analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

18 February 2001 Sunday



Warren, the physics professor, explained that he had always wanted to play an instrument. Although he took up the trumpet rather late in his life, his enthusiasm for music never waned. He thought the trumpet would be easy as there were only three finger presses.

We started with some easy dixieland pieces. Now that he's retiring, he could really form a dixie band, I suggested. Yes, why not? But how would he find a trombone player and banjo player?

I learned that the B-flat trumpet is one whole note above a C-instrument. In other words, if I play in a B-flat major key on the piano, the trumpet would register in an equivalent C major key signature, that is, without any sharps or minor. An F major key signature (with a single B-flat) would register in a single sharp - the G major key.

The range, Warren said, was more critical for the trumpet, than the key signature. Of course, flats are easier than sharps. But the range of the trumpet is limited to the G-flat below middle C to the C above middle C (i.e. the high C).

I must keep all this in mind as I tackle an arrangement for solo trumpet and piano duet (on one piano). This will be an Uberraschung!

Pianists can play continuously all day long, but trumpeters must rest.