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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 19 (2013) No. 1

Published 2017

More on Trumpets and Trombones in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Venice

From Andreas Pilger*

I´ve been reading Jeff Kurtzman and Linda Koldau’s 2002 article about trumpet and trombones, etc., in Venice’s 16th and 17th Centuries. In paragraph 2.5 they say: “One of the most striking pictorial examples of a trumpet (tromba/trombone?) playing in church is on the title page of Herrmann Finck’s Practica Musica of 1556 (Figure 2). From the position of the player’s hands, the instrument looks very much like a slide trumpet. The other two instruments in the ensemble are crumhorns (instead of shawms), and all three (?) are accompanying a four-part choir with boy sopranos.” If you look carefully, you discover that behind the man who is in charge of the codex, there is someone playing a cornetto. The mouthpiece is on the extreme left of his lips. Playing the top part with the boys. So it’s a four-part wind ensemble with cornetto and tromb-a/-ono playing the upper and low parts.


*Andreas Pilger (andreas.pilger@web.de) received his first musical instruction under Prof. H. Thoene at the Konservatorium der Stadt Köln. This was followed by violin studies with Gürzenich concertmaster Mikulas Jelinek at the Musikhochschule Köln and master classes with Marie Leonhard and Monica Hugget. Since 1986 he has performed with several notable ensembles, including Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Musica Fiata Köln, La Banda, and Armonico Tributo Austria. He has participated in numerous radio and CD projects and has performed as a chamber musician and soloist at festivals such as the Styriarte, the Rheingau Festival, the International Week in Krieglach, the Alte Musik Festival Utrecht, and the international Kammermusikreihe in Musikverein Wien.

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