Mogens Andresen





All instruments are ”modern” but the design is still like the German instruments from the time of Wagner.

On the other hand, the instruments have developed to be able to live up to new challenges. In the symphony orchestras it was especially Gustav Mahler (1860-1811), Austria, and Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Germany, who used the brass instruments in a rather new, challenging and brilliant way: long solos, extreme registers and a unique understanding of the character of the instruments. Once, when R. Strauss was critisized for making the trumpet- and horn parts too high and too difficult, he answered that that probably was right, but that the problem would be solved for sure, and he proved to be right.  Both the technique of the musicians and the use of instruments have changed. You could say that the original pitch of the instruments has been changed: The natural pitch of the trumpets and horns is higher now, and the pitch of the ”low brass” is lower. The re- introducing of the alto trombone and the further development of the bass trombone made the overall sound of the trombone group wider, and the preferred pitch of the tuba became CC/ BB in stead of F/Eb. Since the 1950ies the bore on the trumpet and trombone became wider, from small bore over medium bore to large bore. The bigger bore has made up for the sound in the higher regions, it is not too light. The brass group as a whole has got more contrast, without losing the homogeneous sound.

Fig. 4 THE BRASS GROUP OF THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 1978  – presented recordings with such a tremendous clearness, beauty and intonation that they have become the utmost example for the whole world.


Fig. 5 CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA LOW BRASS RECORDING. From left to right: Edward Kleinhammer (bass trombone), Frank Crisafulli (2nd trombone), Arnold Jacobs (tuba), James Gilbertsen (assistant principal trombone) and Jay Friedman (principal trombone). This recording was made in 1971 for the purpose of providing a better aural perspective of the trombone and tuba section in a symphony orchestra. It is perhaps the first attempt to present the sound of an orchestral section playing the standard orchestral excerpts, thus enable the listener to hear the approach to style and phasing.

To be a soloist is always a challenge, but to brass players (and also to singers) it is a physical challenge to be able to end a piece with the same reserves of energy as one had at the beginning of the piece. In the culture of wind orchestras and jazz it has always been rather ”normal” to have many soloists, but from the second half of the 20th century it became more common to see brass players as soloists in the symphony orchestras. Some brass players have even become full time star soloists.



In the 1900’s American instrument firms came along seriously, not only in the USA but also in Europe. Some of the best known were:  CONN, KING, HOLTON og BACH. Today they are all a part of the company CONN-SELMER. (Also look after BENGE under Sousas soloists The 20′ century II).




Fig. 9    CONN’S “DOUBLE BELL” EUPHONIUM from 1920 is one of their special instruments. CONN got big succes with trumpets, horns, trombones as well as tubas.

Fig. 10  THE TROMBONE GROUP AT THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, about  1910. It was rather common to use wellknown musicians in advertisements for brass instruments. From left to right: Leroy Kenfield (bass trombone), August Mausebach (2nd trombone) and Carl Hampe (1st trombone) in an advertisement for HOLTON TROMBONES.



Fig. 10 ADVERTISEMENT FOR KING INSTRUMENTS. Coming out of the war, King instruments saw great popularity in the 40’s and 50’s with names like Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Ziggy Elman. From 1938 the King 2B trombone was made and and in 1952  the King 3B trombone was introduced, and today they are still the world’s top selling jazz trombones. These pictures show trombone player Tommy Dorsey and the trumpet player Harry James ain an advertisement for King instruments.




Fig. 9 VINCENT BACH (1890-1976) was born in Austria were he at a young age performed as a cornet virtuoso. Later he moved to the USA were he in 1918 set off with his firm making mouthpieces. Later he made trumpets and trombones as well and all his instruments became world famous, like a synonym for the highest quality ever. The series of his top-instruments was named after the famous old Italian violins: STRADIVARIUS.




In Europe there were still instrument firms in Germany, France and Engand, that were doing very well. In England BESSON continued to deliver instruments to the Brass Band Movement. In 1948, the group BOOSEY & HAWKES acquired the BESSON London brand. In 2006 the company Buffet Crampon acquires two famous brass instrument brands, ANTOINE COURTOIS Paris (created in 1803) and BESSON (created in 1837). The company became  Groupe Buffet Crampon.


Til the end of the 1900’s it seemed that the USA dominated the marked for trumpet and trombone, while Europe was selfsupporting with horn and tuba. Today there are really lots of brass instruments companys and their quality is no longer depending on the place of manufacturing. The Japanese brand YAMAHA was earlier manufacturing cheap instruments but is now the name for top quality instruments. In Europe there are some medium size firms, who built quality instruments, each with their own ideas and special design, for example the Spanish STOMVI (all brass instruments), the Austrian SCHARGERL (trumpets and trombones) , the Swiss HIRBRUNNER (euphonium and tuba), the Dutch ADAMS (euphonium) and the German GEBR. ALEXANDER (waldhorn).

