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The Piccolo

B b.A

Trumpet
by V incentCichowicz

Selmer

With the adveflt of the a-valve piccolo trumpet nuch of the formidable music ol lhe pasl has been sreatly lacililaled. Although the piccolo trumpel as sucb is not new, the present in8irumeDts are so improved in terms of quaiity, responseand intona t ion th a t lhe c hoic eof p l a y i n g l h i s m u s i c o n th e m is no lon8er a question of tradinS one set o[ difficulti$ fo. another. This however requires m unde.standin8 of lhe instrumenl, its potential and anapproach I o achievefamiliarity and control. The piccolo B, {Al t.umpel is equipped with a 4th valve which edds a perlect 4lh downward 1o the
P J, A Y iD NOTATION ACTUAL PI TCR

le

t
i
4 2

I 2

t
L

4 1

T T
1

z
Therefore music which descended below the ca' t AL i l rl ) o f lhe 3- v J hF rn s l ru me n t ts n d n o s l b a ro q u e n u s ic c alled f or th e s e n o te s ) c a n n o w b e played on the4-valve iDstrument with relative ease. lr w i l l b e s eenlhar lhp d d d i l i o n o t Ih F 4 l h rJ Ire i n combination wilhany or all of lh olher valves nol o y allows us to descend beyond the ranse oI a 3-valve irutrument but allows us a larser number of aliernare tineerin8s which can be used for tech nica lfa cilily or iD adius l i n l o n a l i o n , The followins tinserine chart will show the pos si b i l i ti e s :

4 1

.1

t !
! !

z
1

1
I

coryighlF1972's.h''.|b'd'|'dim

'| 2

T
I 1

t
3

a
1

1 3

There fl.c a few more possibililies bul lhis con' p ri se sa p r a. t i. al, : hnr t lo c o v c rm a n y a l te rn d ti v e s . Note: A pedal [C] can be produced on the i.stru me n l ,b !l is of ient oot lat fo ra n y p ra c l i c a l u s a a e . No l a ti o n is in play ed p i tc h c s n o te s w i l l s o u n d on octdve higher. (Bhpilch)

1!'R ITTE:'{

(8b PtrcH) coNcERT RECISTER PITCII

except when the tessilura is exceptionally demand ins such as in the Bach ljrondcnbD.s Conco.lo N o. 2, A Mi D of Moss orthe C h.i sl mdsOrol ori o,E xampl e: l f 6 pl ayer nornal l y pl ays on a V i ncenl Bach No. 1 lor e{tuivaletrl). usually a lC, 1y.C o. 1%Cwill work well in most situations. lf a playe. usesaBach JC, 5C. o.7C he can often use lh latr, j n the pi c.ol o. mouthpi ece N ow i f l he parti cul arpart b too strenuousor the quai i ty of sound or i D tonati odi s faul l y, then the use of a smal ternoul hpi ce i s reconmended. E x' ample: Bach 7D or 7DW. 7E or 7EW o. 1ovtrC.' AIter a player lamiliarizes himself wilh lhe instrument he is usually able 10 dcide for himself whn a chanse is desirable. One word of warnin8r The mouthpiece cotrtemplatedmust be tested ov. lhe full ransc of the inslfument, with great emphasis on l he mi ddl e and l ow er tone! ol the resi sl er and lhen movin8 inlo the upper reaches of lbe inst.u meD tasparl ofa nos' cal Ii nc.Indi scri mi nate sl ri ki nsofsi nS l ehi sh l onesi snol a usefutw ay to j udse a parl i .ul ar mouthpi ece(or i nstrumeD l l and can be di si l l usi oni ns;hen these sanc tores are used i namusi cal contexl . TUNING Sincc no inslrumenl made is absolutely perlecl by itself in intoDation, il is necessa.y for a player l o l earn or " psych out l he i nstrumenl l and hi msel fl mi ghl addl l o getmusi 0al resul ts. ' l hree notes a.e vi tal i n dei ermi D i ng w here the tuni nS bi t i s to be sel for 8ood overal l i ntonati on. P i l chcdi n B . w e tuD ethusl yl
P L A Y }: D SOUNDING P!

a)

HOLDING THE INSTRUMENT Th e re a r e luo pos s ibili ti e 6 to r ma n i p u l a ti o no f l h e 4lh valve. The first. {the one I personally pEfer) is using the fi.sl finger of the left hand. The olher is l o u sethe lit t le t alhJ li n g e ro fl h e ri g h l h rn d . On e sh ould t f y bolh ne th o d s to r a p e ri o d o f ti n b e l o red ec idinson onc o r i h e o th e r. Mo s t p l a y e rs (i n cl u d i ne M aur ic eA nd re l p re l e r th ei i rs l me th o d . CHOICE OF MOUTHPIECE i n o b ta i n Th i s i s a m os t im por t a n l o o n s i d e ra ti o n ing l h e pr oper r es ult s l ro n th e s e i n s l .u me n ts . Md n y p l a y F r s\ pF r nr o B e t l h . L , .l rF s u h eb v u s i n E mu u l h p ic 'ns c im ili" r r o rh l rr n u rm a l m o u l h p i e c F s .

