Tell a Story on the Trumpet: Part I, the Cadence

When I play , I want to communicate with the listener. I want to tell a musical story. If my fundamentals are working on the (breathing, articulation, fingers, lips, tongue placement, etc.), then I can shape and pace notes in ways that help deliver this story, from the details up to the big picture. Perhaps the smallest detail of the story that we musicians can tell is the cadence, which is that part of a phrase that harmonically resolves, usually with a dominant chord leading to a tonic chord.

The melody, which cannot fully convey the harmonic movement, nevertheless can support the underlying cadence. From the Sixteenth Century until today, a very good rule of thumb with cadences is to give more intensity throughout the dominant and relaxing this intensity on the tonic. The reason for this is that the dominant chord is harmonically “far” from the tonic. The dominant has tension, dissonance, or “drama.” Will the dominant resolve? Maybe yes, or maybe no–that is the drama that the listener is confronted with. Imagine a movie where the camera follows the protagonist down a dark hallway. Something will happen. Will it resolve peacefully or will there be a shock? Watching the scene, your anxiety increases, and your heartbeat quickens. This is drama. In a very similar way, the dominant chord sets up expectations which can be fulfilled or denied.

A good movie director underpins the dramatic hallway scene with lighting, music and pacing that helps the audience feel the anxiety more. In the same way, a good musician can highlight the drama of the movement from dominant to tonic with more intensity. This intensity usually means more volume, but it could also be a change of vibrato, timbre (tone color), pacing or articulation. This helps the listener hear the harmonic framework of the music better. It helps to draw him into the “rhetoric” of the music. 

To me, nothing is more “rhetorical” than Renaissance music, so, as an example, I offer this cued-up YouTube video of cornettist Bruce Dickey playing Josquin des Prez’s Mille Regretz. Notice the intensity swelling and then releasing as the dominant resolves to the tonic (this happens twice at 1:24 and 1:29). 

Let’s look at another example from the second movement of Joseph Haydn’s for Trumpet. I want to contrast two great performances with the small difference of this device. In the eleventh bar, we hear a line descending by steps with the longer notes on dominant harmony and the shorter notes on the relative tonic of each successive dominant. In the first (cued up) example, a young Wynton Marsalis, teamed up with John Williams and the Boston Pops, performs this passage smoothly.

But listen to the contrast in rhetorical delivery with more emphasis on these dominant-underpinned notes in a performance by French trumpeter, David Guerrier (who plays a historically-accurate keyed trumpet). This video is also cued up to the same musical passage (it is pitched lower, at A = 430). 

For me, the subtle difference of “leaning” on the dominant notes that Guerrier does in his example helps us hear the harmony more vividly. 

One more example comes from the end of the first movement of G. P. Telemann’s Concerto in D (the “first” concerto). In the first example, listen to the great Maurice André play this last phrase. He has a gorgeous tone, he has chosen a very luxurious tempo (very slow), but his shaping of the inner dynamics from the dominant to the tonic (where he is playing a trill) is pretty straight. There is not much contrast. 

Another example (on ) by Niklas Eklund, shows the dynamic tension on the trill followed by a slight release on the last note, which coincides with the dominant-to-tonic harmony. Notice, in both examples, that the trill starts slow and speeds up, which also helps the drama of the line. This cued-up video is pitched at A = 415, which is lower than the example by André.


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Happy birthday, and the importance of Story, Song and Support

It all started three years ago with a little post about, well, starting this website. And now Journey has grown to more than 90 published posts about all kinds of -related things. There have been many interviews, but also “Top Ten Lists.” There have been posts about jazz, renaissance and baroque music, orchestral playing, the jobs market, and even language learning. 

Of the 117,000 people who have visited Trumpet Journey, I am really happy to receive the occasional comment or question. Especially from places like The Netherlands or Italy. Or even India! (sorry, India, I haven’t gotten around to answering you, yet). 

15th-century manuscript with a bearded figure blowing a trumpet

15th-century manuscript with a bearded figure blowing a trumpet

I haven’t posted much of my own writing in a while, because I have been doing so many interviews. So, I’d like to shake off the dust and talk about the three “S”s. These are what I think are the three key elements that each great trumpet player has: Story, Song, and Support

Each of us has a unique story. That story may be an actual account of some event, or even the story of our life. But we also have our own stories that we keep coming back to, such as “beauty is great,” or “old things are cool” or “technology is what I’m about.” These are our thematic points that our choices point to. Choices about repertoire, style, equipment, venues, and even the clothes we wear when we perform can help create our own story and the story that each generation needs to hear. Many players perform to a story that is going on inside their heads. As listeners, we can sense that something dramatic is happening. 