Fig. 10 EMPLOYEES AT GEBR. ALEXANDER, a picture from their 100 years Jubilee, 1882. It is evident that they still produce woodwind instruments at that time. The firm  ” Gebr. Alexander” was established in 1782 as a firm for woodwind instruments and was a family driven factory. From the 1800rds they started to produce all kind of brass instruments. It was a milestone when they got their double horn patented in 1919. Today Gebr. Alexander produces primarily horn and wagner tubas and they sell all over the world.





In the beginning of the 20th century the overall design, function and technique of the brass instrumentes was of allmost the same level as we know today. For example, all instruments had got a tuning slide, which made it possible to tune accurate, a special valve to remove condensation, and it was common practice to use  mutes.









From left to right: Cup-mute, straight-mute and harmon-mute.


Modern technology made it easier to produce smooth and accurate metal parts, as well as making precise accoustic calculations. The best bells though are those who are hand made.  Not only the bore but also the metal type has influence on the sound: Brass – light sound, gold brass – a bit darker sound, copper – a dark sound. The modern polished orchestral sound overrules the sound that Strauss and Mahler could have dreamed of, you can hear it in lots of film music, for example in the filmseries  Star Wars, written by John Williams.

Fig. 7  TRIGGER. On the trumpet, cornet, flügelhorn, euphonium and tuba there often is a mechanism to lengthen the tubes of the valves, a so called   “trigger”, just like the slide on a trombone, and it helps to improve the intonation.



Fig. 8   “HEAVY WEIGHT” TRUMPET. The mass of the instrument has influence on the sound as well:a heavy instrument and mouthpiece makes the sound steady and dark, while a light instrument makes the sound more brilliant and light. This model from the firm MONETTE is extreme heavy with extra metal parts and a ”double bell”.

Fig. 9  NEW VALVES. Later in the 2oth century valves have been constructed that are more ”open” and without dents or narrowings. The most radical is the  “AXIAL FLOW ” trombone valve, which is invented in 1976 by Orla Ed Thayer, USA. With its straight lines in the cone – the valving house – there are no dents nor sharp curves in the tube.





An other new valve is the HAGMANN-VALVE, invented in 1991 by  Rene Hagmann, Switzerland.



Both valve types are used on trombones. The Hagmann valve has also been tried on the  Cimbasso



Fig. 11  GERMAN ROTARY VALVE TRUMPET WITH SPECIAL KEYS.  A refinement  on the modern German trumpet is these keys that take away som natural tones and make som high notes more secure to play.






Fig. 10 THE BELLOPHONE. Like before there have been inventions and constructions which not lived very long. An example is THE BELLOPHONE build by the American firm H.N. White (1893-1965) at the request of the tuba player William Bell (look at: pioneers in tuba playing). The idea lies in the combination of a C-tuba and a Bb-euphonium/baritone, this extends the register of the tuba. The instrument has two leadpipes, one for the tuba, and the other one to be able to  shift between the tuba and the euphonium with a rotary change valve. William Bell performed on this Bellophone in The Cicinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Band of America and The Goldman Band.    


Fig. 11  EXTREAMLY LARGE TUBA-BELLS were made in the 1930-ies and 40-ies, but it was never a succes.



Fig.12   DAVIS SCHUMAN (1912-1966) AND HIS ERGONOMICALLY TROMBONE. Trombonist Davis Schuman was teaching at Julliard School of music and a pioneer in developing the solo literature for trombone through his activities in recordings and as a soloist. He is credited with giving the first full-length recital for trombone and piano 1947 in Town Hall, New York. He commission and premiere works by Ernest Bloch, Vincent Persichetti, Darius Milhaud, Tibor Serly. Schuman created his ergonomically-correct “angular” trombone with the idea that: “The slide can be moved at an angle to avoid striking a person in front of the trombonist without the necessity of directing the bell away from the audience, and make the arm movement with the slide easier and more natural”. There was actually not made many Schuman-trombones.



Fig. 12  POCKET CORNETS. It has also tried out with the opposite: compact instruments that have small bore and little bell but they were of no particular importance. Bottom: BABY FLÜGELHORN and MINI FRENCH HORN



As a result of the new demand for a technical and stylistic scope the pitch in the trumpet became higher and higher. It happened little by little and it gave the trumpet a lighter sound.  But Gustav Mahler was sorry not to have the dark sound of the low register of the Bb trumpet and he demanded a double 2nd trumpet part when conducting the symphonies of Beethoven. The French were quick to develop the C-trumpet that fitted quite well in the ideal French light sound. After some time even smaller trumpets came along and at last there was the small A/Bb piccolo trumpet. First it was mostly used in Baroque music but today it is also used in new and even pop music: it is used in the Beatles’ song Penny Lane.  Today in most pieces is written for trumpet, which means that the trumpet player himself has to decide which trumpet fits best to the piece.  


Fig. 10  MODERN TRUMPETS WITH PISTON VALVES. From left to right: Bb, C, Eb and Bb-piccolo trumpet.


Fig. 11  GERMAN TRUMPET WITH ROTARY VALVES AND  WITH EXTRA KEYS. An extra finesse at the moderne German trumpet are the extra keys, which, when open, ”remove”  some of the natural tones around the wanted tone, and in that way those are easier and more secure to play.


