Trumpet Sounds

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The trumpet sounds technique can create a similar sound to the common practice trumpet, or any other brass instrument. Daniel Kientzy makes this same comparison, “[the trumpet sound technique's] sound is related to that of a primitive and simple 'brass instrument' colored by the saxophone.”[1]Jean-Marie Londeix gives an even more poetic definition to trumpet sounds, “[t]he sad, mournful, muffled timbre of these sounds is similar to that produced by the horn, when a wooden mute is used.”[2]Adding to the picture of what the sound is like, Marcus Weiss and Giorgio Netti add that the trumpet sound is “a sound weak in overtone content, which, depending upon the instrument and register, can lie between a low bass or alto flute sound or a forced ‘wooden trumpet’ for the higher tones.”[3]These authors have already detailed an enriched sound concept of the trumpet sounds technique.

Technically, the lips vibrate against the aperture of the saxophone neckpiece to produce the trumpet sounds technique. Sound is made by this buzzing and resonates through the instrument, much in the same way that a brass instrument produces sound. Pitch is affected by the harmonic partial determined by the strength and flexibility of the saxophonists’ lips and the fingerings selected. 

[1]Daniel Kientzy, Saxologie: du potentiel acoustico - expressief des 7 saxophones (Paris, France: Nova Musica, 1990) 428.

[2]Jean-Marie Londeix, Hello! Mr. Sax (Paris, France: Alphonse Leduc, 1989) 68.

[3]Marcus Weiss and Giorgio Netti, The Techniques of Saxophone Playing (Germany: Barenreiter-Verlag, 2010) 147.

Instrument Specific Specifications

Soprano Saxophone

Alto Saxophone

Tenor Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone

Method for Recording Analysis

Three samples of each individual note were recorded in one take containing the complete range of all possible notes for each instrument. Recordings were made with 2 Rode M5 matched paired condenser microphones connected to the computer through a sound card. Files were recorded using the Audacity software set to record in stereo mode. Raw data files were converted to WAV audio format keeping the stereo function of the recording intact. This WAV file was then opened in the Sonic Visualizer software. Analysis of the entire recorded material was made through the transform function with the additional plugin of the Silvet Note Transcription software. This plugin analyzed the recorded material and gave calculated hertz readings of the complete pitch content contained within. This plugin was preferred since it was specifically designed to outcompete similar softwares with an accuracy performance level of 62.5% (Benetos and Dixon, 90). Other softwares perform between 59.6% - 61.7% accuracy levels. For each pitch several inaccurate readings were also given. Each pitch with its indicated hertz calculations was then analyzed again by human ear. I individually inserted the various hertz readings into a hertz sound calculator which would sound the pitch and I would test this against the recording itself to determine which hertz calculation was correct and which were errors. After the correct pitch was determined, I recorded the result. After this process, I spliced each of the individual notes from the main recording and converted it to its own WAV and MP3 file. The MP3 file was then uploaded here with the indicated hertz value.