Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Fine Arts

Department

Music Performance

First Advisor

Dr. Skip Gray

Abstract

The Bitsch Vingt Études are a significant part of the trumpet performers repertoire. They are taught in many university trumpet studios across the United States. David Baldwin, professor of trumpet at the University of Minnesota, has recorded all of them for the International Trumpet Guild. The editor, Raymond Sabarich, is considered the founder of the modern French school of trumpet playing.

Articulation is a significant component in performing on a brass instrument. By varying the attacks of the tongue, different timbres can be successfully achieved on the trumpet. Because of the volume the trumpet can generate, any defective articulation will be more noticeable. Articulation is for the brass player what consonants are for the singer—successful execution is imperative or a lack of clarity results.

One major problem in teaching the Bitsch etudes is the lack of attention paid to French pronunciation. The musical ideas in these etudes (melodies, articulation, phrasing, etc.) were conceived by a Frenchman. While fluency in French is not a prerequisite for successful performance of these works, understanding the basics of French pronunciation and how they influence French articulation is essential.

In order to properly perform the Marcel Bitsch Vingt Études, the trumpeter needs to modify his or her tonguing in accordance with the rules of French pronunciation. The different components of articulation will be discussed, after which the impact of language in recorded performance will be examined. Finally, selected compositions from the Marcel Bitsch Vingt Études will be analyzed, with recommendations for articulation being given for each work.

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