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Music Brass Instruments
by
Trevor Herbert

Introduction

The general heading “brass instruments” is better, if less elegantly, described by the common organological definition “lip-vibrated” wind instruments or aerophones (in brass instruments, air is set in motion by the players lips vibrating in a cup-shaped mouthpiece). Not all instruments made of brass are members of the brass instrument, family (saxophones, for example), nor are all the instruments that fall into that family actually made of brass. This is particularly the case for non-Western cultures and earlier periods of modern Western history. For example, in Western music during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, the cornett, an instrument made of wood and usually bound with leather, was one of the most common instruments within this classification. The history of brass instruments can be divided neatly, if a little broadly, into two phases, separated at about 1800. From this time, new mechanisms (first keys and then valves) were applied to facilitate easy access to a chromatic compass. Changes to the design of instruments were allied to a dramatic increase in their production and consumption, which in turn led to a widening of the franchise for their use. These factors and the development of new types of classical and popular music caused fundamental changes to performance idioms in both popular and art music. For this reason, much of the literature about brass instruments is devoted to one side or the other of this “moment” of change. Writings relevant to brass instruments have existed since the 16th century, including some directly aimed at explaining how brass instruments were or should be played. The corpus expanded in the 19th century due to a proliferation of didactic method books and a general trend towards the scholarship of music; but it was not until the 20th century that a more systematic, dispassionate, and discursive study of brass instruments developed. Initially this was caused almost entirely by organologists and antiquarians whose preoccupation was primarily with the nature and typology of instruments as material objects. It was not until the 1970s, in the wake of the “early music movement,” that attention shifted to the way instruments were played; this led to more specialized fields of inquiry, such as early performance techniques, jazz, and ensembles (such as various sorts of bands) in which brass instruments have been prominent. This pattern of development explains the shape of the generic bibliography of brass instruments, why its content seems to fall into relatively compact periods of activity, and why some of the standard works have been in place for so long. This article could have been organized in a number of ways, but what follows is an attempt to reveal the literature in a way that anticipates the most likely questions to which users will wish to find answers. One important caution should be emphasized, however: writings about all topics concerning brass instruments necessarily incorporate information about others. There are innumerable overlaps in the headings given in this bibliography, and the full value of this article will only be gained if users take this factor into account.

General Overviews

There are few scholarly discourses in the English language that stand as general overviews of brass instruments, but segments of books with a somewhat wider remit (such as Campbell, et al. 2004, listed under Organology and Acoustics) also provide a general mapping of the subject. Some volumes of the Historic Brass Society’s Bucina series of books are the outcomes of major symposia that span a wide historical period, and these publications invariably reveal something about the main concerns of scholars and players of brass instruments. Baines 1980 and Herbert and Wallace 1997 are regarded as the main general studies. The latter is more recent and embraces matters of style to a greater extent than does Baines 1980, which has a more organological orientation. Carter 1997 and Carter 2006 contain chapters by leading experts. Though they are all on historical topics, these works address several lines of interest, including performance, instrument history, and repertoire.

  • Baines, Anthony. Brass Instruments: Their History and Development. London: Faber and Faber, 1980.

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    The only single-author general book to be devoted to the family of brass instruments, it is unerringly accurate and especially strong on the design of instruments (but less so on performance and repertoire). First published in 1976, it is still widely respected. Baines was one of the most important postwar organologists.

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  • Carter, Stewart, ed. Perspectives in Brass Scholarship: Proceedings of the International Historic Brass Symposium, Amherst, 1995. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1997.

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    The outcome of a major and much celebrated symposium held in Amherst, Massachusetts, which brought to together most of the world’s leading performers and scholars of early brass instruments. The book deals with a wide array of topics.

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  • Carter, Stewart, ed. Brass Scholarship in Review: Proceedings of the Historic Brass Society Conference, Cité de la Musique, Paris, 1999. Bucina: The Historic Brass Society Series No. 6. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon, 2006.

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    A collection of papers focusing primarily on the 18th and 19th centuries. But there are some that are on earlier topics and one important contribution from Robert Philip on the impact of globalization on brass orchestral performance as evidenced by recorded music.

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  • Herbert, Trevor, and John Wallace, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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    Probably the standard general work; more extensive than Baines, it contains eighteen chapters by leading experts covering each major type of brass instrument and several other themes, including non-Western brass, jazz, modern performance practice, and the development of brass instruments in the orchestra. Includes an extensive bibliography.

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Reference Works and Bibliographies

The second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Sadie 2001) is an invaluable resource, containing entries for all known major species of brass instruments, with information on their design, acoustic properties, history, and the way they have been used in various periods and styles. The heading “Brass Instruments” gives no more than a cursory definition of the brass instrument family, but entries on individual instruments, performers, makers, and wider topics such as “Band” yield a significant quantity of information. Other reference sources are limited to the specializations inferred in their titles, but Lasocki 1989–2009 and the bibliography of Herbert and Wallace 1997 (cited in General Overviews) provide good guides to the wider literature. Waterhouse 1993 is the unrivaled source for wind instrument makers. Anderson 1997 is devoted to a specialist repertoire. Like Danner 2005, the most comprehensive catalogue of J. P. Sousa’s music, it has an American orientation. Fasman 1990 contains a broad range of literature relevant to brass instruments (especially repertoire).

  • Anderson, Mark J. Sourcebook of Nineteenth-Century American Sacred Music for Brass Instruments. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997.

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    An interesting introduction to a large but relatively discrete repertoire. Many musical and other illustrations.

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  • Danner, Phyllis. Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip Sousa and Herbert L. Carke Manuscript Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a Catalogue of the Collections. Detroit Studies in Musical Bibliography 85. Warren, MI: Harmonie, 2005.

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    An annotated catalogue of the holdings of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It accounts for about three quarters of the known sources for Sousa’s band-related materials and also the archive of his virtuoso cornet soloist Herbert L. Clarke.

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  • Fasman, Mark J. Brass Bibliography: Sources on the History, Literature, Pedagogy, Performance, and Acoustics of Brass Instruments. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.

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    Not comprehensive even when it was published, but in 1990 the only widely distributed book of its type. Now surpassed by bibliographies in works such as Herbert and Wallace 1997 (see General Overviews), which also include citations of material published in languages other than English, it remains an interesting snapshot of writings and preoccupations when interest in the scholarship of brass instruments was gathering apace.

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  • Lasocki, David. “Bibliography of Writings about Historic Brass Instruments.” Historic Brass Society Journal (1989–2009).

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    Accumulated between 1989 and 2009 in successive issues of the Historic Brass Society Journal and covering publications issued between 1988 and 2008, it is not comprehensive, but it is the most important bibliography of its kind. The University of Indiana hosts a composite online bibliography of publications issued between 1988 and 1996. The Historic Brass Society Journal bibliography is continued from 2010 and compiled by Eva Heater.

