48PM »

Were you playing first or second?  What was on the program?

2nd. Lots of Christmas music. I have a Rath R3 slide with R4 8.5 bell and large shank lead pipe. The only way you would know it's not 547 is with some calipers.
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« Reply #111 on: Feb 21, 2017, 08:00PM »

What about a Williams?

Just something I've been wondering lately and then this thread came up in my feed. People who have played/heard a Williams .500, do you think a horn like that could make it through an orchestral audition? It does have that big sound...
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« Reply #112 on: Feb 21, 2017, 09:10PM »

I could see playing a 3B/F once in a while, depending on the program. I did play my .525 on a few concerts when I played principal last year. But, I also love the sound of my .547 Shires in the orchestra. It's all good.
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« Reply #113 on: Feb 21, 2017, 10:30PM »

If one is going to try an squarely blame Remington for the standardization of the large bore trombone in the American school of trombone playing, then perhaps we should also blame him for putting out scores of remarkable players during his time at Eastman as well. We should also blame him for a pedagogy which has thrived in one way or another for well over 40 years past his death.

I studied with Ralph Sauer for 5 years. He never pushed the 88H on me, and he also commented once that Remington never pushed the 88H on any of his students. More often than not, the students simply gravitated that direction.

I like Chris Stearn's summation of the current orchestral climate.

If you want to change the way things are done in the trombone community, it doesn't start with the lowest people on the totem pole. If you're a student, amateur, administration, etc. you're not in a position to change the status quo. Want to change things? Prove that you're able to be a consummate  musician on anything you're holding in your hand, win that big orchestra job, start putting out a fleet of successful musicians, and THEN start trying to initiate a paradigm shift.

As an aside, if you assert that someday you will not have 4 hours a day to practice and thus cannot create a beautiful sound on a large bore instrument, then you're spending those 4 hours now focused on the wrong things. A beautiful sound is not about effort.

If you're working hard, you're doing it wrong.
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« Reply #114 on: Feb 21, 2017, 10:55PM »


A beautiful sound is not about effort.

If you're working hard, you're doing it wrong.


 Good!
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« Reply #115 on: Feb 22, 2017, 07:31AM »

If one is going to try an squarely blame Remington for the standardization of the large bore trombone in the American school of trombone playing, then perhaps we should also blame him for putting out scores of remarkable players during his time at Eastman as well. We should also blame him for a pedagogy which has thrived in one way or another for well over 40 years past his death.


I don't think blame is the right word here.  As I noted, good and bad are subjective.  Physical dimensions are not.  If you want to know why, in 2017, that sub-.525 horns aren't the standard anymore in American and European orchestras, then Remington and his students are clearly at the center of the pedagogical movement that shaped the modern trombone sound. 

I still maintain that most players that sound great on large tenors do so because they sound great, and not because the bigger trombones help them.  Ralph Sauer, who Josh mentioned, moved to a smaller instrument because it required less work to get the sound to the back of hall.  He sounded amazing on his LP recordings with an 8H.  He sounds amazing on his .525 and .525/.547 horns.  But I bet he'd admit that a beautiful sound with less effort is always a worthy goal. 
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« Reply #116 on: Feb 22, 2017, 08:46AM »

It takes work to make it sound easy. At least in my experience.
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« Reply #117 on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:13AM »

It takes work to make it sound easy. At least in my experience.

Sounding easy feels easy... but you're right... it takes a lot of work... a LOT... and a few days off and it's gone....
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« Reply #118 on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:24AM »

Perhaps a good analogy would be balancing on a tightrope? The mission is to not go wrong - which, when one has the skill down pat, feels easy because the considerable under-the-surface learned precision is being deployed near instinctively. When one doesn't, it suddenly feels very hard, and the consequent growth of self-doubt makes things even worse.
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« Reply #119 on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:36AM »

So wait... if I switch to the Ralph Sauer dual bore I still have to put in work each day? That can't be right based on what I'm reading here.

Rats!
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