Monday, April 13, 2009

Natural Trumpet

Here's a link to a great collection of resources on the natural trumpet. It includes lists of books, websites, journals/articles, and methods books pertaining specifically to the natural trumpet. It also features a list of upcoming events and a very long list of current performers and ensembles which specialize in the natural trumpet.

HBS 25th Annual Early Brass Festival

For all of you early brass mega-fans out there, the Historic Brass Society is having the 25th Annual Early Brass Festival this summer, July 17 - 19th at the University of Connecticut, New London, CT. Early Music America has an information page on the event, as does the Historic Brass Society. Check it out!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Historic Brass Society

If you've enjoyed the overall subject matter and trappings of this blog, you should look into the Historic Brass Society. This is an international association dedicated to the study and performance of early brass music and instruments. If you've got an itch to scratch in the field of historic brass, they can help you scratch it.

Cornetto Solo

Crispian Steele-Perkins strikes again! Here he performers on a cornetto.

Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble

The Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble performs Claudio Merulo' Canzon 5 a 4. The Youtube page offers some nice information about the piece and the ensemble in the info box to the right if you're interested.

Musica Antiqua

Musica Antiqua is an ensemble resident at Iowa State University dedicated to the performance of historical brass instruments. They have tons of information on different instruments, some of which are not commonly known (like the lizard). The website also boasts performer bios, sample programs, and various honors the group has achieved.

That's a Strange One...

The serpent is without a doubt one of the stranger instruments created. It's oddities start with the fact that it is a hybrid of woodwind and brass instruments, much like the cornett. In order to have a nice low register, the body of the instrument must be very long, but people have short arms. The solution: snake the thing around. It looks odd, and awkward to play, but it became an essential bass voice in the cornett family.

Brass Family History

If you'd like another overview resource, this Brass Family History page is a good selection. It offers brief descriptions of four of the more common early brass instruments, complete with photographs of the instrument being discussed.

Renaissance Cornetto

The cornetto (or cornett) is an early brass instrument which was quite prominent during the Renaissance. One of the most frequently seen ensemble combinations was a cornett and sagbutt ensemble. These instruments are a strange hybrid of woodwind and brass, and you can find more information on this odd instrument on an excellent website dedicated to the Renaissance Cornetto.

Words of Wisdom

Last night my husband and I had Chinese food for dinner, and while this has absolutely nothing to do with brass ensemble literature or renaissance music and instruments, I thought I would share anyway. My fortune cookie said:

"The most utterly lost of all days is that on which you have not laughed."

So true, I think. Everyone's so stressed out this time of the semester with projects, and recitals, and comps. I thought it'd be a nice reminder to everyone to de-stress a little. So, go find something to make you laugh.

Handel on Muted Slide Trumpet

Here's a video I found on Youtube of Crispian Steele-Perkins performing the muted slide trumpet on a live recital.


Quite awhile back I posted a Youtube clip of His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts. Since then, I've found their main website. It has some historical information on the group, bios of members, popular recital programs, and information on their 17 albums, including the newest which features Buccaneer music from England and Spain. Too cool.

American Brass Quintet

In 1979, the American Brass Quintet released an LP of old music titled American Brass Quintet Plays Renaissance Elizabethan and Baroque Music. This old LP was an interesting subject of class discussion since no one listens to LPs anymore. After digging some online, I found out that they released the album as a CD on 7/17/2008. For anyone who is interested in a good brass ensemble playing Renaissance music, check this out. If you're in class and you just want to hear it without all the pops and fuzz, check this out. Either way it's a good time.

Class Listening from April Fool's

One of the topics of interest that came out of last week's listening was the CD Watercolor Menagerie performed by the Premiere Brass Quintet. The music for the CD is original music composed by Raymond Burkhart, who is also one of the trumpets in the ensemble. His website has some information about his background, the CD (as well as ordering information and audio samples), links to various schools, and a nice list of sheet music available for purchase.