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  • Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2d ed. 29 vols. London: Macmillan, 2001.

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    While the entry under “Brass Instruments” is a mere paragraph, the entirety contains expert entries on the great majority of brass instruments that have been used in Western music and many from other cultures. Other entries, such as “Bands,” contain invaluable information on matters of importance to brass instruments. The Index volume (Volume 29 of the printed edition) lists all individual instruments and instrument makers for which there are entries under the heading “Brass instruments.” Available by subscription online, with updates, from Grove Music Online.

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  • Waterhouse, William. The New Langwill Index: A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors. London: Tony Bingham, 1993.

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    The undisputed standard reference text about makers of brass and wind instruments; extraordinarily detailed and reliable, it is indispensable for researchers because of the light it casts on the changing nature of the design and production of brass instruments. Contains an extensive and important prefatory article by Herbert Hyde.

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Journals and Periodicals

Periodical publications relevant to the study of brass instruments fall into two categories: those that are formally refereed through a process of independent expert scrutiny (see Journals) and those that are not (see Periodicals). In both categories, there are publications that have become defunct, but the back issues remain important sources for research into the subject.

Journals

The Historic Brass Society Journal is the only refereed journal in print devoted exclusively to studies of historic brass instruments and the practices associated with them(some discontinued periodicals and the more general major organological journals carry important articles about brass instruments, including non-Western instruments). The Galpin Society Journal and the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society are the leading journals on organology. They contain numerous important articles on brass instruments, as does Early Music, which is more inclined towards music history and performance practice. Brass Quarterly is a discontinued publication, but during its existence, it published several important and groundbreaking articles.

Periodicals

More than may be the case with some other families of instruments, periodicals about brass instruments (many of which are the magazines of international societies interested in one instrument or another) draw together leading international performers and amateurs. The historic and academic articles in these publications should not be assumed to be entirely reliable, but the information they contain about repertoire, and especially the views of leading professional players, are invaluable. The International Trumpet Guild Journal, the International Trombone Association Journal, The Horn Call, and the ITEA Journal, the journal of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA), are the periodicals for the four primary modern orchestral brass instruments, but they also cover instruments related to that group (such as the cornet, Wagner tuba, and bass trumpet), as well as historical topics. The discontinued Brass Bulletin carried articles on both contemporary and historical themes and was especially valued for its graphical content. British Bandsman, despite its title, attracts interest from all quarters where this particular formulation of brass band is popular.

Iconography

The iconography of brass instruments is important because the evidence of some instruments is confined to their visual representations in media, such as print and paintings. Several organological works (e.g., Heyde 1987, listed under Organology and Acoustics) are rich in illustrations. Mary Rasmussen’s Musical Iconography, Naylor 1979, and Keepnews and Grauer 1968 are annotated collections of images relevant to brass instruments. Croft-Murray 1980 and Banks 1994 focus on important collections and are more discursive. Herbert 2004 addresses the way imagery was employed to promote the sales of brass instruments in the early 20th century.

  • Banks, Margaret Downie. Elkhart’s Brass Roots. Vermillion, SD: Shrine to Music Museum, 1994.

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    An exhibition catalogue celebrating the anniversary of the birth of C. G. Conn and the enormously important instrument company he founded in Elkhart, IN.

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  • Croft-Murray, Edward. “The Wind Band in England, 1540–1840.” In Music and Civilisation. Edited by T. C. Mitchell, 135–166. British Museum Yearbook 4. London: British Museum Publications, 1980.

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    Scholarly analysis of images of early bands in the possession of the British Museum.

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  • Herbert, Trevor. “Selling Brass Instruments: The Commercial Imaging of Brass Instruments (1830–1930) and its Cultural Messages.” Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography 29.1–2 (2004): 213–226.

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    Examines the way that the imaging of brass instruments targeted particular groups and emphasized sentiments that are associated with high moral values.

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  • Keepnews, Orrin, and Bill Grauer Jr. A Pictorial History of Jazz. Feltham, Middlesex, UK: Spring Books, 1968.

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    First published in 1955, a rich source for the iconography and organology of brass instruments, as well as aspects of the wider cultural orbits within which jazz brass players worked.

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  • Naylor, Tom L. The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts, 1500–1800. Nashville: Brass Press, 1979.

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    Deals with prints and (to a lesser extent) paintings from before 1800 that contain images of brass instruments. The reproductions are far from perfect and there are many more from this period than are captured in this volume, but several of the more frequently reproduced images are included.

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  • Rasmussen, Mary. Mary Rasmussen’s Musical Iconography.

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    Contains a list of representations relevant to the horn and the trumpet. It is only available online.

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    Organology and Acoustics

    Organological approaches to the study of brass instruments dominated the scholarly literature until the later 1970s. The methods and approaches of organologists have been applied to all brasswind instruments, including many from non-Western cultures and the ancient world. They have covered their design and fabrication, preservation, exhibition, and increasingly a close examination of their acoustical properties. One of the features of organological studies is that they embrace not just the study of commonly used instruments, but also those that are unusual and obsolete. In this respect, they provide an essential contribution to the memorializing of the material culture of brass instruments and their repertoires. Much of the organological literature is found in periodical publications (see Journals), but there are important works devoted wholly or partly to brass instruments. Campbell, et al. 2004 and Campbell 1987 are centered firmly on the technology and acoustics of instruments. Barclay 1996 deals with the manufacture of early trumpets, but says much about how brass instruments more generally were once made. Karp 1992 is a reference guide to the conservation of historical instruments. Ahrens 2008 and Heyde 1987 both deal with the history and application of valves to brass instruments. Groce 1991 covers some of the earliest stages of brass instrument production in the United States.

    • Ahrens, Christian. Valved Brass: The History of an Invention. Translated by Steven Plank. Bucina: The Historic Brass Society Series 7. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon, 2008.

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      Short but thorough account of the development of mechanical brass instruments (keyed and valve) from the late 18th century. Links technical developments with repertoire and the functions of repertoire (in military music and so on), and contains useful musical and pictorial illustrations. Plank’s translation of the German (originally published as Eine Erfindung und ihre Folgen: Blech blasinstrumente mit Ventilen in 1986) makes the text extremely readable.

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    • Barclay, Robert. The Art of the Trumpet-Maker: The Materials, Tools, and Techniques of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in Nuremberg. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.

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      Barclay is one of the world’s best makers of natural trumpets and a professional curator. The best book on its subject, and one of the best on the organology of brass instruments.

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    • Campbell, Murray. The Musician’s Guide to Acoustics. New York: Schirmer, 1987.

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      The best general work on musical acoustics, with copious information about the acoustical character of brass instruments. Campbell does not confine his attention to modern instruments.

