WHAT: This database contains Classical and Romantic period natural trumpet parts from the late eighteenth through the late nineteenth centuries, a period marked by great transition and innovation for orchestral brass. While it is arguably true that no brass instrument went through more change than the trumpet (in both form and function), the sound of the natural trumpet—with its rich and noble history—did not go quietly into the night. Rather, it stood its ground many decades after chromatic trumpets were introduced into the orchestra. Fast forward a few hundred years to the present, and we are seeing a steady rise in the use of the natural trumpet to play both Baroque and Classical repertoire, in both period and modern orchestras in Europe and the U.S. This is likely a result of performers, conductors, and the public becoming more familiar with the sonority of the natural trumpet, as well as its expanding use in post-secondary educational institutions.
Many of the composers listed in the database are transitional, either bridging from the Baroque to the Classical period, or from the Classical to the Romantic period. Some are firmly planted in the Romantic period like Johannes Brahms, a traditionalist whose trumpet parts are entirely playable on the natural trumpet if hand-stopping is utilized. Finally, this list includes instances where the piston cornet or valve trumpet (ventiltrompete) was introduced, either alongside or instead of the natural trumpet—for example, in the works of Berlioz and Schumann—which is itself a fascinating and illuminating study.
The parts are organized both By Composer and By Key:
By Composer shows the extent of each composer's output for trumpet in more or less chronological order
By Key provides an idea of the range of repertoire that can be played with each crook set.
This database is a work in progress. Works soon to be added include parts by composers such as C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and music from other genres such as ballet and opera.
WHY: Playing this repertoire on the natural trumpet has enormous educational value. It helps us understand the sonority that these composers had in mind, and helps in understanding the conventions for writing for the orchestral trumpet more broadly. It also poses significant technical and aural challenges, which can add depth and confidence to how this repertoire is approached on the modern trumpet.