Fig. 12 EDUARD SEIFERT 1870-1965.  From 1898, until his retirement in 1938, he served as principal trumpet in Staatskapelle Dresden. The Dresden Opera and Royal Saxon State Orchestra were at the center of musical and cultural life in Germany and Europe. Both the orchestra and Dresden Opera were dedicated to, and focused on, the contemporary composer Richard Strauss – the repertoire of Richard Strauss subsequently became an essential part of Seifert’s orchestral life. Seifert mastered Strauss’ trumpet passages perfectly and never failed, so colleagues named him “Mr. Never-Miss” (“Der Unfehlbare”). Eduard Seifert worked in Dresden with conductors such as Ernst von Schuch (1846 – 1914), Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), Fritz Busch (1890-1951), Karl Böhm (1894 – 1981) and the composer Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949).  Alongside his orchestral career, Eduard Seifert performed as a trumpet and cornet soloist playing turn of the century style music. He reintroduced the Haydn Trumpet Concerto to the public with a performance on F trumpet and was a trailblazer for baroque trumpet playing, performing many of the works of the masters Bach, Stölzel and Händel on his Heckel F/G trumpet. He was one of the first to master the demanding trumpet part for Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto, which he frequently performed on tour. 





Fig. 12   TIMOFEI DOKSHIZER (1921-2005). At age 19, Timofei Dokshizer won the Soviet-Union brass instruments’ players competition and in 1947, Dokshizer won the International Competition in Prague, which jumpstarted his performance career. He frequently toured the USSR and abroad, winning acclaim from critics who praised his timbre, beautiful tone, unique phrasing, and filigree technique. In addition to his solo performances, Dokshizer worked more than 40 years at the Bolshoi Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Moscow. Here, he was revered for his brilliant renditions of some of the most difficult orchestral trumpet solos, particularly in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” and “Romeo and Juliet,” Khachaturian’s “Spartacus,” and many others.
Nearly a quarter century of Dokshizer’s career was dedicated to pedagogical work, in many masterclasses and as a professor at the Gnessin Music Institute.

Fig. 13  ADOLPH HERSETH (1921 – 2013).  Herseth was widely regarded as one of the greatest orchestral trumpeters of his generation. Already during his time in Boston as a student, he was invited to audition for the position of third trumpet at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Rodzinski. After hearing Herseth for about an hour, Rodzinski offered this young man — who had no professional experience at all — the job of principal trumpet. That was in 1948. As a 26-year-old, he joined the CSO, and remained principal trumpet for 53 years. He stayed on three more seasons as principal emeritus, and retired fully from the orchestra in 2004. He played as a soloist very often, but he loved to play in the orchestra and he never had plans to quit the orchestra to be a fulltime soloist. As described in the Chicago Sun Times “For decades Herseth’s rich, golden tone and powerful yet expressive playing were a cornerstone of the ‘Chicago Sound.’ That brass sound drew worldwide attention to the CSO.tra’s reputation around the globe and made Chicago an international center for the study of brass instrument performance.”




Fig. 14  MAURICE ANDRE (1933-2012) – A BRASS PLAYER OF WORLD CLASS.  After having been a military musician and having finished his studies, Maurice Andre became a soloist in the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris in 1953. 


Later he joined the French Radio Orchestra and from 1962-1967 he played in the Opéra-Comique Orchestra. In 1955  he won the Geneva International Music Competition, and 10 years later he was asked to be a judge at the the competion: “Internationaler Wettbewerb” in München. He said no, because he rather wanted to play himself at the competition and he won! His wife and collegues pressed him to quit the orchestral duties and be a soloist.This was quite something for a brass player at that time, but he rose to the challenge. To become a person of importance, he had to be easy on the salary request, for a start anyway, but that changed very soon. He became extremely popular with his totaly ”easy” technique  and his performances that were never heard before. Later his salary became really high, and  the story goes that when, at a recording, people said that his demand was too big, he just answered that he would drop in salary, at whatever small mistake he would make, but there were none! He rode  the Baroque flow that flooded through the music life of the 1960ies. (do not  mistake this period for the later popular ”old music” period whith people playing on old  or historical instruments.) In the Baroque repertoire M. Andre plays extraordinary elegant on his small piccolo trumpet, and not even that. Beside all original baroque pieces for trumpet, he also plays the transcriptions of the original baroque concerts for oboe, flute and violin. And he even played new music  and light music. He was an absolut wonder as a brass player and he performed all over the world with the famous conductors of that time. He managed to do about 300 recordings as a soloist. Often he was presented as ”the leading brass player of the world”!




Fig. 15  The cover of an LP where Maurice Andre playes together with Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker.


Fig. 16 MAURICE MURPHY (1935-2010) came from the British brass band movement as principal cornet in the Black Dyke Mills Brass Band . 1977 he was headhunted as principal trumpet in the London Symphony Orchestra.

He was the leading British orchestral trumpet player of his generation. During the 30 years in which he was principal trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), he defined the sound of the brass section with the clarity, precision and diamond-sharp brilliance of his playing. In the concert hall he was an inspiration and could lift the orchestra with his exhilarating, visceral sound.