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    • Campbell, Murray, Clive Greated, and Arnold Myers. Musical Instruments: History, Technology, and Performance of Instruments of Western Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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      Systematically organized and expert, this work deals with all standard musical instruments, but brass are especially well represented (two of the editors are brass players). Less useful on performance and history than the title suggests, but excellent on brass instrument technology.

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    • Groce, Nancy. Musical Instrument Makers of New York: A Directory of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Urban Craftsmen. Annotated Reference Tools in Music 4. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1991.

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      This complements Waterhouse 1993 (listed under Reference Works and Bibliographies), but focuses on a narrower chronology and a single town. Its focus is wider than just brass instruments, but it is especially useful for those interested in the development of instrument making in the United States.

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    • Heyde, Herbert. Das Ventilblasinstrument. Wiesbaden, Germany: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1987.

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      One of the best and most richly illustrated accounts of the design and introduction of valve instruments.

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    • Karp, Cary, ed. The Conservation and Technology of Musical Instruments: A Bibliographic Supplement to Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts. Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts 28. Marina del Rey, CA: AATA, 1992.

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      A collection of abstracts and bibliographical information related to the conservation and technology of musical instruments. Section G, pp.133–136, relates specifically to brass instruments; other sections of the book deal with more general fields such as acoustics and tuning.

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    Instrument Collections and Catalogues

    Musical instrument collections are an important source for the study of brass instruments. Catalogues of major collections have, in some cases, been superseded by online catalogues, which invariably provide a rich collection of images and other resources. The sites mentioned have especially important collections of brass instruments. The Edinburgh University Collection has an especially large collection of brass instruments, but the largest is that of the National Music Museum, which can be regarded as a portal for online sources because of the links it carries to other relevant sites. Haine and de Keyser 1980 and Heyde 1999 describe two of the great collections of the world, while Bevan 1990 is a guide to smaller UK museums that hold important collections. One such collection, described in Herbert and Myers 1990, is famous because the collection of band instruments it contains is complemented by repertoire that was played on the instruments.

    • Bevan, Clifford, ed. Musical Instrument Collections of the British Isles. Winchester, UK: Piccolo Press, 1990.

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      Not devoted to brass instrument collections alone, but a good annotated guide to UK collections, many of which include brass instruments.

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    • Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, Edinburgh UK: University of Edinburgh.

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      The museum has an especially large and important collection of brass instruments and has published a number of books and workshop drawings. The site has an electronic gallery and pages on brasswind history and brasswind acoustics and taxonomy.

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      • Haine, Malou, and Ignace de Keyser. Catalogue des instruments Sax au Musée instrumental de Bruxelles. Brussels: Musée instrumental de Bruxelles, 1980.

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        Catalogue of one of the major collections of Sax’s instruments. Haine and de Keyser were both curators at the large and impressive Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) in Brussels when they wrote the book.

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      • Herbert, Trevor, and Arnold Myers, eds. Catalogue of the European Wind and Percussion Instruments in the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum Collection. Merthyr Tydfil, UK: Merthyr Tydfil Council, 1990.

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        The collection of 19th-century band instruments at this small Welsh museum is significant because it survives along with the handwritten manuscripts that the band played. It is one of the most significant composite collections relevant to early band history. Available online from the Cultures of Brass Project.

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      • Heyde, Herbert. “The Brass Instrument Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.” Historic Brass Society Journal 11 (1999): 113–139.

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        Heyde is one of the leading experts on brass instruments and a staff member of the Metropolitan Museum.

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      • National Music Museum. Vermillion, SD: University of South Dakota.

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        Previously called The Shrine to Music Museum, this is probably the largest collection of brass instruments anywhere. The site has useful indexes and other tools, and includes the catalog of the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments.

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      Individual Instruments

      Instruments such as the keyed bugle and cornet are dealt with under Trumpet and Other High Brass Instruments. The ophicleide and serpent are dealt with under Tuba and Other Low Brass Instruments. Bevan 2000 (see Tuba and Other Low Brass Instruments) is also very strong on instruments (such as the euphonium) belonging to the saxhorn family. Many more unusual instruments are given individual entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Sadie 2001, cited under Reference Works and Bibliographies).

      Trumpet and Other High Brass Instruments

      This section includes literature relevant to the range of soprano brass instruments. The two most cited books on the trumpet are Tarr 1988, which is a general historical survey that goes up to modern times, and Smithers 1973, which is a carefully researched study of the trumpet before 1800; Lustig 2000 also has a historical focus. Tarr 2003 deals with the trumpet and related instruments in Russia from the 17th century onwards, providing some compensation for the slight treatment that area receives in most books about brass instruments. The same author is responsible for editions of key primary sources for the early trumpet, especially Bendinelli 1975, Fantini 1978, and Altenburg 1974 (see The Pre-valve Era: Primary Sources). Because the trumpet is such a popular instrument in so many different styles of music, the relevant literature is spread extensively, and much is included in journals and periodical literature. Dale 1985 is devoted primarily to technique, while Dudgeon 2004, Brownlow 1996, and Pinnock 1989 deal with instruments that are no longer in common use. Herbert 2008 is a detailed and annotated catalogue of trumpet music, mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries.

      • Brownlow, Art. The Last Trumpet: A History of the English Slide Trumpet. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1996.

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        The term “slide trumpet” has been used four times in music history to denote different and related developments. This is the only major study of the instrument that spanned the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England and attracted a small but important group of virtuosi.

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      • Dale, Delbert. Trumpet Technique. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

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        Short and to the point, this book, first published in 1965, matches those for the trombone and horn by Denis Wick and Gunther Schuller, respectively.

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      • Dudgeon, Ralph T. The Keyed Bugle. 2d ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2004.

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        First published in 1993, this is the standard book on an instrument that was prominent for a little more than the first half of the 19th century. Ubiquitous in bands of various types, the keyed bugle flourished simultaneously with valve instruments before being overtaken by them and becoming obsolete.

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      • Herbert, Trevor. The Robert Minter Collection: A Handlist of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Trumpet Repertory. Milton Keynes, UK: The Open University, 2008.

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        Robert Minter collected facsimiles of autographs, contemporary copies, and first editions of 1,200 works from before 1800, including prominent trumpet parts. Comprehensive details of each work, and incipits of those that cannot be linked to a composer, are freely available as a searchable database hosted by the Open University.

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        • Lustig, Monica, ed. Posaunen und Trompeten: Geschichte, Akustik, Spieltechnik; 19. Musikinstrumentenbau-Symposium in Michaelstein 20. bis 22. November 1998. Blankenburg, Germany: Stiftung Kloster Michaelstein, 2000.

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          The proceedings of an international conference devoted to the history of the trumpet and trombone. In all, there are twenty important articles, most published only in German, some only in English.

