1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

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PaulT
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1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by PaulT » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:55 pm

Our rehearsal room has a large photo of the 1958 University of North Dakota concert band (one of our trombonists is in it). There were eight trombonists and not a single one a trigger horn. I asked the fellow that was in that 1958 band, Why no triggers? what size/bore were the horns? .547s or something smaller? He didn't remember, he said they were just the standard horns everyone played.

What was a standard band horn in the late fifties? (not jazz/swing bands, just your standard university/military "we play Sousa in the town square" type band) What bore size? Why no triggers?

What size (bore) horns played Sousa marches in good bands in Sousa's day? When did .547 become "band standard"? When did trigger horns become "band standard" ('band standard' based on what I see used in university bands and military bands, live and youtube.
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BGuttman
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by BGuttman » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:33 pm

When I was a kid (late 1950s and early 1960s), most of us played 0.500" bore horns. That was the size for Big Band, Concert Band, etc. The orchestral pros played 0.525" horns like the Bach 36. Some were getting into F-attachments, but F-attachments were the province of the bass trombone player. And even his horn was 0.547" or sometimes less.

I have a picture of the Boston Symphony Brass Section from 1921 (from Doug Yeo's site). The second trombone, August Mausebach, has an instrument with an E attachment (not F). Leroy Kenfield, the bass trombone, has an instrument with an F-attachment.

Concert Band players of the turn of the 20th Century generally played instruments in the 0.485" to 0.500" bore. The 3rd trombone may have played a larger bore instrument. I have a 1930 King trombone that is a large bore straight tenor that might have been used as a 3rd trombone in a Concert Band.

The adoption of large bore instruments in Symphony occurred starting in the 1950s and went through the 1970s, but the teachings of Emory Remington at Eastman from the late 1930s to the 1970s basically put all his classical students on 0.547 horns with F-attachments; particularly the Conn 88H.

With the symphony players going to 0.547" horns with F, most teachers adopted that size for all students. And the expected sound now required that type of instrument.
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JohnL
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by JohnL » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:01 pm

There's a reason why those pre-WWII Conn bass trombones are so darn rare - almost no one needed one unless they were playing in an orchestra. Not much call for an f-attachment in pre-WWII American concert band literature. One can be handy on some of the third trombone parts so you're not whipsawing between 1st and 6th, but you won't see notes below the staff very often (if at all). British band literature was another thing; since those bands typically had a G bass on third, you'll see parts going down below the staff on occasion.

After WWII, there was increased interest in bands performing serious symphonic literature - both transcriptions of orchestral works and original compositions for band - so you started seeing third trombone parts in band music that looked more like third trombone parts in orchestra music. You also started hearing bass trombone in commercial and popular music (George Roberts and others).

As an aside, I think the renewed interest in wind band as a serious musical ensemble was partially rooted in the military bands of the WWII era. Not only were there a lot of good musicians, but a lot of the composers who helped develop the post-WWII symphonic band repertoire were there, too. Alfred Reed and Clare Grundman come to mind.
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by PaulT » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:48 pm

Thanks.

So, the trombone Sousa wrote for was likely a .500 bore (or less). The trombone I first heard playing Sousa when the folks got that new stereo in 1965 (complete with a Columbia record deal) was probably a .525 bore. And the trombone I hear playing Sousa now when I cruise band music on Youtube is a .547 with F attachment. (speaking tenors).
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by PaulT » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:55 pm

(an aside) If you see an old Olds straight horn (early to mid sixties?) and all you know about is that it has a large shank mouthpiece (even though the rest of it looks not large), can you draw any conclusion about the likely bore?

(it has an octagonal slide)

(not my horn, don't have access to it currently, just wondering)
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BGuttman
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by BGuttman » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:18 pm

PaulT wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:55 pm
(an aside) If you see an old Olds straight horn (early to mid sixties?) and all you know about is that it has a large shank mouthpiece (even though the rest of it looks not large), can you draw any conclusion about the likely bore?

