If we could only see what’s going on!

In the last couple of posts, I talk a lot about my concepts of articulation. These kinds of discussions usually get very subjective, opinionated and divisive. Why? Because we can’t actually see what’s going on. But what if we could?
We can with imaging techniques. Here are some X-ray video clips of a horn player and a trumpet player doing some slurs and various articulation things.

Here is recently-retired Met Orchestra principal, Peter Bond, playing for a similar type of video. To me, his tongue seems more controlled.

Nowadays, we can get better imaging from MRI videos. Here are some of those. Here is trumpeter, Matthias Bertsch, playing some similar things. The sound is not really linked in the way we need to compare what we hear to what is happening, but we can still see things. I notice a lot of extraneous movement in the tongue (all the way into the throat).

The same guy made another video with 3D motion analysis of the the movements of the tongue. First with vowels, then articulations and then slurs. I wish there could have been more sensors attached to the tongue to get a more-detailed view of the tongue movement.

To me, the best imaging video is of Berlin Philharmonic horn player, Sarah Willis. She also does a lot of “Horn Hangouts” that feature all kinds of horn players and other musicians. Here is her MRI video:

But I would recommend going to her post here, to get a full and jaw-dropping (see what I did there?) documentary on the process!



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