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Origins of the Great Divide

Postby obreitys » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:06 am

Just out of curiosity, would any of you gurus happen to know exactly *why* we have the big split between CC in North American orchestra and BBb in Europe? The recent re-interest in BBb in N. American orchestra got me wondering.

The fact that several people started cutting down BBb's to CC several decades ago would seem to prove that at one point, BBb's were pretty common in the orchestra scene here. What happened to turn the tide toward CC? Was there a trigger event of some kind, or was it an eventual conversion (because of change- of-taste in American orchestra repertoire perhaps)?
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Ken Crawford » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:17 am

Rotary BBb in Germany/Europe because it always has been. Piston CC in America because Chicago York.

Let the postmortem equine beating begin!
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby lost » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:30 am

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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby obreitys » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:36 pm

There shall be no postmortem equine beating! :wink:

This post was NOT meant to discuss the merits of BBb vs. CC in orchestra. Rather, I'm interested in when / how the widespread use of CC in American orchestra (and the associated dogma) came into being.

Ken, am I correct in assuming you're saying the CC-in- orchestra tradition started after the Chicago York came out? Wouldn't that mean that there was already a clear preference for CC at that point, resulting in production of that instrument? Or did everybody latch onto it after it was introduced because it was the first "true American" orchestral tuba?
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby bloke » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:17 pm

"orchester tuben"...??

' seems to me, either tuben in B and E or tuben in A and E would make the most sense.
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby toobagrowl » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:29 pm

obreitys wrote: Rather, I'm interested in when / how the widespread use of CC in American orchestra (and the associated dogma) came into being.


Because of Bill Bell and Arnold Jacobs. They were both "orchestra tuba titans" who held a lot of sway in the tuba community. Bill Bell and his students on King 4/4 rotary CC tubas, as well as Alex, Meinl and Mirafone rotary CC tubas; Arnold Jacobs & students on 6/4 York-a-phone piston CC tubas.

Before Bell and Jacobs 'popularized' CC tuba in US orchestras, tuba pitch & type were far less 'standardized'. But even after the 'standardization' of CC tuba use in US orchestras, there were a few guys who still prefered BBb for their 'big tuba', such as the late Ev Gilmore (formerly, Dallas Symphony), James Jenkins (Jacksonville Symphony), Ross Tolbert (formerly, Minnesota Orchestra) and I'm sure a few others :!:
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Bill B » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:48 pm

bloke wrote:"orchester tuben"...??

' seems to me, either tuben in B and E or tuben in A and E would make the most sense.

I've always thought a tuba in "A" would make playing the "Ride of the Valkyries" really easy.
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby GC » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Were Jacobs and Bell influenced by Helleburg's use of CC?
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby lost » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:22 pm

obreitys wrote:There shall be no postmortem equine beating! :wink:

This post was NOT meant to discuss the merits of BBb vs. CC in orchestra. Rather, I'm interested in when / how the widespread use of CC in American orchestra (and the associated dogma) came into being.

Ken, am I correct in assuming you're saying the CC-in- orchestra tradition started after the Chicago York came out? Wouldn't that mean that there was already a clear preference for CC at that point, resulting in production of that instrument? Or did everybody latch onto it after it was introduced because it was the first "true American" orchestral tuba?


Did you read the whole thread I posted?
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby the elephant » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:28 pm

August Helleberg.
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby toobagrowl » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:51 pm

the elephant wrote:August Helleberg.


^ Arguably the first to use CC tuba in a major US orchestra. But I'd argue the use of CC tubas didn't become popular/widespread in orchestras until Bell and Jacobs came into the scene. You still had guys like Kilton V. Smith using a Kruspe F tuba for everything in Boston until Chester Schmitz won that spot in the mid-1960s on an Alex 163 CC :idea: And after Helleburg and Geib, but before Bell in the NY Phil, Vincent Vanni used a large Cerveny F in the orchestra :idea:
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby obreitys » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Wow. Lots of interesting information. Thanks to everyone who's contributed so far!
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby T. J. Ricer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:58 pm

Around the same time, weren’t there C melody saxophones and “Preacher” trombones in C for reading out of the hymnal? Maybe we were the only ones to see a benefit from what was a fad for everyone else?

