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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 7602 times)
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Ellrod

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« Reply #120 on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:38AM »

There's no free lunch.
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Stan

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« Reply #121 on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:45AM »

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!

I don't think anybody's saying that, even jokingly.  But it's a fact that it takes a different energy requirement to play a larger instrument.  It's not a free lunch, but it is a reduced-price lunch. 
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #122 on: Feb 22, 2017, 10:06AM »

I don't think anybody's saying that, even jokingly.  But it's a fact that it takes a different energy requirement to play a larger instrument.  It's not a free lunch, but it is a reduced-price lunch. 

Why is it so much harder to play well on a small bore then? It might take less air but it takes considerably more concentration and finesse.
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« Reply #123 on: Feb 22, 2017, 10:43AM »

I recently retired from Teaching and we moved to FL. I`ve since been asked to play in a very good Trombone Quartet and a large Brass Ens.
For the first time in years I have a need for a Large Bore horn. For years I didn`t own one because, I didn`t need one.
Now that I`m older (and hopefully wiser) I GET how to play a larger horn. In college and beyond I could never really get into playing .547 horns.
I had a lot, a couple good 88H`s , 8H, 42. 42B and a Benge 190. They were all good horns but I couldnt do them justice.
Now I bought 4 months ago a used 42BO. It`s looks like hell but plays like a dream .
I now understand Jay Freidman`s comment on how he plays that huge set-up . (and I paraphrase) "I play it like it`s a small bore horn".
I now don`t approach the larger horn any differently that the smaller horns and it works for me
Just my 2 cents
 
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« Reply #124 on: Feb 22, 2017, 10:50AM »

When talking about getting an exciting sound it's often more about thickness/weight of the bell than bore size.
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« Reply #125 on: Feb 22, 2017, 10:54AM »

For grins, a few years ago I brought both my 16M and my Edwards to a local youth symphony rehearsal that hired brass/woodwinds for concerts. I switched from the large horn to the Bach about halfway through, and switched back a few minutes later; the sound was all wrong from the section. I personally preferred playing the smaller horn and the conductor didn't seem to care, but the section sound was just not right.
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #126 on: Feb 22, 2017, 11:06AM »

When talking about getting an exciting sound it's often more about thickness/weight of the bell than bore size.

Or even more likely, the approach of the musician playing the instrument.
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« Reply #127 on: Feb 22, 2017, 11:49PM »

Or even more likely, the approach of the musician playing the instrument.

Nobody can argue with that. No instrument will make or break a musician. The argument here, as far as I can see is about timbral colours and shapes. Nobody wins an orchestral audition with a small bore trombone. That's a standard. The question is, whether the timbres and colours that can be naturally created with a small bore tbone can be use adequately in symphonic/opera settings.
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MoominDave

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« Reply #128 on: Feb 23, 2017, 01:46AM »

The question is, whether the timbres and colours that can be naturally created with a small bore tbone can be use adequately in symphonic/opera settings.

Oh, we know the answer to that: yes, they can. At professional level they were in the past, and sometimes are today. Various pro sections (particularly in chamber orchestras) these days use equipment downsizing to good effect, which is a trend I like the results of and motivation for.

The question that's being debated here seems to be more along the lines of "Can we conceive of smaller equipment thriving in the larger settings to the point where it starts to command a market share that starts to rival large bores?", and "Can we <ditto> to the point where it ceases to be a disadvantage in audition situations?".

So, much of this is obvious and/or already said in this thread, but I'll offer my answer:

The basic difficulty is that a smaller instrument in a large bore section has challenges tonally matching. If you come in on 2nd trombone with something smaller, how well does the section sound work the first time you lay out a big fortissimo together? 1st bone has more scope to downsize without upsetting the balance, higher in the chord as they are.
One could imagine a scenario where if enough 1st trombone players started playing medium bores as their go-to equipment, then 2nds and basses would go down to match. But we're a long way from that culturally.

I am not a professional player. Sure, people give me money to parp regularly, but I don't seek it out, and it isn't my income. Proper pros have significantly greater consistency in their playing, because they have to. But still, I ask myself what I do with my fixing hat on... I fix for quite a decent brass band (the other two trombonists are music college graduates), and fix low brass for various amateur orchestral situations, centring around the upper available end of the 'I play for them because the music's good and the standard isn't terrible' level. And I must say that I am contributing to the status quo in what I do - players that I know will show up with smaller equipment I will book carefully to suit repertoire. I need a 2nd trombone for some Mahler to sit between an 88H and me on my bass? I'm not going to book the player who always brings a King 3B or even a Bach 36, no matter how technically accomplished and musically sensitive they are. I need a tenor player of either flavour to go to a brass band contest with a piece that's a big modern blow? Ditto, even more so. The blend/balance won't be what's expected.