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        • Pinnock, Andrew. “A Wider Role for the Flat Trumpet.” Galpin Society Journal 42 (August 1989): 105–112.

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          One of the few articles to examine the “flatt trumpet,” the 17th-century (English) version of the slide trumpet. Sources make clear that it existed, but only a group of pieces by Henry Purcell reveal what was played on it.

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        • Smithers, Don L. The Music and History of the Baroque Trumpet before 1721. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1973.

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          A classic and indispensable text, the book is important in its own right,but it has also functioned as an exemplar for the systematic, source-based study of brass instruments.

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        • Tarr, Edward H. The Trumpet. Translated by S. E. Plank and Edward Tarr. London: B. T. Batsford, 1988.

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          The most useful composite single-author book on the trumpet. Tarr is a distinguished performer and an expert in earlier periods of repertoire. Thus, there is a significant bias toward the trumpet before 1800. Just one lengthy chapter deals with “The modern epoch of the trumpet from 1815 to today.”

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        • Tarr, Edward H. East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition from the Time of Peter the Great to the October Revolution. Bucina: The Historic Brass Society Series 4. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon, 2003.

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          An impressively extensive and detailed study of the Russian trumpet tradition, with a lexicon of trumpeters active in Russia from the 17th through the 20th centuries.

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        Trombone

        The trombone has existed with more or less the design that has prevailed to modern times since the middle of the 15th century. Early instruments have somewhat inaccurately been labeled “sackbut”; in fact, use of the word was limited to England before the late 18th century. The trombone was ubiquitous in the 16th and 17th centuries even though only a handful of repertoire is labeled with a word that means trombone. It was obsolete in many countries for most of the 18th century, but was quickly reestablished in the 19th century when the slide instrument was briefly threatened by the popularity of valve trombones. There is a massive modern solo repertoire, as well as didactic literature of variable quality. Herbert 2006 is the most detailed study of the subject, while Guion 1988 is most valuable for its inclusion of quoted and translated source materials. Wick 1971 deals with modern orchestral technique, and Dietrich 2005 is the most thorough study on the jazz trombone, being more discursive than Baker 1973, which is a series of transcriptions of jazz solos. Sluchin 1995 provides a guide to advanced techniques and the canonical modern trombone writing. Lustig 2000 (cited under Trumpet and Other High Brass Instruments) is as relevant to the trombone as it is to the trumpet.

        • Baker, David N. Jazz Styles and Analysis: Trombone. Chicago: Maher, 1973.

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          This book had a limited circulation and may be difficult to obtain, but it provides an analysis (with several excellent transcriptions) of the playing of many of the best-known jazz trombonists.

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        • Dietrich, Kurt. Jazz “Bones”: The World of Jazz Trombone. Rottenburg, Germany: Advance Music, 2005.

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          Dietrich manages to combine a discursive narrative with the character and scope of an encyclopedia in this survey of jazz trombonists from the earliest traces of jazz to the early 21st century. Remarkably detailed and comprehensive.

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        • Fischer, Henry George. The Renaissance Sackbut and Its Use Today. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984.

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          Essentially an organological publication, a lucidly written and presented definition of the early trombone, with technical drawings and measurements. A short book but a classic of its type, it captures all the primary information relevant to the design of the trombone in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

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        • Galpin, Francis W. “The Sackbut: Its Evolution and History, Illustrated by an Instrument of the Sixteenth Century.” Proceedings of the Musical Association 33 (1906–1907): 1–25.

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          Written by one of the founding fathers of organology, the point of departure for writings about the origin and history of the trombone. At this time Galpin was the owner of a tenor trombone (1557) made by Jorg Neuschel—one of the most famous surviving specimens.

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        • Guion, David M. The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697–1811. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1988.

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          An especially valuable book for the study of the trombone in the 18th century; among its strengths are its extensive summaries and quotation of primary source material from the later 17th to the early 19th century. Guion was the first writer to deal with the period in such detail.

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        • Herbert, Trevor. The Trombone. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

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          The most widely used and comprehensive history of the trombone, dealing with its origins in the 14th century to modernism and jazz. The book is well illustrated and has the most extensive bibliography of any book on the trombone.

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        • Sluchin, Benny. Contemporary Trombone Excerpts. Paris: Éditions Musicales Européennes, 1995.

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          Sluchin, a member of the Paris-based virtuoso avant garde Ensemble Intercontemporain, has an expert knowledge of advanced techniques. The book gives a valuable insight into the innovative approaches to trombone writing by modernists since the 1960s. Implicitly also a guide to the notation of these techniques.

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        • Wick, Denis. Trombone Technique. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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          Wick is one of the most important and influential orchestral trombone players and teachers of the 20th century. The book is devoted to performance technique of orchestral repertoire.

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        Horn

        Horn should here be understood as the modern orchestral instrument, often called “French horn,” and those versions that were precursors of it. It has an interesting place in publications about brass instruments, for it does not neatly fit the division suggested in the introduction to this bibliography, primarily because the hand horn (or natural horn) continued to be used and influence the way composers wrote for the instrument, long after valve instruments were available. It also stands out because, more than any other brass instruments, it figures in chamber music with other instruments, especially in the classical and Romantic periods, and has had a less prominent place in forms of music where other brass instruments have thrived, such as in brass bands and jazz. The broadest overview is in Morley-Pegge 1960, which is complemented by Humphries 2000 and Fitzpatrick 1970 for the earlier periods of the instrument’s existence. The repertoire lists and bibliography given in Brüchle and Lienhard 1970–1983 are the most comprehensive available. Schuller 1992 centers on technique and is by a player who, somewhat unusually, traversed both classical and jazz performance at the highest level.

        • Brüchle, Bernard, and Daniel Lienhard. Horn Bibliographie. 3 vols. Wilhelmshaven, Germany: Heinrichchshofen, 1970–1983.

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          A comprehensive bibliography of repertoire for and literature about the horn up to 1983. The book is arranged helpfully by genres with numerous cross-references. The first two volumes were compiled by Brüchle, the third by Lienhard.

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        • Fitzpatrick, Horace. The Horn and Horn-Playing, and the Austro-Bohemian Tradition from 1680–1830. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970.

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          One of the first and most substantial scholarly studies of the history, repertoire, and performance practices relevant to the horn. It remains the standard work for its subject and is essential reading for all students of the horn before 1800.

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        • Humphries, John. The Early Horn: A Practical Guide. Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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          A short but very accessible, reliable, and scholarly book on the horn in the pre-valve era. It deals with historical background, equipment, technique, and musical style before launching into case studies based on canonical items from the repertoire.

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        • Morley-Pegge, R. The French Horn: Some Notes on the Evolution of the Instrument and of Its Technique. London: Ernest Benn, 1960.