Millions have been thrilled to the ringing top Cs he played on the soundtracks for the Star Wars films. The blazing sonority of the brass section led by Murphy was the aural equivalent of spinning through space. For the composer of the scores, John Williams, Murphy was a “heraldic spirit” whose instrument articulated “the ideal voice of a hero”. After the first Star Wars film, Williams wrote the subsequent scores with Murphy’s sound in mind. In 2008 Murphy received the honorary award of the “International Trumpet Guild”, given to those “who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing”.



Playing a signal horn or trumpet to communicate in the military was used until the end of the 19th century, when the radio took over.  They used all kinds of signals for different information for such a long time that they even had for amor-attack and aircraft attack.


Fig.19  TRUMPETERS PLAYING A SIGNAL HORN/BUGLE HORN (trumpet). The last time the signaling was reversed military in the field was at the start of World War One in 1914, as shown here by the French Army’s light cavalry

Today the ”signal horn” is mostly used by trumpet players at ceremonies all over the world.   


SPANISH HORN, is a buglehorn with one valve



At the time when the 19th century changed to the 20th the hornplayers in the orchestras felt pressed by the composers. In a orchestra it is normal to divede the parts between the players, but in the horn section it became rather normal to have a first hornplayer to play the most challenging part, and the other three some minor parts. It was as if the composer thought the first hornplayer to be more competent to play long and high strong parts. At the premiere of R. Strauss’ symphonic poem Don Juan (1888) one of the hornplayers was heard saying: ”what have we done that we shall be punished like  this?”  The hornplayers tried to make things easier for themselves by using the higher B-horn, like they had used for a long time in the military. But old directors like Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) did not tolerate that the sound became lighter. Together with the famous horn player Edmond Gumbert who served as third hornist in Meiningen, Germany, and was a nephew of  Friedrich Gumpert  from Leipzig (soloist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra and teacher at the conservatory in Leipzig,see  ROMANTICISM II, The horn in Germany)) the German firm Kruspe build the first double horn, which made it possible with a valve to switch between a F-pitch and a high Bb-pitch. Those new models made it impossible to see which pitch was used. Richard Strauss recomended the use of the double horn, if only the horn player tried to minimise the difference in sound. (It was the firm Gebr. Alexander who got patented their designing in 1909 – see at ”The Building of Instruments”)






Later a compensation horn was build, which was not so heavy, but the tube goes many times through the valving houses. Today different horns are used: High F-horn (especially for  Baroque music), Bb-horn, double horn in Bb and F, low F-horn and at last a Triplehorn in high F, Bb and low F. Stop horn is used when you stop the horn, which gives it a caracteristic snarling sound. Some horns have a stop valve that compensates the intonation problem of the stopped tone. 




Fig. 21  FRANS STRAUSS – To the left as a young man, To the right together with his son RICHARD STRAUSS (picture from 1905). Frans Strauss (1822-1905) was a horn player and a composer and was called the ”Joachim of the horn” (Joseph Joachim was the most prominent violinist of that time). His taste was rather conservative and he could barely tolerate Brahms. As a soloist at the Court Opera in Munich and at the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra he played at the first performance of quite a few operas by Wagner: Tristan and Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), The Rhine Gold (1869), and The Valkyrie (1870). Wagner thought that Frans Strauss was a pain in the ass, but you completely forgot that as soon as he started to play the horn. Frans Strauss on the other hand did not like Wagner at all, neither as a person, nor as a composer. F. Strauss got the last word: When the Court Orchestra heard that Wagner was dead, all people stood up to remember him with a moment of silence, – all people but not Strauss. Richard Strauss (1864-1949) wrote two horn concerts both in Eb – major. He wrote the first one, only 18 years old, for his father, the other 60 years later. Both horn concerts express with their dramatic and lyrical elements the true essence of romantic horn playing.

Fig. 23 AUBREY BRAIN   (1883-1956) father to Dennis Brain.  Aubrey Brain’s professional career began at the age of eighteen when he was appointed by Sir Landon Ronald principal horn of the New Symphony Orchestra, in 1911. For over thirty years, he contributed his distinctive brand of horn-playing to numerous orchestral recordings and a handful of solo and chamber recordings that remain as bench marks of achievement for future horn-players to aspire to and to emulate. Characteristic for the time he had a marked preference for French instruments with smaller bore, and he played a hand horn made by Labbaye in c. 1865, to which English-made piston valves had been added. He would never permit the use of large-bore German horns with rotary valves.



Fig. 22  DENNIS BRAIN (1921-1957) came from a complete family of horn players. His grandfather Alfred Brain (1850-1925), his uncle with the same name (1885-1966) and his father Aubry Brain (1883-1956) were horn players. Dennis Brain was already as a very young person known as a soloist and he became one of the most prominent soloists in England, but his base was being a horn player in an orchestra, which was characteristic at that time. He switched playing as a soloist between the National Symphony Orchestra (21 years old), The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Philharmonia Orchestra. Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) wrote a horn concerto for him and Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) wrote his: Serenade for tenor(-singer), horn and orchestra for Dennis Brain and Peter Pears. Together with The Philharmonia Orchestra Dennis Brain recorded Mozart’s horn concert with Herbert von Karajan as a conductor, and R. Strauss’ horn concerts with Otto Klemperer as a conductor. In the beginning Dennis Brain played on a French horn with pump valves, but later he switched to a German “Alexander” horn with rotary valves.