What I will do is, when the opportunity musically arises, discuss possibilities of downsizing the whole section together. But very often individual players will veto such suggestions, preferring the familiarity of their regular instruments. I think we will be comfortably enjoying our large bore trombone sound culture for a while yet. I rather hope to live to see the next change, but I'm in my late 30s now, and the landscape is only minorly changed from what it was when I was learning to play as a child. This equilibrium seems relatively stable.
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #129 on: Feb 23, 2017, 02:18AM »

I'll second that, Dave.

I've been fixing for various amateur London orchestras for longer than I care to remember now. I do have the luxury of suggesting which instruments would work well in different repertoire situations and given that the vast majority of those occasions involve either a small or concert orchestra, possible with a chorus, it goes without saying that smaller instruments are often well suited to that performance situation. Not for the first time, out will come either two B flat tenors and a G bass or the German set of ATB trombones (either B flat/F or F bass), as these are particularly well suited to use in the smaller orchestra (though the German trombones will work well even in a large orchestra).

It's horses for courses. Some modern, full-time, professional orchestras (e.g. London Philharmonic, Royal Opera House) will downsize as the repertoire demands. Ultimately it's down to the section and the conductor. Unfortunately, the large bore trend set in mainly because of conductors in the jet-set age expecting the same results everywhere they went, while before that (we're talking pre-WWII) conductors didn't have that luxury, so even orchestras such as the Concertgebouw were able to use the G bass regularly.
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Pre59

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« Reply #130 on: Feb 23, 2017, 02:50AM »


Unfortunately, the large bore trend set in mainly because of conductors in the jet-set age expecting the same results everywhere they went, while before that (we're talking pre-WWII) conductors didn't have that luxury, so even orchestras such as the Concertgebouw were able to use the G bass regularly.


In the last 40 years there's been a convergence of sound and styles going across all musics to making everything sound uniform, and orchestras certainly haven't been excluded. If so many orchestras sound similar, it's going to be ever more difficult to justify their funding, and ultimately their existence.

Is this smaller bore a Brit thing?
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« Reply #131 on: Feb 23, 2017, 04:26AM »

Yes, market share. Money talks.

A friend has played a prototype Rath R5. .543 bore slide. Not .547. Supposedly it was an attempt to capture the best qualities of a Conn 88H that mimicked a Bach 36. My Eastman trained prof always said that the closest horn to a Conn 88H , that was a non-Conn, was a Bach 36B.
Why didn't the Bach 36B rival the 88H? Because the Elkhart 88H was superior in every way.
Valve pull to bE, more ergonomic slide, and a sound to die for.

The Rath website still lists the R5 leadpipe as an option to purchase. It was designed for a lost .543 bore horn. The beginning of a lost trend.

Take note that the commonly available red brass Rath bell Conn-clone 845 isn't there any more.
Another experiment that market share devoured.

At one point tenors were smaller. The King Symphony designed for the Cleveland Orchestra was .536/ .546...but it played huge because it was a clone of  a German trombone and had a 9" bell, so numbers and specs don't account for much.
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #132 on: Feb 23, 2017, 04:32AM »

.543 vs. 547...? .004" difference? That's still a .547 tenor built imperceptibly out of spec.
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« Reply #133 on: Feb 23, 2017, 05:07AM »

It's a fifth of the way between 547 and 525. Subtle, but I'd expect to feel that.

Btw, by "market share", I meant the fraction of players playing smaller stuff; I wasn't talking about fashions driving development priorities, although that's an interesting topic in itself.
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #134 on: Mar 09, 2017, 02:43AM »

I have brought in a small tenor to play first on some orchestral works. Chavez Symphony #2 goes sailing up to a high E on a solo. Much easier on a smaller horn.

I like the idea of other orchestral rep on small tenor. Even some alto parts work nicely on small tenor, if you get a nice sound on the horn.

You have to PRACTICE small bore horns!! Too many people think of the small tenor as a "jazz" horn. It can be and tends to be more popular in those idioms but listen to Charlie Loper, Jim Pugh, Miles Anderson and others and you will hear a great sound. Period. And it's a sound that is refined and just as "legitimate" as a great big tenor sound.

The late Byron Peebles asked then LA phil conductor Zubin Mehta to go out in the hall to hear Byron play a few different instruments for feedback. Byron played a series of excerpts and solos on a Bach 42, a Conn 88h and a Bach 36.

Mehta chose the 36. Hands down.
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« Reply #135 on: Mar 09, 2017, 03:06AM »

I'll be doing a strange combination of works in little over a week's time. The orchestra has programmed Strauss Till Eulenspiegel and Debussy Images in the same concert and they demand very different styles of sound and approach. Trombones have all agreed to switch from large bore TTB instruments in the Strauss to small bore TTT for the Debussy. The difference in sound is tremendous.
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« Reply #136 on: Mar 09, 2017, 07:48AM »

At one point tenors were smaller. The King Symphony designed for the Cleveland Orchestra was .536/ .546...but it played huge because it was a clone of  a German trombone and had a 9" bell, so numbers and specs don't account for much.
Not just a 9" flare, but a generally larger instrument all the way back through most of the neckpipe.
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