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          A classic of its type, containing a good set of musical illustrations, a sound collection of source references, and helpful biographical notes on the authors of several of the most influential didactic works on horn playing.

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        • Schuller, Gunther. Horn Technique. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

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          Schuller’s work as player, composer, and scholar has crossed many stylistic boundaries. He was principal horn at the Metropolitan Opera and performed on some iconic jazz recordings. First published in 1962, the book is both a guide to horn technique and an insight into performance practice at that time.

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        Tuba and Other Low Brass Instruments

        The tuba is the primary bass brass instrument for the modern symphony orchestra. It was not invented until the middle of the 19th century. Tenor-range instruments that are members of the saxhorn family, such as the euphonium, are often included in literature relevant to the tuba. However, other “brass” instruments, such as the serpent and ophicleide, have an important part in the story of low brass instruments. The most important text is Bevan 2000, which deals with all these instruments. Morris and Goldstein 1996 is a reference book containing information about repertoire, performance, and other low-brass themes. Meucci 1996 is of special importance because it unlocks information about the cimbasso, one of the two instruments (the other being the ophicleide, which is covered by Bevan) that were important in 19th-century repertoire but became obsolete by the start of the 20th century.

        • Bevan, Clifford. The Tuba Family. 2d ed. Winchester, UK: Piccolo Press, 2000.

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          Expanded and revised edition of the book published by Faber and Faber in 1978. The undisputed standard text, it deals not just with the tuba but with a range of bass brass instruments. The essential starting point for any study of the tuba and other low brass instruments.

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        • Meucci, Renato. “The Cimbasso and Related Instruments in 19th-Century Italy.” Translated by William Waterhouse. Galpin Society Journal 49 (1996): 143–179.

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          This important article traces the development and use of the cimbasso, the instrument notated as the bass brass instrument in the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. The article was originally published in Italian in the journal Studi Verdiani 5 (1989).

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        • Morris, R. Winston, and Edward R. Goldstein, comps. and eds. The Tuba Source Book. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

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          As the title suggests, this very substantial tome is a source for writings, repertoire, and other matters relevant to the tuba, with other information about low brass.

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        Cornett

        The cornett (note the spelling—cornetto in Italian and Zink in German) that is addressed here is a member of the “brass instrument family” because it is sounded by the player’s lips vibrating in a cup-shaped mouthpiece. It was made of wood, often bound with leather and had finger holes. There is no direct design relationship between it and later brass instruments, including the brass-metal “cornet” invented in the 19th century. It was one of the most important and widely used instruments of the Renaissance and baroque periods. This instrument, made of wood and bound with leather, attracted a large repertoire and a significant number of virtuosi. For these reasons it is accommodated extensively in the primary-source musical literature for the period in which it flourished. The instrument was moribund from the 18th century until modern-period instrument players devoted their attention to it. The leading virtuoso and scholar of the instrument is Bruce Dickey, who has had a hand in just about every facet of the instrument’s rehabilitation since the late 1970s. This section should also be read in conjunction with more general studies given under The Pre-valve Era: Thematic Studies. Dickey 1997 is the best starting point for understanding this instrument, while the Collver and Dickey 1996 catalogue provides helpful contextual notes and reveals the repertoire. Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musicpraxis 5 is a themed edition of this journal, which is devoted to the cornet. Also relevant to performance practice on the cornett is Dickey and Tarr 2007 (cited under The Pre-valve Era: Primary Sources).

        • Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musicpraxis 5 (1981).

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          The journal is sponsored by the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, one of the main international centers for the study of early music performance. This volume was devoted almost entirely to papers on the cornett, and as such it has become known as the “Zinc volume” (Zink being the German word for Cornett).

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          • Collver, Michael, and Bruce Dickey. A Catalogue of Music for the Cornett. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996.

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            Initiated in an article in Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musicpraxis 5 and subsequently expanded into a comprehensive catalogue of music for, or including, the instrument, it contains several finding aids and there is an excellent and substantial prefatory essay.

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          • Dickey, Bruce. “The Cornett.” In The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments. Edited by Trevor Herbert and John Wallace, 51–67. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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            The most authoritative, succinct overview of the cornett and its history.

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          The Pre-Valve Era

          The sources mentioned here are relevant to “natural instruments” (those without valves), the cornett and the early trombone. The information they contain, almost invariably, is equally applicable to performance of early repertoire on all brass instruments because the main topics of concern (such as articulation and embellishment) are seldom differentiated between one instrument and another.

          Primary Sources

          A number of the primary sources for brass instruments before 1800 have been published in English translations or facsimiles. Some, such as Altenberg 1974, Bendinelli 1975, and Fantini 1978, are devoted entirely to brass instruments. Others, such as Mersenne 1957 and especially Praetorius 2004, have a much wider scope but contain essential information about brass instruments and performance practices on brass instruments at the time of their writing. Dickey and Tarr 2007, though devoted to articulation on wind instruments generally, is in fact an annotated anthology of primary source material, most of which is relevant to brass instruments in the pre-valve period.

          • Altenburg, Johann Ernst. Trumpeters’ and Kettledrummers’ Art. Translated by Edward H. Tarr. Nashville: Brass Press, 1974.

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            English translation of Altenburg’s 1795 Versuch einer Anleitung zur heroisch-musikalischen Trompeter und Paufer-Kunst, written “for the Sake of a Wider Acceptance of the Same/Described Historically, Theoretically and Practically/and Illustrated with Examples.”

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          • Bendinelli, Cesare. Tutta l’arte della trombetta. Facsimile edition by Edward H. Tarr. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1975.

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            The earliest treatise devoted to the trumpet, it quotes 16th-century repertoire that is the earliest to be written in the clarino range of the instrument. It was given to the Accademia Filarmonica, Verona, as a manuscript in 1614. Tarr’s edition is a facsimile of that manuscript. An English translation and helpful commentary, The Entire Art of Trumpet Playing, also by Tarr, was published simultaneously by The Brass Press.

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          • Dickey, Bruce, and Edward H. Tarr. Bläserartikulation in der Alten Musik/Articulation in Early Wind Music. Winterthur, Switzerland: Amadeus Verlag, 2007.

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            Invaluable anthology of primary source extracts relevant to articulation in early repertoires, which includes sources written for woodwind that cast light on preferred articulations for wind instruments more generally. Extracts are given in the original language and in English translation. The prefatory essay is excellent.

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          • Fantini, Girolamo. Modo per imparare a sonare di tromba di guerra quanto musicalmente. Facsimile edition with translation by Edward H. Tarr. Nashville: Brass Press, 1978.

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            Fantini was the chief trumpeter at the court of Ferdinando II, grand duke of Tuscany. His treatise, dating from 1638, is the first published guide to trumpet playing in the period. This is a facsimile of that first edition with a translation of the original Italian by Tarr.