P i tched i n A w e w oul dl une thusl y: P LA TE D S otrn-r Otrn-D IN G

lr the three-notes aiJlerfecrly spacedfo. runing, one is indeedforlunalciaod hc needn't con


wirh w , l h any H o w c v p r more more . con . 'n hinself t i - 'e l t d n v alrcrgiions. d l l r l i l i . m s . However
.h,Ll d b' b n,.,,.Lurp.di i ,.hi r"-1,1dr_S , " ivoided !d'0rally as rb,r usually hrve tit rdvcse citocr on

.,,.(i r*: 'a , r*

',./-

l:';:::p::;:l;" t '

o ft n t han not one ma y h a v e to c o m p e n s a te beca u seone or m or e o t th e s e n o te s ma y n o i b e a b so l u t elypr f ec rand a i u d i c ro u s ru n i n s o f th e i n strumenl will result in senerally Cood overall inEXAM P LE T O c lav e to ow i d e

cd up . w e c-n l hen e\pecl l hat the " fi fth' l i n d properly piayed and constructed instrumentl wiil also "line up" quite well. If it seems to deviate a bii (sharp or flatl a luriher ninor adjustmnt of l hc l uni ng bi l can bc madc l o bri ng i t cl ose r in tune. However I preler an alternale tinSerins because in the final analysis lhe octave is lhe most oitical and I prcfer nol to dislurb its location too ' l he l st. 3rd and 4th val ve sl i dos shoul d dl so be ' ' runcd. Thi s i s prrti uul arl y true i l one i s pl ay ins rhc i nsl rumenl pi rLhed i n A . P l ) l he fol l nwing succes sion of notes:

One should tune to the lower note since it is easie. lo "humor" or lip down the sharp nole than to ra i se lh f lat one. I s h o u l d m a k e c l e a r th a t I a m speaking of ve.y small disftepancies-if they a.e l a r8 e, c om pens alio n ma y b c d i ffi c u l l o r i m p o s si b l e to c or r ec tand t h e n o n e s h o u l d i n v e s ti s a teth e p o ss ibilit y of t he m o u th p i e c e n o t b e i n 8 p ro p e r o r being poorly fittedto tbe instrument. [Al this point I am a8sumins that the player is sufficiently advanced and skilled so as to somewhat elimiDaie tbe possibility that the difficulties are basic playin8 problms,l Anothe. solution is of cotrrs to use alternale finge.ings for the upper noles- Rapid p a ssages us ually . e e d n ' l b e a l t re d i f p a s s e d lhrou8h. Example:

A dj ust the 1s1val ve sl i de unl i l sood w hol e-half sl ep rel ati ons} i psare esl abl i shcd.' l heF-(l ' F rclal i onshi p i s parti .ul arl v i mporl ant i n cstabl i sh ing ' I he 3rd val ve sl i de shoul d be adj ustedsi ni l iar ly. Play the following succession of notcs and try lo dchieve a balance between lhe lenSths ne.Bsary lo kep the Ab, G+, Er and D proportionally in

They should be altered in notes of some lensth or those which begin or terminate a passase. Exam-

l f D s or C + predoni nai e i n a si ven pi ecoof mu sr c l hen tl ,e 3rd sl i dc nay be l en8thened morc E e ner D usl y.Fami l i ari l y and usasew i l l soon i ndi cal ct hc Th" Juurrhr e ql i dp,.dnhF rer i n rhp l ol l us inB -,\ nanner: Il l he 4l h val ve i s usedpri nrari l y l o exlcnd l hr ransedow nw ard i l usual l y ha, to be pul l ed our l ,etw eenya"and 1s" . Il ow ever, i l l he 4rh val ve will be used pri n.i pal l y for al l ernate fi ngefi ngs it shoul dbe extended D ntysl i shtl y. In evaluating these lesls a stroboscope can be pa.licula.lyuselul. HOW TO PRACTICE A specific appmach is often iSnored with 8ne.all y l Fsql han i dcdl resul rq.I mal c the l ol l ow rns s. ne.al sussestionsfor a pra.tice procdure, warm up and p.actice a fcw baeic exercises on a regular Bb o. C tfuhpel for about len to fifteen minutes. This atlows the player to "wA.m up" his

No w lel u! t ak e t h e o p p o s i tep ro b l e m -th e o cto ve i 3t oo c om pr es s e d ." Ex a m p l e :

CO M PRESSED

ASdin lhe solution is similar: tune ro the flat oore a n d ti p down t he s ha .p o n e . The middle note lthe fifth) of the three noie Sro u p c an be us ed l o b a l d n c F o u r" th e Iu n i n g. Let s assumewe have the octaves pretty well lin-

enbou.hure aDd set or focus his playins on a lamiliar inst.umenl. Re$l a lew minutes and besin playirg simple scale or arpeSgio patterns jn the lower register of lhc piccolo trumpet and then sradually work upwr.d. Allow about ten to fif tccn minutcs lo accompli$h this. lJse oI lyric, vocali se l yp e m us ic dl t his p o i n l i s p a rl i c u l a rl y h e l p fu l and one s'ill begin playing lho inslrument wilh a sre a l e r s ens iliv ily f o. l h e re s p o n s e ,l i m b re a n d control, $hich is not so roadily rchieved by menly p i cki n s up t hc ins t r um o n l n n d l h e n p l u n g i n g i n l o wh a te vc rlit er aiuf eis at h a n d . SUGGf,STED PRACTICE MATf,RIAL The 100 Eludes of E. Sachnecan bs utilized wilh minor modificaiioDs as it affords nolattoD to bring Re.ertly a seriee of solo pices for the piccolo trumpet has been publishd by cerard Billaudol and edited bv JeanThilde which provides lhe player with an ex.ellent mbdium in which to explore th ere so ur c es ol t his ins t.u m e n l . Most baroque music in D najo. wiu be sreatly $implified by perfo.manc on th piccolo A lrumpet. This allows the player lo play in the key oI F on lhis instrument, avoidinS the awkward rineer, idgs enou.lered when thc same music is played IL AYED O \ T RUM P E TIN D

P I , A l' E I) ON PICC, IN B'

P LA Y E D ON PICC.IN

Needlss lo say, a lhorough comnand of transposition is necessary and a player's imagination