Instrumentation notes – Trumpets

  • Soprano and alto of the brass choir
  • Family:
    Trumpet in B-flat, C, D or E-flat – sounds whole step lower/as written/whole step higher/minor 3rd higher than written
    Piccolo trumpet in B-flat or A – sounds minor 7th/major 6th higher than written
    Bass trumpet in E-flat or B-flat – sounds major 6th / minor 9th lower than written
    Cornet in B-flat or E-flat (rare)
    Flugelhorn in B-flat – sounds a step lower than written
  • Written range of family:
    Trumpet range
    * Pedal tones possible (C, B, B-flat, A, A-flat, G & G-flat octave below middle c)
  • Sound: commands attention in any range and penetrates most textures. Bright
  • Character: the most agile of brass group. Rapid passages, up or down, leaps of any size, all good, rapid tonguing
  • Technique: dazzling! Double/triple/flutter tonguing all good. All major and minor 2nd trills possible. Tremolos of a minor 3rd+ are not easy at speed.
    Slurs are possible: those greater than an octave going up and those greater than a 6th going down are a challenge. Upward slurs are difficult.  Downward slurs and leaps are more natural.

Blatter, A (1997). Instrumentation & Orchestration. 2nd ed. USA: Schirmer. Pgs 159-162


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