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          • Mersenne, Marin. Harmonie universelle. Facsimile edition with translation by R. E. Chapman. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1957.

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            Mersenne was a theorist and mathematician whose book, published in Paris in 1636–1637, contains descriptions of the proportions of brass instruments as well as information about music more generally. The drawings of the trumpet and trombone have been reproduced extensively by later writers.

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          • Praetorius, Michael. Syntagmatis musici tomus primus: Musicae artis analecta. Facsimile edition by Wilibald Gurlitt. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1986a.

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            It is impossible for serious students of 16th- and 17th-century brass instruments to avoid Praetorius. Indeed, the information contained in his books (published between 1614 and 1618), including the drawings he provides, are so copious and detailed that scholars can draw conclusions about general practices from them that may not be justified. This first volume, published in 1614–1615, is mainly concerned with sacred music and its performance.

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          • Praetorius, Michael. Syntagmatis musici tomus secundus: De organographia. Translated by D. Z. Crooke. Oxford: Clarendon, 1986b.

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            This volume, first published in 1618, deals with musical instruments and the way that Praetorius understood their use. The volume is rich with illustrations of musical instruments.

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          • Praetorius, Michael. Syntagma musicum III. Translated by Jeffery. T. Kite-Powell. Oxford Early Music Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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            This volume, first published in 1618 as Syntagmatis musici tomus tertius: Termini musici, is essentially a reference work, a sort of dictionary of technical musical terms of the time.

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          Thematic Studies

          Literature devoted to what has become broadly understood and referred to as “early music” abounds. Some of the more general studies by historical musicologists that are not aimed specifically at those interested in brass instruments (Polk 1992 and D’Accone 1997, for example) provide much of the basis for understanding how brass instruments were used before the 18th century. More specialized studies such as Brown 1976 contain information that is essential for the performance of early repertoires. Downey 1984 is an important and provocative article that stimulated debate about the existence of the Renaissance slide trumpet, which is thought to be a precursor of the trombone. Polk 2006 is a multiauthored work on brass-related themes from before 1800.

          • Brown, Howard Mayer. Embellishing Sixteenth Century Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.

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            Brown identifies the major 16th-century and early-17th-century sources (especially Italian) describing embellishment, quoting examples from these sources and offering advice about their execution. The information is as applicable to early brass (trombone and cornett) as to any other group of instruments. Essential reading for those performing repertoire of this period.

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          • D’Accone, Frank. The Civic Muse: Music and Musicians in Siena during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

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            This detailed, substantial, and definitive study of musical life in Siena in the early modern period is of special value for brass players because of the detailed forensic examination it provides of the working lives of town musicians, many of whom were brass players.

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          • Downey, Peter. “The Renaissance Slide Trumpet: Fact or Fiction?” Early Music 12.1 (1984): 26–33.

            DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/12.1.26Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Polemic article casting doubt on the existence of the 15th-century “slide trumpet.” Downey’s article stimulated debate (summarized in Herbert 2006), cited under Trombone about the sources relevant to the instrument, and it should be read in conjunction with responses by various scholars in the subsequent edition of Early Music.

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          • Polk, Keith. German Instrumental Music of the Late Middle Ages. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

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            The most respected study of this topic, it deals with sources, repertoire, and instruments.

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          • Polk, Keith, ed. Brass Music at the Cross Roads of Europe: The Low Countries and Contexts of Brass Musicians from the Renaissance to Modern Times; Proceedings of the International Brass Symposium, Utrecht, August 26–28, 2000. Utrecht, The Netherlands: STIMU, 2006.

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            The book draws on a symposium focused on “The Low Countries and contexts of brass musicians from the Renaissance to the 19th century,” but the “cross roads” referred to suggest a geographical convergence on the Low Countries. Thus, the volume includes chapters on English, Spanish, German, and Scandinavian music.

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          The Valve Era

          Literature relevant to the period after the invention of the valve (including that which concerns the trombone) contains an entirely new set of issues. While organological matters are important, there are other substantial topics, such as the place of brass instruments in the Romantic orchestra and the emergence of new instrumental formulations such as the various species of band and new instrumental idioms, including jazz.

          Primary Sources

          This section includes some books that are out of print but are likely to be available in major libraries and as modern editions or facsimiles. A further source that may not be so widely available is the first edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Grove 1879–1889). Forsyth 1982, Macdonald 2002 (an edition of Berlioz’s 1844 and 1845 treatise), and Prout 1897–1899 were written to explain how instruments were to be used in orchestras and bands. Farmer 1912 and Rose 1995 (a facsimile of the 1895 publication) do the same for military and brass bands, respectively. Koenig 2002 is a substantial anthology of published discourse about jazz and its players in its earliest years. Ramsey and Smith 1985 is a reprint of the earliest book on jazz.

          • Farmer, Henry G. The Rise and Development of Military Music. London: W. Reeves, 1912.

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            Remains one of the most authoritative studies of military music. The emphasis is on the United Kingdom, but Farmer also deals with wider contexts.

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          • Forsyth, Cecil. Orchestration. New York: Dover, 1982.

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            Originally published in London in 1914, this is one of the most detailed studies of musical instruments of the period. It casts light on orchestral practices and other sectors of music making, such as the military band. Richly illustrated, it is a good source for music historians generally, but brass players will find it especially helpful.

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          • Grove, George., ed. A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 4 vols. London: Macmillan, 1879–1889.

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            The first edition of the most famous and widely used dictionary of music in the English language. Contributed to by many of the most eminent British authorities of the time, it was published in parts over a ten-year period. An important addendum was added to compensate for the many topics that were overlooked in the alphabetical sequence.

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          • Koenig, Karl, ed. Jazz in Print 1856–1929: An Anthology of Selected Early Readings in Jazz History. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon, 2002.

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            A substantial and highly varied collection of source materials relating to early jazz and its precursors.

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          • Macdonald, Hugh. Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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            Berlioz’s treatise is authoritative and extremely well organized, dealing with “Brass with mouthpiece” and “New instruments,” which include those that were then emanating from Adolphe Sax’s enterprise. This is a major primary source for the study of orchestral brass playing of the period, and Macdonald’s translation and commentary are excellent.

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          • Prout, Ebenezer. The Orchestra. 2 vols. London: Augener, 1897–1899.

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            Prout, like Forsyth, gives a lot of information about orchestral brass instruments and the practices he had observed as a conductor and concert-goer in the late 19th century.

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          • Ramsey, Frederick, Jr., and Charles Edward Smith, eds. Jazzmen. New York: Limelight Editions, 1985.

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            A reprint of the original 1939 edition of the first major work on jazz, written when many of the most influential early jazz musicians were still in their prime.

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          • Rose, Algernon S. Talks with Bandsmen: A Popular Handbook for Brass Instrumentalists. London: Tony Bingham, 1995.

