Acoustical Comparisons of Sackbuts and Trombones

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The sound quality of a brass instrument in performance depends on several factors: the player's technique and concept of an ideal sound, room acoustics, and the instrument together with the mouthpiece used with it. It is not possible to separate completely the contributions of these factors to timbral quality since they are to some extent interdependent, but some aspects can be analysed and an assessment made of their effects on sound. This article treats the effects of instrument design (apart from the mouthpiece) on timbre. Mouthpiece selection is also important, being a large factor in response, endurance and timbre: however there are contributions of the instrument to timbre that are independent of the very personal matter of mouthpiece choice of the player. This approach reflects the fact that players usually select an instrument first and then choose a mouthpiece that best enables them to realise their ideals in their envisaged performance situations.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
JournalHistoric Brass Society Journal
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2014