(it has an octagonal slide)

(not my horn, don't have access to it currently, just wondering)
That was the Olds Opera O-15. There were also two Olds trombones that bore with F-attachments: O-23 and O-25. One was called Opera and the other called Symphony. Bore is either 0.547" or 0.555". JohnL would know.
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by JohnL » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:40 pm

PaulT wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:55 pm
(an aside) If you see an old Olds straight horn (early to mid sixties?) and all you know about is that it has a large shank mouthpiece (even though the rest of it looks not large), can you draw any conclusion about the likely bore?

(it has an octagonal slide)
I'd be very interested in getting more information on the horn. The largest duo-octagonal tubes I've ever seen are .522" ID, and they're pretty darn rare. I've heard a couple second-hand stories about large-bore Olds trombones with duo-octagonal slides, but never seen one (either in person or in pictures) - and the attempts I've made to follow up on those second-hand stories have turned out to be wild goose chases.

As for a straight tenor Olds with a large shank from the early to mid '60's? That'd be an O-15 Opera (nickel silver) or an O-115 Opera Fanfare (yellow brass). I've never had the opportunity to measure an O-115; I've measured some early O-15's at .547" and later ones at .554". Never had a chance to measure an O-115. 8½" bells on all. None of the Olds literature I've seen mentions duo-octagonal slides on any Opera model.

I've seen enough oddball stuff from Olds that I wouldn't be surprised to see larger duo-octagonal tubes - though if they do exist, they're very rare.
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by PaulT » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:46 pm

The horn belongs to a fellow in our band, but he is an intermittent show (retired music teacher, subs a lot and goes to AZ by mid-November) ((he is the fellow that is in the 1958 photo of the UND band)) ((good player. Spent years playing in a local dance band, back in the day, as he says)). Everything about the horn looks small bore, but today I noticed it has a large shank mouthpiece, which wasn't what I expected.

He plans on making our next concert, so I will likely get a chance to check the horn out. What should I look for? (I have camera and calipers) Where would the serial # be?
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by 2bobone » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:24 pm

JohnL wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:01 pm
"There's a reason why those pre-WWII Conn bass trombones are so darn rare - almost no one needed one unless they were playing in an orchestra".
I was playing in The U.S Army Band at the World's Fair held in Flushing Meadow, NY in 1964 and stayed at The Henry Hudson Hotel in the city during that stay. One day, as I walked through the lobby with my bass trombone, an elderly gentleman called to me from his seat in the lobby. "Hello, bass trombone player" he called. I was interested in how he deduced that I was a bass trombonist, so I engaged him in conversation and found out that indeed, he had played bass trombone at one time. During that conversation he told me that he had a Conn 70H trombone in his apartment and wanted to sell it. One thing led to another and soon I found myself in his disheveled abode where he pulled an ancient trombone case out from under a desk where it had evidently resided for a long time. I opened it up and discovered a 1930's TIS 70H with an "F" trigger and a rotary valve to "E". I put a mouthpiece into it and began to play. When I turned around to express my delight with the instrument I found the old man in tears. "You play so beautifully", he said. He told me that during WWII, so many musicians were being drafted out of their jobs that he got a call one day from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra whose bass trombonist had met that fate. He was given the job over the phone and then he rushed to the nearest music store and asked if they had a bass trombone in stock [he had neither owned one before nor played one]. The only one they had was the one I bought from him with funds from a "Trombonists Fund" that the former principal trombonist of TUSAB, Kieg Garvin had established for times like this. A real winner of an instrument, difficult to hold [front heavy] with a glorious sound.
What a momentous day that was ! Like the man said ----- "unless they were playing in an orchestra".
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by LeTromboniste » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:45 am

PaulT wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:48 pm
Thanks.

So, the trombone Sousa wrote for was likely a .500 bore (or less).

