Vocalises for trumpet

Have you ever noticed how angular and difficult music that was written originally for trumpet is? There is almost always a fanfare-type of element in it. For quite a while, trumpeters have gotten around this by stealing songs. From singers. This opens up a whole world of repertoire that has yet to be exhausted. Selecting a vocal song to play on a recital is not only a musical “breath of fresh air,” it can also provide a less-demanding piece–a piece during which you can recover some of your stamina.

Perhaps the easiest type of song to transcribe is the vocalise. Vocalises are pieces without words that were originally written for singers (the idea is that the singer can just say “Ah” or “Oh.” There are many vocalises that have already been made into trumpet study editions, such as by Bordogni (24 Vocalises) and Concone (Lyrical Studies), but these are almost always published without the piano accompaniment. I recommend that you get an edition that has the accompaniment, so that you can actually perform these vocalises in public!

Some vocalises have more of a tradition for actual performance by trumpeters:

S. Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise:

Or G. Fauré’s Vocalise-Étude:

There is a marvelous album of vocalises recorded by Ray Mase. Here is one example–a Lento by S. Prokofiev:





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