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Topic: Crumhorn sound for brasses

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  1. #1

    Crumhorn sound for brasses

    I'm working on a piece where I want a brass quintet (trumpets, bones, tuba) to sound like crumhorns. Actually sextet: I'll double the bass trombone (lowest part) with tuba occasionally. For those who don't know crumhorns (Krummhorn means crooked horn in German), they're wooden, J-shaped, capped, double-reed instruments of the Renaissance that sound like a mellow kazoo.

    Two questions: 1) how to do this with a real [modern] orchestra, and 2) how best to simulate it in GPO?

    1) Would the Harmon (buzz-wah) mute work? Or maybe this mute together with flutter-tongueing? If the latter, how long can the trumpet/trombone/ bass trombone/tuba player sustain the flutter technique? Are passages of between 15-30 seconds feasible? Values are mostly 8ths and qters, some 16ths, in moderately quick tempo, qtr=90. I played cornet and trombone in high school band, but that was way before the Renaissance, LOL, and I don't remember using flutter tongue.

    2) Right now I'm using trumpet/trombone, straight mute PLA1 patches. There is no flutter tongue in GPO brasses, correct? And no mute for bass trombone or tuba? Right now the tuba overpowers the muted ensemble and the timbre isn't right. How do I get those suckers to buzzzzzzz?

  2. #2

    Re: Crumhorn sound for brasses

    Real world: just the mouthpieces? (Lots of EQ, if you're recording, might be thin live.) AND OR

    GPO or live - perhaps add an oboe a fifth above pp?

    GPOnly: try the oboe, then modulate gain with a fast square or pulse wave

    I don't know if any of these will actually sound like a real krumhorn, but I did get 3 trombones and 3 trumpets to sound like a Hammond B3 using a similar concept.
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: Crumhorn sound for brasses

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Smith
    I'm working on a piece where I want a brass quintet (trumpets, bones, tuba) to sound like crumhorns. Actually sextet: I'll double the bass trombone (lowest part) with tuba occasionally. For those who don't know crumhorns (Krummhorn means crooked horn in German), they're wooden, J-shaped, capped, double-reed instruments of the Renaissance that sound like a mellow kazoo.

    Two questions: 1) how to do this with a real [modern] orchestra, and 2) how best to simulate it in GPO?

    1) Would the Harmon (buzz-wah) mute work? Or maybe this mute together with flutter-tongueing? If the latter, how long can the trumpet/trombone/ bass trombone/tuba player sustain the flutter technique? Are passages of between 15-30 seconds feasible? Values are mostly 8ths and qters, some 16ths, in moderately quick tempo, qtr=90. I played cornet and trombone in high school band, but that was way before the Renaissance, LOL, and I don't remember using flutter tongue.

    2) Right now I'm using trumpet/trombone, straight mute PLA1 patches. There is no flutter tongue in GPO brasses, correct? And no mute for bass trombone or tuba? Right now the tuba overpowers the muted ensemble and the timbre isn't right. How do I get those suckers to buzzzzzzz?
    Drop the tuba: crumhorn has a pretty "hollow" timbre, and the tuba will fill in where you're trying to empty

    Try writing the trumpets and trombones in parallel fifths, with mutes.

    Grant
    ==============================
    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

  4. #4

    Re: Crumhorn sound for brasses

    Okay, thanks, tuba is dispensable.

    // 5ths? You mean each voice doubled at the fifth? (What would my counterpoint teachers say?)

    I'm also getting an unpleasant distortion sound, which makes it difficult to judge if I am on the right track. I think my soundcard (SB Live! 24bit) is going to have to be replaced.

  5. #5

    Re: Crumhorn sound for brasses

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Smith
    // 5ths? You mean each voice doubled at the fifth? (What would my counterpoint teachers say?)
    This was the point of the oboe in my example - parallel fifths wil generate an overtone series with a strong higher harmonic content. (Also how I did the B3 - have the fifths fade out as part of each note and voila - percussion (B3, that is...)
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Crumhorn sound for brasses

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Smith
    Okay, thanks, tuba is dispensable.

    // 5ths? You mean each voice doubled at the fifth? (What would my counterpoint teachers say?)
    He (or she) would say "Crumhorns?"

    The biggest problem with crumhorns is that they have a range of only just over an octave. The lower varieties sometimes have a few keys extending the pitch down a few steps - and that is typically not chromatic.

    Grant
    ==============================
    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

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