Trumpeters like Jean-Francois Madeuf, Doc Severinson, and Philip Smith seem to have a really strong story. Their playing seems to spring effortlessly from their personal story. 

Authenticity (played on an authentic natural –very rarely heard):

Showmanship–notice how Doc adjusts his story to suit the Lawrence Welk Show audience:

And this story telling in the orchestral realm. I remember hearing Philip Smith talking about the way he thought about this opening excerpt from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. He said he pictured Death (as the shrouded skeleton) reaching out from a dark fog. Closer and closer he comes, until you see his grotesqueness clearly. Sound quality is not quite perfect in this example.


Then there is the song. This is how we play what we play. This song can be sung with heart-on-the-sleeve romanticism, laser-beam clarity, or rhetorical interpretation. This is our personal song we sing on the trumpet when we play. Each of our voices are different–and they should be. Our song is the meeting place of our phrasing, our interpretation, our experience and, of course, our tone. I learned a beautiful lesson about tone from a former colleague of mine, the great euphonium player named Roger Behrend. He said it helps him to think about tone in terms of color, texture and taste. So, for instance, if you are thinking about maroon, velvet and chocolate, you get an especially luxurious sound. Or, perhaps you’re thinking golden, rough and with the taste of jambalaya, like I do, when I hear this trumpeter:

Trumpeters that have a great sense of song are many, but for me, some of the most astounding “trumpet singers” have been, besides Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Maurice André. 

I found this unusual example of Maurice André playing the Hindemith “Trumpet Sonate.” While this is not normal repertoire for André, nor is it a standard interpretation of the renowned German composer’s piece, it so well shows André’s glowing song-making style.


But to keep the song going, which keeps the story fresh, we all need the support of our technique, our fundamentals, our use of air, and our “chops.” For most of us, this comes down to consistent, mindful practice over many years. We are also looking for the right equipment to help us get there. Equipment and practice routines seem to be the subjects of most the trumpet chatter out there on the web and in studios. We all want to be able to play better, faster and higher. I know I do. But I think we all understand the limitations of mouthpieces, technique and high notes without a great singing style. Or without a musical story to tell. Let’s let support be what it is: help for a greater cause. Nevertheless, there are some great examples of technique and equipment.

Wynton Marsalis’ amazing technique and unique equipment do not get in the way of his song or story.

Malcolm McNab is a paragon of fundamentals, and he spins them into the most amazing recordings.

And, or course, there are the high note players like Arturo Sandoval and the late, great Maynard Ferguson. 

Talk about support!!! 

I think all of these examples show exceptional Story, Song and Support, and hopefully will give us some inspiration to communicate with our audiences, too.

In a very meaningful way, Trumpet Journey has been one of my trumpet stories that I have been able to tell over the last three years. 



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Back from a Long Vacation

First performance of "Night Passages," my concerto for trumpet and orchestra

Premier performance of “Night Passages,” my for and orchestra (February 9, 2014; photo by Angela Anderson)

Except for four gratifying interviews with some great trumpeters (Tine Thing Helseth, Chris Sala, C.J. Camerieri, and Brant Tilds), I haven’t posted on Trumpet Journey since September of 2013. I did remain busy, however. I composed and performed a concerto for trumpet (doubling on flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet) and orchestra.


Bach historian Christoff Wolff and me after a Washington Bach Consort concert at Kenyon College

Bach historian and me after a Washington Bach Consort concert at Kenyon College





The Natural Trumpet Making Workshop (with teachers Dr. Robert Barclay and Richard Seraphinoff, standing)

The (with teachers Dr. Robert Barclay and Richard Seraphinoff, standing)



I also played a lot of and cornetto, and did things like visiting the Natural Trumpet Making Workshop and the organ making workshop of Taylor and Boody.

George Taylor demonstrating making an organ pipe at the Taylor and Boody workshop in Staunton, Virginia

George Taylor demonstrating making an organ pipe at the workshop in Staunton, Virginia




But my lack of new posts hasn’t stopped readers from visiting my blog. Since September, 2013, there have been more than 46,000 new visitors logging on the Trumpet Journey site. Previously, I had only 16,000 visitors for the first year of Trumpet Journey’s existence. That’s a huge increase! Thanks, thanks, thanks!


In the next year or so, I hope to keep my focus on getting and flourishing in trumpet jobs. I will continue to publish my popular but controversial Top 10 lists. Of course, there will be more interviews. And I will finish publishing my dissertation. In addition, I hope to publish some of my compositions on Trumpet Journey (for free of course!). More interviews, more practice tips, more history, more baroque trumpet, cornett, more pleas for authenticity, and some silliness are to come.