Fig. 23  PHILIP FARKAS  (1914-1992) was a legendary horn player, a leading teacher, writer of books about horn playing and brass playing in general, and co-founder of the “Interational Horn Society”. He started as a soloist in the Kansas City Philharmonic 1933, and became soloist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (as the youngest musician in the orchestra), soloist in the Cleveland Orchestra 1941-1945, soloist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra 1945-1946, back as soloist in Cleveland 1946-1947, and at last back as a soloist in Chicago 1948-1960.



Fig. 24   BARRY TUCKWELL (1931-). Was born in Australia. After jobs  in Australian and English orchestras he became solo hornist in the London Symphony Orchestra in 1955. In 1968 he made the uncommon and very daring decision to become a full time soloist,  without a base as a musician in an orchestra or being a teacher – the career continued til 1997. Barry Tuckwell’s  full sound and virtuous play can be heard on many recordings, as a soloist, a chamber musician and as a member of the LSO.

Fig. 25  VINCE DEROSA (1935-) had a career of over 70 years, during which he played on many film soundtracks, recordings, and television programs, he is probably the most recorded brass player of all time. Beginning in the late 1950ies, DeRosa played a CONN 8D horn, creating a sound composers favored and establishing what has become known as the L.A. horn sound. At DeRosa’s retirement composer John Williams wrote: “Vince Derosa’s contribution to American music can’t be overstated. He was the premier first horn player on virtually every recording to come out of Hollywood for over forty years. He represented the pinnacle of instrumental performance and I can honestly say that what I know about writing for the French horn, I learned from him. DeRosa was an inspiration for at least two generations of composers working in Hollywood and beyond. He is respected world-wide and universally regarded as one of the greatest instrumentalists of his generation. It has been a privilege to have worked with him all these many years.”


Under construction. Further translation coming soon



Fig. 26 THE TORMBONE SECTION FROM THE TIVOLI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, DENMARK, PHOTO FROM  1899. From the left: Carl Christensen – 1. trombone, August Petersen senior – 2. trombone and Anton Hansen – 3. trombone, all 3 playing on, more or less, the same kind of instrument.   (at that time the bass trombone was not really regarded as a special instrument).


I det 20. århundrede fik basunfamilien i praksis et langt bredere klangspektrum. Tenorbasunen fik med en større boring en mere vægtig klang og derfor blev altbasunen genindført i det klassiske repertoire. Tenor-basbasunen (nu kaldt for basbasun) fik også større boring og med tilføjelsen af endnu en ventil, enten på 1.ventils bøjle eller på hovedrøret, blev basbasunen helt kromatisk. Basbasunen har fået mere status som et særligt instrument ( lidt lige som bratschen overfor violinen) med eget solorepertoire og som en fast ingrediens i symfoniorkestre, blæseorkestre og Big Bands.  Tenorbasunen har en del solistiske opgaver i det 20.århundredes orkesterrepertoire, bl.a.: En stor solo i Gustav Mahlers Symfoni nr.3 (1896) og en solo i Ravels Bolero (1928). Der er også skrevet solokoncerter for basun, nogle af de mest kendte er koncerter af Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960), Danmark, og Lars Erik Larsson (1908-1986), Sverige.



Verdis brug af kontrabasbasun blev fortsat af G. Puccini (1858-1924) der holdt fast ved den italienske tradition med brugen af 4 basuner i stedet for 3 basuner og tuba.


Fig. 28   MODERNE KONTRABASBASUN. Den moderne kontrabasbasun er ikke i CC eller BB men i F. Også R. Strauss har brugt kontrabasbasunen i operaerne “Salome” og “Elektra” (low brass: 4 basuner og tuba) og i Alpesymfonien” (4 basuner og 2 tubaer).

F_Cimbasso_5_Zylinder_Ventile_Trigger_am_2_und_5_Zug[1]Fig.  29  MODERNE CIMBASSO. også Cimbassoen har skiftet stemning fra BB til F. Den benyttes generelt når det er tubaister der spiller cimbasso- og kontrabasbasun-stemmer.


Fig. 30  BASBASUN I Eb. Udover de mange forbedringer der er fremkommet i det 20. århundrede er der også lavet mange kuriøse forsøg som ikke har ført til noget. Frelsens Hær (Salvation Army) har siden 1878 haft en meget udbygget og næsten elitær anlagt Brass Band aktivitet med eget nodeforlag og fra 1880-erne også en egen instrumentfabrik. Helt op til 1950-erne brugte man i England en basbasun i G med armforlængende håndtag (se under Romantikken II). Som et eksperiment på frelsens Hærs instrumentfabrik  konstruerede man  1905 en basbasun i Eb der med et sindrigt system med taljer og snoretræk havde et ekstra-træk bagud der kunne forlænge “hovedtrækket”. Ideen var at trækbevægelserne ikke blev for store, men det hele blev for klodset og der blev ikke produceret mange eksemplarer.  Frelsens Hærs Fabrik blev solgt til firmaet “Boosey and Hawkes” i 1979.


