The Sound of a Trumpet

by rwstracy

The sound of a trumpet played well has a magical way of gripping my soul. It is the timber of the sound itself that gives it that power, not the intricacy of the notes or the melody of the song, although I like those too. And the sad thing is that the beauty of this instrument is almost impossible to record. To fully appreciate it you almost have to hear it live.
That is probably why I was so easily persuaded to join an obscure ( at least in the US) kind of musical group known as a British Brass Band. Americans think of brass bands as those marching musicians in parades or on football fields at halftime but the British variety perform on stage and wear jacket & tie.
Although trumpet is what I wanted to play, the opening available to me was Tenor Horn; an instrument that looks like a baby Baritone and sounds something like a French Horn. When played properly it makes a sound that can only be described as ‘a thousand years old’. The girl who played second chair next to me had the sound down perfectly even though she lacked the technical skills to be 1st chair. I had those skills but not the sound, I kept trying to sound like a trumpet.
The real reason I was in the band was a girl named Wendy. She played first chair Coronet, the instrument that replaces Trumpet in British Brass Bands. She was my ideal of female beauty but it was the sound she could make on that horn that made me want to worship her lips. I found it hard to play when the piece called for Tenor because it meant I could no longer concentrate on the sensuous sound coming from Wendy’s horn. I got to hear her play for three wonderful years until her graduation from music school ended our association. I almost said ‘affair’, I loved the sound so much.

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