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            Facsimile with contextual introduction by Arnold Myers. First published in 1894, it originated in a series of talks by Rose to prospective brass band players at the Broadwood piano factory in London. Extremely informative of various aspects of musical life at the time, especially in respect of brass instrument manufacture.

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          Didactic Treatises

          Didactic method books—instrumental tutor or instruction books—have a special status among primary sources, and they merit a discrete section in this bibliography. They proliferated from the 19th century, and detecting those that have had the greatest influence on others is something of a challenge, but it is clearly the case that some have had such influence, because many are but mild variants of others. Some early publications (such as Arban 1907) have remained in print because they capture something about core aspects of the idiom of the instruments to which they are devoted. Lafosse 1921–1946 has similarly remained in common use. Dauprat 1994 (a facsimile of the 1824 edition of the horn method) was originally a landmark publication, while Harper 1988 (a reprint of an 1837 instruction book) is the most important for the 19th-century slide trumpet.

          • Arban, Jean-Baptiste. La Grande Méthode complète pour cornet à pistons et de saxhorn. Translated by E. Ruch. Edited by J. Fitzgerald. London: Boosey and Hawkes, 1907.

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            First published in Paris in 1864, its success lies in the clarity of its didactic method, the challenges of the later exercises, and the way it seems to define the central tenets of technique. This translation has been reprinted regularly and benefits from having fewer interventions than some others. It has been adapted for other brass instruments.

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          • Dauprat, Louis-François. Method for Cor Alto and Cor Basse. Translated and edited by Viola Roth. Bloomington, IN: Birdalone Music, 1994.

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            Luxurious facsimile of this important treatise of 1824, with translation and commentary. There are no method books of substance for the horn from the 18th century, and while Dauprat’s book was not the first to be published in the 19th century, it was the most thorough and influential.

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          • Harper, Thomas. Instructions for the Trumpet. Commentary by John Webb and Scott Sorensen. Homer, NY: Spring Tree Enterprises, 1988.

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            Facsimile of the 1837 method book. Harper primarily played the “chromatic slide trumpet,” but he also addresses the keyed bugle, the cornet à pistons, the two-valve “Russian valve trumpet,” and the “cornett,” by which he means the valve instrument, which he confusingly distinguished from the cornet à pistons.

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          • Lafosse, André. Méthode Complète pour le Trombone á Coulisse. 3 vols. Paris: Leduc, 1921–1946.

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            Lafosse, both a professor at the Paris Conservatoire and a leading player, published two volumes of his method in 1921, with a third volume in 1946. It follows the pattern of didacticism laid out by his predecessors, but also includes a selection of more challenging excerpts from the orchestral repertoire.

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          Thematic Studies

          Most of the thematic scholarship relevant to brass instruments in the valve era (other than jazz studies) is focused on three areas: brass instruments in the modern orchestra, repertoire studies, and studies of various types of band. The latter category, like jazz studies, has attracted so much attention that it warrants a discrete section of this bibliography. Burkhart 2010 is devoted to brass chamber repertoire, its performance and performers. Ellis 1999 deals authoritatively with a particular aspect of the engagement of women with brass instruments in the 19th century, while Lawson 2003 and Newsom 1983, both multiauthored collections, deal with two types of musical institutions in which brass players worked: the symphony orchestra and the concert band.

          • Burkhart, Raymond. Brass Chamber Music in Lyceum and Chautauqua: A Dissertation. Los Angeles: Premier Press, 2010.

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            A reprint of a PhD thesis (Claremont Graduate University, 2010) that deals with aspects of brass ensemble music in the United States; it deals historically with ensembles and not just repertoire.

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          • Ellis, Katharine. “The Fair Sax: Women, Brass-Playing and the Musical Instrument Trade in 1860s Paris.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 124.2 (1999): 65–98.

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            Ellis is famously expert on sources for performance and criticism in France in the period. The article focuses on the sponsorship of a women’s brass ensemble by Adolphe Sax. Exceptionally detailed and incisive, it touches on a range of cultural issues regarding women in France in the 19th century.

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          • Lawson, Colin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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            General, multiauthored study of the development of the orchestra, providing a valuable and highly accessible context for any study of orchestral brass instruments.

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          • Newsom, Jon, ed. Perspectives on John Philip Sousa. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1983.

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            Multiauthored, and one of the best analytical collections on Sousa. No chapters deal specifically with brass instruments, but Sousa’s players were so important to the development of playing in the United States that the context given here is exceptionally valuable.

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          Jazz

          The contribution of brass instruments to the history and development of jazz has been formidable, but jazz has also had a major influence on the reconfiguration of the performance idioms of brass instruments, especially with respect to techniques employed by modernist composers. In addition to the corpus of written work on jazz brass and its players, there are numerous commercial online discographies that reveal information about performance and can be accessed through some public and institutional libraries. Weiner 2009 focuses specifically on brass instruments and includes contributions from players as well as scholars. Dietrich 1995 is a study of Ellington’s trombonists and deals with their idioms as well as the personnel. Gabbard 2008 is a cultural rather than a musical study of jazz trumpeters, whereas Hudson 2003, like Baker 1973 (cited under Trombone), deals directly with musical language and style.

          • Dietrich, Kurt. Duke’s “Bones”: Ellington’s Great Trombonists. Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany: Advance Music, 1995.

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            Impressively detailed survey of all the trombone players (and trombone sections) who worked with the Ellington Orchestra from the 1920s until Ellington’s death in 1974.

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          • Gabbard, Krin. Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture. New York: Faber and Faber, 2008.

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            Idiosyncratic but interesting study of the jazz trumpet, giving special attention to a group of figures that include Bolden, Armstrong, and Miles Davis.

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          • Hudson, Rob. Evolution: The Improvisational Style of Bob Brookmeyer. Vienna: Universal Editions, 2003.

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            Transcriptions and analysis of the improvisations of the great valve trombone player.

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          • Weiner, Howard, ed. Early Twentieth-Century Brass Idioms: Art, Jazz, and Other Popular Traditions; Proceedings of the International Conference Presented by the Institute of Jazz Studies of Rutgers University and the Historic Brass Society, November 4–5, 2005. Studies in Jazz 58. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2009.

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            The collected papers of a conference held at the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, in New Jersey. The first to focus on the role of brass instruments in the earlier history of jazz.

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          Brass, Wind, Military, and Concert Bands

          Bands of various sorts have been at the heart of activities that involve brass players since the 19th century. Many of the leading jazz and classical players began their playing careers in brass, military, and wind bands. In addition to being important in their own right, bands have been essential to the development of brass instrument playing. For example, bands of the official military remain the largest employers of professional brass players. Herbert 1990, Herbert 2000, and Newsome 2006 cover the history, repertoire, and style of the British brass band. Hazen and Hazen 1987, Kreitner 1990, and Camus 1975 cover the history and practices of American bands, while Boonzajer Flaes 2000 illustrates the extent to which brass bands became embedded in previously colonized countries in Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Andrews 1997 is a discography of early brass band recordings.