I første del af det 20- århundrede forsøgte andre at løfte arven efter Belcke og Quesser og videreføre ideen om basunen som solinstrument. Det lykkedes til dels for nogle men basunen havde svært ved at matche trompeten og hornets klassiske solorepertoire.  På den tid havde man endnu ikke fundet basunkoncerterne af Vagenseil og Albrechtsberger (de blev først genfundet i 2.halvdel af det 20. århundrede) og de senere meget spillede koncerter af f.eks. Launy Grøndahl og Lars Erik Larsson var jo ikke skrevet endnu. Det lykkedes dog for nogen at få en solistkarriere, og blandt deres repertoire var det stadigvæk mest Ferdinand David’s koncert der blev spillet –  men også andre stykker, f.eks.basunkoncerterne af Eugene Reiche (1878-1946) skrevet lidt i samme stil som Davids koncert. 


Fig. 31     ANDRÉ LAFOSSE  (1890-1975) – left, with students: Pierre AMBACH, Vinko GLOBOKAR, Roger TOUCHARD, Raymond PATRY, Claude DURAND, Raymond KATARZYNSKI, Maurice DELANOY, and  Pierre GAUTHIER.  André Lafosse  was Professor of Trombone at the Paris Conservatoire from 1948 to 1960, where he took over from Henri Couilaud. He wrote Méthode complète pour le trombone in three volumes published in 1921 (first two volumes) and 1946 (third volume). In it he famously describes the practise of playing with vibrato as vulgar (very strange with the French tradition of using vibrato in mind ) and glissandos of questionable taste. There are just three pages of an appendix to cover the bass trombone, probably because of the absence of the bass trombone in French orchestras before 1950. In the 1920s and 1930s Lafosse recorded in orchestras with Stravinsky. It has been suggested[ that he was the soloist in Stravinsky’s own 1928 Paris recording of Pulcinella where the trombonist omits the written glissandos – instead playing the notes staccato



Fig. 31  P. PRESUTTI – BERLINER POSAUNENVIRTUOS på et postkort fra begyndelsen af det 20. århundrede. Begrebet “virtous” bliver flittigt brugt på denne tid.


fig. 32   SERAFIN ALSCHAUSKY (1859-1948) – BASUNVIRTUOS OG KOMPONIST , der med succes optrådte på begge sider af Atlanten.


fig. 33  PAUL WESCHKE (1867-1940) KÖNIGLICHE KAMMERVIRTUOS optrådte også som solist men var ellers solobasunist i Statskapelle Berlin (1895-1929) og kendt som underviser på Staatliche Akademische Hochschule für musik i Berlin (1903-1934). Han havde talt med Richard Strauss om at skrive en basunkoncert, men det blev desværre aldrig til noget.



– var solobasunist i Bolshoioperaens orkester fra 1905 til 1928. Han var professor på Moskva Konservatoriet og blev i 1937 leder af militærblæserafdelingen samme sted og dirigent for Statens blæseorkester. Blazhevich var en af grundlæggerne af en russisk basun- og tubaskole. Han har komponeret mange stykker i en særlig russisk romantisk stil, bl.a. pædagogisk materiale der anvendes over hele verden og intet mindre end 13 solokoncerter


Fig. 35  EDVARD KLEINHAMMER ( 1919-2013)  Basbasunist i Chicago Symfoniorkester 1940-1985, skabte som en af de allerførste, gennem sit spil og sin undervisning opmærksomhed på basbasunen som orkesterinstrument. . Senere har andre, bl.a. hans efterfølger i orkestret Charlie Vernon, lanceret basbasunen som solo-instrument.


Det 20.århundrede har frembragt mange dygtige basunister. En række prominente lærere har hævet basunspillet både som orketerinstrument og som soloinstrument.

M. Mulcahey kommer fra Australien og har siden 1989 været 2.basunist i Chicago Symfoniorkester og undervist en lang række af basunister fra hele verden.

Denis Wick kom til London Symphony Orchestra 1957 hvor han var solobasunist frem til 1988. Soon after moving to the LSO, Wick moved the LSO section from english medium bore Boosey tenor trombones and a G bass trombone to the American “large bore” instruments and the modern bb bass trombone Har har beskæftiget sig med alle aspekter af basunspil, som udøvende, som designer af instrumenter, mundstykker, dæmpere m.m., arrangeret musik, dirigeret – og som underviser på Guildhall School of Music og Royal Academy of music har han uddannet flere generationer af basunister. Hans viden om blæseteknik var helt nyskabende. Alle hans ideer om basunspil er beskrevet i hans bog  Trombone Technique der er blevet oversat til en række andre sprog.


Fig. 37  CHRISTIAN LINDBERG (1958-) – der fik genskabt basunens status sim soloinstrument.

