C and B-flat Trumpets

C and B-flat Trumpets

The B-flat and C Trumpets are the standard trumpets seen.  In bands, the B-flat Trumpet is king, whereas the C Trumpet is much more common in the orchestra.  The C Trumpet is written at concert pitch, while the B-flat sounds a second lower than written.  In professional circles, the choice of B-flat versus C is completely dependent on the player.  If a player feels that the sound of a particular passage is better played on the C when it is written for the B-flat, then they play it upon the C.  In some regards, trumpet players completely disregard a composer’s intentions when it comes to instrument choice.  They have completely abandoned the old F Trumpet in favor of the smaller instruments, irrespective of the composers’ wishes for the bolder sound of the old instrument. Continue reading “C and B-flat Trumpets”

Sopranino Trumpets (D, E-flat, E, F, and G)

Sopranino Trumpets

There are a whole slew of trumpets pitched between the standard B-flat or C Trumpets and the Piccolo Trumpet.  These are the Sopranino Trumpets.  There are instruments pitched in G, F, E, E-flat, and D, all sounding above written pitch.  Like the interchangeable slides for the Piccolo Trumpets, several of these instruments are really just a single instrument like an F/G Trumpet or an E-flat/D Trumpet (the E Trumpet may be a third set of slides for either instrument, usually the F/G instrument).  Of these two instruments, the F/G Trumpet is far rarer, but most professional trumpet players will possess an E-flat/D.  The rare E Trumpet is generally only used for the Hummel Concerto, which was originally composed in E, but is usually performed in E-flat. Choice of which instrument to use is entirely up to the player.  Even with the best of intentions, a composer’s wish will usually go unheeded.  The player will simply choose the instrument which will make the passage easiest and give the best effect. Continue reading “Sopranino Trumpets (D, E-flat, E, F, and G)”