A Conversation for Trumpets

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Post 1

babelhorn

Well this is a disappointment. I thought that the sound I make on the trumpet was created by air accelerated by the embouchure through the venturi tube into the lead pipe exciting the air column into a standing wave with in the trumpet and amplified by the exponential bell. I have always been told that the shape of the horn decides the resultant tone. That’s why the cylindrically bored trumpet has a different tone than the conically shaped flugelhorn and coronet. The lip buzz that we feel is a result of this musical sound with in the horn. For instance our lips vibrate sympathetically with the sound wave. If you play a flute you will also notice that the lips feel a vibration. I tried to play a flute and was surprised to find that my lips did vibrate, but nothing so gratifying as a raspberry. God I feel so stupid. I'll start spiting into my trumpet immediately. Silly me wasting 40 years doing it all wrong.

Tom

See my introduction about the Babelhorn under “Hi I’m new”
Babelhorn


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Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

Which just goes to show that you can do something for forty years without ever understanding how it works!

I am sure you were intending to be sarcastic, Tom, but you've failed because the explanation in the entry is correct, and you are wrong. The lip buzz is essential to the production of the sound, otherwise you could just attach an air pump to the trumpet and get it to blow. All wind instruments need a noise generator to create the disturbance in the air stream.


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Post 3

babelhorn

Yes I was being sarcastic. And YES you can attach an air compressor to your trumpet and get a heck of a sound. I have very many other examples I use to teach students to free up their sound and get the thing cooking the way it is meant to. The rasp approach is something that brings a lot of stress to the player and a great deal of other problems that hinder musicality.

The real cool thing about this venue is that we can only bandy words about and I cannot demonstrate the examples that help prove my point. There is a great article in Scientific America that really lays out the physics of the brass instrument. If I find the date and issue I'll pass it on.

The other real cool thing is that someone actually cares.

Keep in touch.


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Post 4

Gnomon - time to move on

But the didgeridoo works without any venturi, just using the lips.


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Post 5

babelhorn

And what a unique sound that quant instrument produces. Seriously, take a flute and learn how to get a tone on it. You will feel that your lips do vibrate (not as intensly) in sympathy with the vibrating air colum. I realy thought that it was common knowlege that the standing wave was set up in the instrument and reeds and lips just focus and energize the air stream and vibrate sympatheticaly with the standing wave. Also I am happy to see some kind of interest in this subject.

As I, poorly stated in my second entry the cool thing about this venue is to explaine with words how this physical phenomena works. It realy puts me to the test.

Tom


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Post 6

Gnomon - time to move on

The dijeridu only sounds rought because it is so deep in pitch. The ancient Irish horns used a similar principle, with no venturi in the mouthpiece, just a hole. The modern conch is the same. They all produce perfectly acceptable notes similar in tone to other brass instruments.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (CR-ROM 98) agrees with me on this:

"trumpet - in music, brass wind musical instrument sounded by lip vibration against a cup mouthpiece. Ethnologists use the word trumpet for any lip-vibrated instrument, whether of horn, conch, reed, or wood, with a horn or gourd bell, as well as for the modern brass instrument."

The trumpet tutor from which I learned to play (I was never any good at it) gives the same explanation.

So your explanation is certainly not common knowledge. That doesn't mean you're not right, of course. When I posted my original reply, I was irritated by your sarcasm. Apologies. I should have discussed it more civilly.

I still think you are wrong, because brass instruments work whether there is a venturi mouthpiece or not.


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