 En ener som solist er den svenske basunist Christian Lindberg. Han begyndte at spille basun ret sent som 17 årig, men allerede som 19 årig vandt han en stilling i  Stockholmoperaens orkester. I 1981 vandt han som 23 årig en nordisk solistkonkurrence og tog derefter det helt usædvanlige skridt at være fuldtids basunsolist. Han har optrådt overalt, indspillet alt og der er skrevet en lang række værker specielt til ham. I dag virker han også som komponist og dirigent. 




Med tiden har også tubaen fået svære og komplicerede orkesterstemmer, f.eks  i musik af Prokofiev (1887-1053), og allerede så tidligt som i G. Mahlers 1.symfoni fra 1888,  er der en lille melodisk solo (“Mester Jakob” i moll). I Stravinskys Le sacre du printemps (1913) er der 2 tubaer med, en fortsættelse af den franske tradition med 2 ophikleider (Sacre blev skrevet i Frankrig og ved uropførelsen spillet tubastemmerne spillet på 2 små franske tubaer. Op imod slutningen af det 20 århundrede blev F-tubaen rigtig meget brugt i Tyskland og Skandinavien, men siden er tendensen gået i retning af den dybere CC-tuba. I USA her C-tubaen altid været populær, russerne har aft en forkærlighed for BB- tubaen, mens man i England mest har spillet på Eb-tuba med stor boring.



Først da tubaen havde passeret sin 100 års fødselsdag begyndte man at skrive anden solomusik for tuba end ren underholdnings musik. Sværvægteren i tubaens sololitteratur er Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Koncert i F-moll for bastuba og orkester fra 1954. I fagkredse taler man om en “tuba-eksplosion” i 1960erne, hvor der rigtig kom gang i tubaspillet. Den havde udgangspunkt i den fremstormende kammermusik for messingblæsere og betød også et gennembrud for tubaen som soloinstrument.


Fig. 41   GIGANT MONSTER-TUBA. For sjov har man flere gange fremstillet ekstremt store tubaer i CCC, altså dobbelt så lange som en kontrabastuba i CC. Selv om det er muligt at producere en lyd på et sådant instrument har det aldrig fået nogen praktisk betydning. Her er det professor Jörg Wachsmuth der spiller på en sådan tuba fremstillet af en række tyske firmaer til udstilling på Musikinstrument-messen i Frankfurt, Tyskland 1913. Den er 2,05 meter høj og 50 kg. tung.


I dag findes der mange virtuose tubaister. De 4 der nævnes her har været løftestænger for udviklingen:


Fig. 42   William Bell (1902-1871) var den førende tubaist i USA i første halvdel af det 20. århundrede. Han spillede hos Sousa fra 1021, i Cincinnati Symfoniorkester fra 1924. .I 1937 var han den 3. musiker  Toscanini valgte til sit NCB Symfoniorkester, efter koncertmestreren og solooboisten. 1943 kom han til New York Philharmonic,  var indtil 1961 lærer på Manhattan School of Music og derefter på Indiana University. Han var den første der spillede Ralph Vaughan Williams tubakoncert i USA 1955, men blev endnu mere kendt da Leopold Stokowsky inviterede ham til at indspille – “Tubaen Tubby”  hvor han både spillede tuba og var fortæller (historien om tubaen der altid bare skal spille “UMOAH-UMPAH” og aldrig får lov til at spille en rigtig melodi – før til sidst, så historien ender godt).  Han fik også succes med  indspilningen af “When Yuba plays the Rhunba on the tuba” hvor han både spillede tuba og sang. 


Fig. 43  Arnold Jacobs, USA,  (1915-1998) Tubaist i Chicago symfoniorkester, blev en legende i levende live. Var en karismatisk lærer der nærmest har opfundet en tilgang til blæseteknik med ideer om samspillet mellem hjernen og kroppen.  Han er især blevet kendt for sine ideer om vejrtrækningsteknik, som ikke kun tubaister, men alle slags blæsere og sangere har nydt godt af. 

Fig. 44   Harvey Philips , USA, (1929-2010) har været en kendt lærer på Indiana University og spillede tuba i et af messing-kammermusikkens pionerensembler “New York Brass Quintet”. Har rejst, optrådt og givet masterclasses over det meste af verden. For at fremælse “tubisme” og for at ære sin lærer William Bell grundlagde Hervey Philips i 1974 “TUBA CHRISTMAS” hvor meget store grupper af tubaspillere og euphonium/baritone-spillere mødes ved juletid og spiller julesange.


fig. 45   John Fletcher, England (1941-1987) med sin engelske Eb-tuba. Tubaist i London Symphony Orchestra og medlem af et andet førende messing-kammermusikensemble “Philip Jones Brass Ensemble”. Hans indspilning af Vaughan Williams tubakoncert var i lang tid en reference-indspilning. 