Smaller even. Very popular horns at the time seem to have been the "small" and "medium" bore models that later became the 2H (Pryor played one of those) at .458" and the 4H at.485". Both were available with 6.5" or 7" bell.
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by JohnL » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:40 pm

PaulT wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:46 pm
He plans on making our next concert, so I will likely get a chance to check the horn out. What should I look for? (I have camera and calipers) Where would the serial # be?
If it's from the 1960's, the serial number should be on the slide side of the tenon joint, right by the threads (or the nut, depending on which side is which).

The most important dimensions for identification purposes are the ID's of the inner tubes. It's hard to get a really accurate measurement, but you should be able to get close. Get the OD's of the stockings, too, for comparison purposes. Pictures of the bell engraving would be helpful, as well as a measurement of the bell diameter. Also pictures of the cork barrels, mouthpiece receiver area, and the braces would help with identification. Also get a measurement of the mouthpiece shank diameter right at the insertion point (this is easier than trying to measure the ID of the receiver).
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by PaulT » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm

Um... the Olds in question has a small shank mouthpiece. My bad. Don't know what I was seeing before, but it "tweren't right"


The horn is an Olds Recording. The fellow bought it new in 1963 for $350. It has a rose brass bell
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by Posaunus » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:13 pm

PaulT wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm
The horn is an Olds Recording. The fellow bought it new in 1963 for $350. It has a rose brass bell
Yup - Olds Recording: small shank mouthpiece, 8" Red Brass bell, 0.495"/0.510" dual bore, “fluted” duo-octagonal inner slide tubes. Excellent trombones!
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by JohnL » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:06 am

PaulT wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm
Um... the Olds in question has a small shank mouthpiece. My bad. Don't know what I was seeing before, but it "tweren't right"
Such is life. :)
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by CharlieB » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:54 am

Olds Recording. Great horn.
Has a wonderful, dense sound of its own, sometimes criticized for not blending well with modern horn sections, but a beautiful sound, none the less. I have an Olds catalog from the late 60's that describes the Recording as a "large bore horn," and when I was "back in the day," the Recording was typically playing the third part, while first and second parts were played on ~.500 bore horns.
Bell material is something that Olds advertised as a proprietary alloy called Re-O-Loy. Some sort of bronze?
These horns have an unexplained tendency to play flat, even with the tuning slide all the way in. ????
The subject horn of this thread most likely has an Olds taper mouthpiece receiver, which results in a shallow insertion depth for modern Morse taper mouthpieces.
Recordings are quite nose heavy unless an over-sized counterweight is added.

My Olds Recording story.........
I bought an Olds Recording on ebay a few years ago, expecting it be in "used horn " condition.
When it arrived, I was amazed at the condition. No lacquer wear, no dents and no scratches, even on the case.
There was a receipt and warranty card from Olds in the case that documented that the horn had been sold to a music store in Arizona in December of 1956. Beautiful horn. But there was one problem. The slide tenon was too big to fit into the receiver on the bell. Mis-matched slide and bell? Nope. Olds had put serial numbers on both the slide and bell, and they matched. This was a manufacturing error. The horn had never been played. It was very easy to correct the taper on the tenon to match its receiver, and I had a brand new 1956 Olds Recording. All I had to do was add a large counterweight. My guess is that the (defective) horn had been put on a shelf and forgotten about until I bought it when the music store went out of business over 50 years later.
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by pompatus » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:43 am

Posaunus wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:13 pm
Yup - Olds Recording: small shank mouthpiece, 8" Red Brass bell, 0.495"/0.510" dual bore, “fluted” duo-octagonal inner slide tubes. Excellent trombones!

There's a really nice looking one for sale at the moment on the forum, too!

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12085
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dershem
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Re: 1958 Band Photo. No Triggers. ?

Post by dershem » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:51 am

This connects well to one of the things that Bill Watrous talked a lot about in his later years. So many people play on larger bore/trigger horns now that playing in Bill's style (quiet, controlled, subtle) is very difficult, as the band is likely to be VERY loud, and will drown out any attempt at subtlety. He called the large bore horns common now "elephant guns" which go well with bands with a lot of amplifiers and such, but which lessen subtlety, along with changing the whole sound of a section and a band.
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