Interview with Baroque Trumpeter, Barry Bauguess

Barry Bauguess is one of North America’s most sought-after Baroque concert and recording artists. He has served as principal with Apollo’s Fire, Bach Collegium San Diego, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival Orchestra. Barry also frequently appears with other ensembles including Chatham Baroque, Tafelmusik, Tempesta di Mare, Folger Consort, Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, American Bach Soloists, and was a member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for fourteen years. He is currently a Kulas Visiting Artist in the Historical Performance Program at Case Western Reserve University and serves on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory.

Barry is also the owner of The Baroque Trumpet Shop in New Bern, North Carolina and is publisher of  Music for Natural Trumpet, performing editions of  17th– and 18th-century works for natural trumpet. He holds a BM and MM from the NC School of the Arts and  has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, Koch International, Conifer Classics, Nonesuch, Sine Qua Non, PBS and NPR. When not physically attached to the trumpet, Barry can usually be found either in his kitchen cooking with his wife, Baroque Dance Soloist Paige Whitley-Bauguess or on the back roads of North Carolina racing his bicycle. You can visit Barry at


Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference

Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference


  •   Baroque – Egger B-9
  •   Classical – Egger KSE-6
Natural C/D Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after Michael Nagel, Nuremburg, 1657. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Natural F Trumpet:  Markus Raquet, Bamburg, 2009, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1740.
Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum

Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum

Coiled Trumpet:

  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2007, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1688.
Baroque Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2013, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 3-hole trumpet made from Nuremburg brass with seamed, conical crooks
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2010, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 4-hole trumpet, “Historic” Solo Model.
Keyed Trumpet:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2004, after Alois Doke, Linz, c. 1823.
Classical Trumpet:
  •  Richard Seraphinoff, Bloomington 2003, after C. Missenharter, Ulm, mid 19th century
Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem

Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem


  • French Besson, Paris, 1862.






Interview with Barry Bauguess, Baroque Trumpeter. 

The interviewer is Stanley Curtis.

SC: What was your early education in music like and how did you get interested and started in early music?

The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, "Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ" released in 1973

The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, “Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ” released in 1973

BB: When I was in high school I was lucky enough to study with a great teacher, Eddie Bass at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He introduced me to early recordings of and Ed Tarr.

In undergraduate school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, both of my teachers, Ray Mase and Allan Dean played early music. That led me to purchasing my first cornett and . On my senior recital, I played a lot of contemporary music along with some and cornett. I then went on to graduate study with Fred Holmgren in the Early Music Program at the New England Conservatory.

SC: What are some of your most memorable performances?

Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig

Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig

BB: My most memorable performance have more to do with location than music. Playing Bach Cantatas in Leipzig and Weimar in the same spot that Bach’s trumpet players stood was pretty exciting. Performing Spanish/Mexican music with Chanticleer in Missions all along the California Coast was spectacular. Playing in my backyard while looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains is my favorite place to practice!

 SC: Could you share some of your recordings?

BB: I don’t have much on YouTube except where I’m playing in an orchestra somewhere. I’m on most of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra‘s Handel Oratorio recordings, American Bach Soloists‘ BWV 51 and B-minor Mass, and all of Apollo’s Fire‘s recordings between 2000 and 2012.

SC: Let’s listen to the “Patrem omnipotentem” from Bach’s B-minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists. Nice high “D”!

Note: these recordings require Adobe Flash and Java plugins in order to hear them.

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SC: Now let’s hear you play the Trumpet Shall Sound with Apollo’s Fire. I really like this recording, because it has a lot of personality, from the cellos to Jeffrey Strauss and you!

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SC: I really want to hear one more track from that awesome recording–“Worthy Is the Lamb.” Okay, I guess one reason is because I’m playing second trumpet on it. But the other reason is the flexible, yet crafted feeling of the ensemble!

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SC: Your favorite recordings and performers to listen to are…

Bach's B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and

Bach’s B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and

BB: One of my favorite recordings is the 1984(?) recording of B-minor Mass with Joshua Rifkin. The trumpets are Fred Holmgren, Jessie Levine, and Ray Mase. It was my first exposure to the repertoire of Bach and the trumpet playing is still amazing today. My favorite players to listen to are Friedemann Immer, David Staff, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Per-Olav Lindeke, Fred Holmgren, and of course now, Jean-François Madeuf.

Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer

Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer


SC: What are your personal insights and ways you approach the baroque trumpet?