          • Andrews, Frank. Brass Band Cylinder and Non-microgroove Disc Recordings 1903–1960. Winchester, UK: Piccolo Press, 1997.

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            A comprehensive and highly detailed catalogue of British brass bands and some brass instrument soloists recorded between 1903 and 1963. This entire body of recordings was recorded at a pitch something less than a semitone sharper than A440; British brass bands did not adopt standard concert pitch until 1965.

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          • Boonzajer Flaes, Rob. Brass Unbound: Secret Children of the Colonial Brass Band. 2d ed. Amsterdam: Royal Tropical Institute, 2000.

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            Boonzajer Flaes is an ethnomusicologist specializing in the brass band traditions of formerly colonized countries in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The book, along with a series of field recordings that are available commercially, is part of a project by the Department of Visual Ethnography at the University of Amsterdam. Includes a music CD.

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          • Camus, Raoul F. Military Music of the American Revolution. Westerville, OH: Integrity Press, 1975.

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            A thorough and detailed study of the history of military music in America in the later decades of the 18th century. Camus deals extensively with repertoire and instrumentation, and there are several useful appendices.

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          • Hazen, Margaret H., and Robert M. Hazen. The Music Men: An Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800–1920. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987.

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            An interesting, well-written, and well-illustrated book that is especially valuable for its reproductions of photographs of people, bands, and ephemera. Extremely accurate and informative, it provides an excellent profile of brass bands in American life in the period, and despite its title, has much to show about female players.

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          • Herbert, Trevor. “The Repertory of a Victorian Provincial Brass Band.” Popular Music 9.1 (1990): 117–132.

            DOI: 10.1017/S0261143000003779Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Describes Cyfarthfa Band’s repertoire—one of the largest of its type—and the sources relevant to it.

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          • Herbert, Trevor, ed. The British Brass Band: A Musical and Social History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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            Multiauthored work that includes chapters on repertoire and performance styles, as well as an extensive chapter on the bands of the Salvation Army. Regarded as an important source for the subject.

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          • Kreitner, Kenneth. Discoursing Sweet Music: Brass Bands and Community Life in Turn-of-the Century Pennsylvania. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990.

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            A personalized but fascinating and revealing story of brass bands in the neighborhoods of the author’s upbringing. It is essentially an ethnography of the bands of a small region of eastern America, and it reveals much about the relationships between such bands and the communities in which they operate.

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          • Newsome, Roy. The Modern Brass Band: From the 1930s to the New Millennium. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.

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            The author is a major figure in the British brass band movement and writes with authority. This volume says something about the 20th century that is informed by the author’s own experience which is not captured in such detail elsewhere.

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          Biography and Autobiography

          Biographical and autobiographical writings about brass players have an unjustifiably low status among some researchers. In fact, this species of writing often casts considerable light on musical practices, the contexts for music making, and the preoccupations of major players. The nonrefereed Periodicals carry a rich collection of interviews and biographical articles about brass players in the second half of the 20th century, but other writings of this type, not all written by brass players, reveal a great deal. Armstrong 1993 is complemented by Brothers 1999, which includes Armstrong’s later writings. Jack Teagarden is the subject of Smith and Guttridge 1988, and several other jazz brass players are included in the essays in Meyer 2004. Bierley 2006, while not strictly a biography, is the most thorough profile of the Sousa band and its players. Mortimer 1981 is the autobiography of Britain’s most celebrated cornet player, and Dennis Brain, the subject of Pettit 1976, has the same status as a french horn player. Bridges 2001 is invaluable for it coverage of early band players, especially in the United States, and Frederiksen 1996 deals with America’s most iconic tuba player and teacher.

          • Armstrong, Louis. Swing that Music. New York: Da Capo, 1993.

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            Originally published in 1936, the first autobiography of a jazz musician. This edition contains an important prefatory essay by Dan Morgenstern.

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          • Bierley, Paul. The Incredible Band of John of Philip Sousa. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

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            The “biography” of a band rather than an individual, this cannot be taken as an objective appraisal because Bierley dedicated himself to honoring Sousa and his band. It is, however, the richest published source for factual information about a band that remains a phenomenon in American musical history.

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          • Bridges, Glenn. Pioneers in Brass. CD-ROM. Enumclaw, WA: Trescott Research, 2001.

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            This CD-ROM was originally published as a book in 1965, but the searchable electronic version provides many more facilities and illustrations. It chronicles the lives and works of many of the players (mostly American) who established brass playing in the valve era and includes some important source material.

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          • Brothers, Thomas, ed. Louis Armstrong in His Own Words: Selected Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

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            A collection of writings by Armstrong covering all periods of his life. Brothers has provided a helpful introduction and editorial notes, but the substance of the book is, as the title suggests, Armstrong’s own words.

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          • Frederiksen, Brian. Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind. Edited by John Taylor. Gurnee, IL: WindSong, 1996.

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            Arnold Jacobs (b. 1915–d. 1998) was principal tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a much-respected teacher with an especially individual approach to the fundamentals of technique. The book is both a biography and an illustrated summary of Jacobs’s approach to playing.

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          • Meyer, Sheldon, ed. Dan Morgenstern: Living with Jazz. New York: Pantheon, 2004.

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            An anthology of the writings of Dan Morgenstern, a renowned jazz critic and director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. Among its extensive contents are Morgenstern’s articles on leading jazz brass players, most of whom he was knew personally, and a collection of liner notes and record reviews.

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          • Mortimer, Harry, with Alan Lynton. Harry Mortimer on Brass: An Autobiography. Sherborne, UK: Alphaboooks, 1981.

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            Harry Mortimer (1902–1992) was the most celebrated British cornet player of the 20th century. He was one of the major figures in the British brass band movement, but he also became a member of the Hallé Orchestra and the director of military and brass band broadcasting for the BBC.

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          • Pettit, Robert. Dennis Brain: A Biography. London: Robert Hale, 1976.

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            Brain was the most famous and brilliant member of a horn-playing dynasty. He was unquestionably the most influential player of his generation, and his recording of the Mozart concerti and of the corpus of chamber works that include the horn remain among the finest.

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          • Smith, Jay D., and Len Guttridge. Jack Teagarden: The Story of a Jazz Maverick. New York: Da Capo, 1988.

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            Jack Teagarden was one of the most influential jazz trombonists and probably the one whose style matched that of Louis Armstrong most closely. Always a controversial character, the book, originally published in 1960, reveals a career with as many downs as ups.

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          LAST MODIFIED: 06/29/2011

          DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199757824-0006

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