Fig. 47  MICHAEL LIND (1950-), Danmark, har været ansat i Stockholms Filharmoniske Orkester, og er nu professor på Musikakademiet i Stockholm. I Skandinavien har han været den mest optrædende messing-solist med orkester, har været kammermusiker, har fået tilegnet en lang række værker og undervist mange steder, bl.a. i USA. Har selv arrangeret workshops for tubaister, og omfattende symposier for messingblæsere.




De “nye” instrumenter der kom frem efter ventilens opfindelse blev hurtigt en fast del af blæseorkestre, men lejlighedsvis høres de også i symfoniorkestret. Sergej Prokofiev har vist en mageløs sans for cornetten i flatterende soloer i Løjtnant Kije (1932) og i balettmusikken til Romeo og Julie (1936). Flügelhornet har været en sjælden gæst i symfoniorkestret. Det bruges til udførelse af posthorns-soloen i G. Mahlers 3.symfoni (1896) og Vaughan Williams har givet det en lang solo i sin symfoni nr.8 (1956). I Ottorino Resplighis (1879-1936) Roms pinjer (1924) er det flügelhornet der ligger i toppen af de saxhorn/brass band-instrumenter der illuderer 6 buccinaer.

I sine tonedigtninge Don Quixote (1898) og Ein Heldenleben (1899) har r. Strauss en stemme for tenortuba. Den var egentlig tiltænkt wagnertubaen, men efter uropførelserne lod han, på opfordring af dirigenten Ernst von Such, stemmen blive spillet på baryton/euphonium. I G. Mahlers Symfoni nr.7 (1908) og i Planeterne (1918) af Gustav Holst (1874-1934) er der en solistisk stemme for baryton/euphonium.




Fig. 49   CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931) (kapelnummer 657)

Carl Nielsens 1. symfoni er instrumenteret meget “klassisk” lidt i stil med orkestermusik af Johan Svendsen eller Anton Dvorak. Men fra og med hans 2. symfoni bruger Carl nielsen messingblæserne meget eksponeret. Som ung spillede Carl Nielsen signalhorn og alt-ventilbasun i et militær-orkester i Odense og det er muligvis det der senere har inspireret ham – han må i hvert fald helt sikkert have haft en klar forestilling om messinginstrumenternes klang og dynamik. Han er blevet kritiseret for sin instrumentation og især at hans orkesterklang var alt for tung med alt for meget messing. Problemstillingen er helt den samme som hos Verdi (se under Romantikken II): Messinginstrumenterne på Carl Nielsens tid klang blødt og på dem kunne man slet ikke  spille så kraftigt som det f.eks. høres i vor tids filmmusik. Det kan man få det bekræftet når der bliver spillet på de gamle messinginstrumenter fra Carl Nielsens tid – de klinger markant svagere og mere “lukket” end vor tids messinginstrumenter. Paradoksalt nok er Carl Nielsens instrumentation idag, nærmest omvendt, blevet en del af hans “brand” ! – og i dag bliver hans messingstemmer endda udført med en brillans  som han sikkert aldrig selv har hørt.

Det direkte modsatte problematik gælder orkestermusik af den finske komponist Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Ikke på grund af instrumenterne, for de var magen til dem Carl Nielsen skrev for, men Helsinkis Philharmoniske Orkester havde ret få strygere, så af den grund skrev Sibelius ofte en relativ svag dynamik i hans stemmer for messing. Derfor kan man ofte spille hans messingstemmer lidt kraftigere end de er noteret.




Traditionelt  har messingblæsere haft en kraftig mandlig dominans. I lang tid var det slet ikke kvinder tilladt at blive ansat i militærorkestre og symfoniorkestre. Fra midten af 1900-tallet er der kommet rigtig mange kvindelige amatør-messingblæsere,  men først efter år 2000 er der kommet rigtig mange kvindelige messingblæsere i de professionelle symfoniorkestre, militærorkestre og Big Bands. Men i tiden før og efter år 1900 har der faktisk været en hel del kvindelige messingblæsere, der optrådte på cabareter, varieteer, music halls og teatre. De er bl.a. husket gennem de mange fotos og tegninger der blev brugt til postkort og plakater.



fig. 52   THE JANIETZ ELIE DAMEN BLAS ORCHESTER, postkort fra marts 1912. Selvom de kom fra Tyskland optræder de her I et skotskt outfit.


Fig. 53   ODA RUDOLPH fotograferet 1898 I Missouri, USA af Mr. BIGELOW, præsenteret som Flash-Light Expert og General Photographer


fig. 54  Cornetist NETTIE fra Chigaco fotograferet  I begyndelsen af 1900-tallet




Fig. 55   EN FRANSK PIGE SPILLER PÅ TRUMP de CHASSE, jagthornet der går tilbage til Ludvig 14´’s hof I 1600 tallet (se under BAROKKEN). Postkort fra 1905




Fig. 56   KÖNIGS CORNET a PISTON-TRIO, Charlotte, Magarete og Melani. Poskort fra 1915



Fig. 57  KVINDELIG BASUNIST PÅ PIEDESTAL, FOTOGRAFERET I “THE APEDA SDUDIOS” i NEW YORK i  1915-1925. Pigen kan kendes fra andre lignende kort og er måske slet ikke musiker men model ?