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  • A Question for Trumpet Players or Brass Arrangers

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    Forgive my ignorance here but I'm working on a piece that requires two solo trumpets playing both in unison and seperate lines during the piece.  The score doesn't specify which trumpets.

    My question is:  is there anything wrong with having a C trumpet play one part while a Bb trumpet play the other?  the piece is a Pop music arrangment which, correct me if I'm wrong, usually uses the Bb trumpet but I only have one Bb trumpet.  So why not use the Bb and the C to avoid having to use the transposition trick for the unison parts and for variety sake.

    Would this be a good idea or would I be breaking the Hammurabi's Code of brass and trumpet arrangement😮


  • I've been recently reminded that the Bb Trumpet is a transposition instrument which explains a lot of things that didn't look right in the aforementioned score.

    So now everything makes sense and I know which instrument plays which line.


  • Glad you got it solved. Pro trumpet players will own a variety of instruments including at least Bb and C trumpets, but also possibly D and Eb piccolo instruments as well. Not to mention the cornet and flugelhorn, which are very similar to a trumpet but with darker, richer, tone qualities. Pro players will pick the instrument that they feel best suits the piece of music and usually can transpose "on the fly" as needed. 

    Using samples, in your situation I would try out everything you have available and decide based on which you think sounds best.


  • Hey Paul,

    Forgive me for being rude and not thanking you for taking the time to answer.  This thread kind of sliped my mind after figureing out what I needed to do. 

    After doing some research based on your response I now understand just how many facets and nuances their are to Brass instrument arrangement.  It's no duck walk by any means and my respect for players of any brass instrument has increased ten fold.


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on