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Seeking the smoky fat sound that all trumpeters in a jazz chair chase after is supposedly a science. I have a technical analytical mind...I could spend weeks ingesting the science of instrument creation and never lose interest. But as I delve deeper into my brass repair apprenticeship (ok admittedly I just started so even the basics qualify as deeper) I'm realizing that building a horn is as much an art and a craft as it is a science. Of course there's science behind sound resonance and how materials effect it, but truly as horns are repaired and tinkered with over the years the old school horns wind up to be hand crafted works of art. Two horns of the same make model and year won't play quite the same after fifty years pass by. Perhaps the brackets were resoldered and added a smidge of tension, or the lead pipe was repaired or replaced and has slightly different airflow. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a old school trumpet it is likely one of a kind. With ITG just around the corner I am eager to throw a few notes through every new trumpet I can get my hands on, but I must say I doubt I'll find one that I love more than my Selmer Deville. I suspect the majority, not all, but the great majority of the fancy schmancy trumpets I see advertised with cutting edge technology for optimum sound production are fads, not artisanal classic quality horns. I am eager to figure it out!


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