BB: I think of myself as an early musician who happens to play the Baroque and natural trumpet. I approach the Baroque trumpet from a musical standpoint instead of from a physical feat. If I can’t make music in an historically-informed way, I’ll find something else to do. I like to play everything on natural trumpet first, and then if I have to, play it on a vented trumpet with the same articulations, phrasing, and performance practices as on the unvented instrument. I’m a real believer that if you can’t do it on a natural trumpet, you have no business trying it on a vented one. Some conductors and circumstances may require a vented trumpet, but you should still be able to do it without moving your fingers. Isn’t it amazing that “natural” trumpet players today practice fingering!!

SC: How would you advise a trumpeter interested in learning baroque trumpet in this day and age?

Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel

Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel

BB: Get the best instruments you can afford, then go study with the most historically-informed musical player you can find. Any good modern player can learn to operate the vented Baroque trumpet, but only a few can make music.

SC: Tell me about your research, editing and scholarship.

BB: I’ve done quite a bit if research into original equipment and original editions. I like to play from facsimiles when possible – it just feels right. Much of my research and editing has been dedicated to French Baroque dance music for performances by my wife, Paige Whitley-Bauguess spending countless hours in the UC Berkeley library poring over Lully, Rameau, and Campra opera scores.

SC: Your business, The Baroque Trumpet Shop, perhaps one of the most important baroque trumpet retail shops in the world, has been a big part of your life. Why did you start this business?

BB: I started the Baroque Trumpet Shop in 2004 (10th anniversary next April) to offer players the opportunity to try instruments and mouthpieces and choose the best that’s available from the best makers. When I started playing, the best one could do is order a trumpet of some kind from Europe and hope it worked. At the shop, I try to have one of every Egger no-hole, 4-hole, 3-hole, and keyed trumpet in stock to try out. Having played professionally for over 30 years now, I can usually make some pretty good suggestions for trumpets and mouthpieces for players.

SC: Barry, I agree–you’re fantastic at helping trumpeters figure out the best equipment for them.

A final questions: how do you see the future of baroque music making (especially considering the baroque trumpet) evolving?

Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute

Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute

BB: I’m really not sure. I used to be more optimistic than I am now. With the world economic problems, there just isn’t as much support for early music (or modern music for that matter) as there needs to be. The lack of work for modern trumpet players, as well as other modern musicians, has led to many players entering the field for the wrong reasons. They seem to regard it as just another income stream, not as a musical quest. There are some really good trumpet players out there today who can play the pants off a vented trumpet, but not many of them take the time to study the performance practice and live the music.

Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute

Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute

I am heartened by many students at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and at Case Western University’s Historical Performance Program.

The interest in learning to play early music on all instruments in an historically-informed way at these schools is truly amazing. Over one-hundred trumpet players have gone through BPI since I started teaching there and they’ve all be a real inspiration to me. I really hope the economy improves so these talented young players can make a great living while pursuing their true passion.

Learn the Baroque Trumpet, Part 2: Learning the History

Being an early music specialist means that you are not only a performing musician, but you  are also a historian. One of your jobs is to provide a soundtrack to history. For this reason you need to brush up on your baroque reading, so that you can address issues of social and historical context, authenticity, and develop your knowledge of repertory, types of early trumpets, and construction of early trumpets. Here are some books that provide some of this information.

1. , The Music and History of the before 1721. 2nd ed., 1988. Don Smithers applied excellent research skills and his prodigious mental capacity to give us this wonderful tome. This book addresses the guild system, the natural trumpet makers, the Italian, German, Austro-Bohemian, French and English traditions and literature. Invaluable is an inventory of musical sources for the baroque trumpet. At the time of this blog, I believe it is out of print, but you should be able to check it out of a library close to you.

2. Edward Tarr, The Trumpet, 3rd ed., 1988. An over-arching look at the history of the trumpet will help contextualize your playing.

Selection from Altenburg's "Trumpeters' and Kettledrummers' Art" about Court Trumpeters

Selection from Altenburg’s “Trumpeters’ and Kettledrummers’ Art” about Court Trumpeters

3. Johann Ernst Altenburg, Essay on an Introduction to the Heroic and Musical Trumpeters’ and Kettledrummers’ Art [1795]. Translated by Edward H. Tarr, 1974.

This book will help you really understand what a trumpeter did and was allowed to do during the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, the second half of the book is a kind of method for performance with a fantastic ensemble piece by Altenburg inserted into the appendix.

4. Robert Barclay, The Art of the Trumpet-Maker, 1992. This book explains very clearly how these instruments were made–the materials, techniques, tools. In addition, he provides some direction in terms of philosophy and application of period trumpet playing.

Here is a nice video with some of the activities that you would do if you went to the Natural Trumpet Making Workshop, taught by Dr. Barclay. You can hear Barclay instructing the students in this short film with some representative music in the background.