Was Geib after Helleberg?

I seem to remember reading a story of Bill Bell getting a Cerveny CC before his Cincinnati audition and figuring out the fingerings right before the audition because “you play a CC in orchestra” and he had played BBb in the Sousa Band.
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Three Valves » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:05 pm

Twin cam I-6 vs V8.

Protestant vs Catholic.

N vs S.

E vs W.

Bring it!! :tuba:
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Heavy_Metal » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:37 pm

Three Valves wrote:Twin cam I-6 vs V8.

Protestant vs Catholic.

N vs S.

E vs W.

Bring it!! :tuba:


You forgot:

Kirk vs. Picard

Ginger vs. Mary Ann

Daphne vs. Velma
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby hup_d_dup » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:37 pm

I believe that in the US, the switch to CC tubas was done for largely the same reasons that it was done with trumpets, but it happened with trumpets first. Georges Mager, who was principle trumpet at the Boston Symphony from 1919 to 1950, was the first principal player to adopt instruments in C as the primary instrument. (This largely pre-dates Bill Bell and Arnold Jacobs). Mager's students included Adolf Herseth, Roger Voisin and Bernard Adelstein - each of whom was hugely influential in the symphonic world, at least on this side of the Atlantic.

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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Wyvern » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:30 pm

obreitys wrote:Just out of curiosity, would any of you gurus happen to know exactly *why* we have the big split between CC in North American orchestra and BBb in Europe?

It is really only in Eastern Europe where the BBb is mostly used in the orchestra. In Russia BBb is the main orchestral tuba. In much of Europe F is the main orchestral tuba, with CC used as contrabass. In Germany it is F and BBb. In the UK it is today mostly Eb and CC - but up until 1960’s it was F tubas.

It is interesting the regional differences even today.
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby Ace » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:26 am

hup_d_dup wrote:I believe that in the US, the switch to CC tubas was done for largely the same reasons that it was done with trumpets, but it happened with trumpets first. Georges Mager, who was principle trumpet at the Boston Symphony from 1919 to 1950, was the first principal player to adopt instruments in C as the primary instrument. (This largely pre-dates Bill Bell and Arnold Jacobs). Mager's students included Adolf Herseth, Roger Voisin and Bernard Adelstein - each of whom was hugely influential in the symphonic world, at least on this side of the Atlantic.

Hup


Thanks Hup. Your post reminds me of a pleasant experience I had in 1953 when I attended a concert of the touring Boston Symphony performing in the cavernous Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. As I approached the ticket office I encountered a trumpet player standing around chatting with arriving concertgoers. Friendly guy. He was asked about his beautiful instrument and he identified it as a Courtois C trumpet. Said these had been standard in the orchestra for many years. By the way, the great Roger Voisin was playing principal trumpet that evening.

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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby bloke » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:13 pm

Heavy_Metal wrote:
You forgot:

Kirk vs. Picard

Ginger vs. Mary Ann

Daphne vs. Velma

Trixie vs. Bubbles
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Re: Origins of the Great Divide

Postby EdFirth » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:03 pm

Herb Wekselblatt was still using a Sander Bb in the Met orchestra when I took with him in 1973. He was curious about Mirafones and was going to order two, pick a winner, and let me buy the other one at his cost. Unfortunately his wife became very ill and before the horns came she passed away and I got out of the Army. But years later, while in Tampa with the circus I had to visit a repair shop where the repair guy told me a story about spending hours cutting on a Mirafone for him. He also, at the time I was going to him for lessons, told me that he had a little four valve Olds tuba(99?) that he would pull out when the conductor asked "for the F tuba". Ed
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