Contrabass Trumpets

Contrabass Trumpets

I only include these rare, and sometimes unique, trumpets for the sake of completeness.  There have been several instruments called a Contrabass Trumpet over the years.  Some of these are pitched in F below the regular Bass Trumpet, while others are a full octave lower than the Bass Trumpet.  The instrument in F is the equivalent of an Bass Tuba, while the one in C or B-flat is the same pitch as the Contrabass Tuba. Continue reading “Contrabass Trumpets”

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Bass Trumpet

Bass Trumpet

The Bass Trumpet, sometimes called a Tenor Trumpet, is pitched one octave below the standard B-flat or C Trumpet, and can be pitched in either key (B-flat or C).  Unlike the other members of the trumpet family, the Bass Trumpet is almost never played by a true trumpeter, but rather is usually played by a trombonist or a Euphoniumist.  Because of this, we should rethink some of the ways we have traditionally thought of writing for the Bass Trumpet. Continue reading “Bass Trumpet”

Alto Trumpet

Alto Trumpet

The Alto Trumpet is rarely seen anymore.  It is pitched in either E-flat or F a sixth or a fifth below the standard C Trumpet.  In many ways, it is the exact instrument that was used in the Nineteenth Century for their F Trumpet parts, but with a slightly bigger bore.  This bigger bore favors the lower notes.

There is one major piece in the orchestral literature that calls for the Alto Trumpet: The Rite of Spring.  Here, I am going to clear up a huge problem that every single orchestration book has gotten wrong.  Continue reading “Alto Trumpet”