Did we always get "the hand"?

How and what to teach and learn.
Post Reply
Bone2Collins
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:03 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by Bone2Collins » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:36 pm

Hey folks, I'm not sure if this topic is out there but...

Were trombonists before the "modern trombone" (let's say before 1900s) always given "the hand" for playing too loud? Or is this stereotype of us a new condition in the symphony orchestra?

I'm curious in regard to the development of the instrument (physically, the hardware) and the people playing them (their minds and motives). How and why we have arrived at this modern sound of the trombone (in the orchestra)?

We all know that famous video of Bran Hecht (and section) playing excerpts from Shostakovich 5 on youtube. If you don't know it, check it out. Was this "style" always the case throughout history?

I find myself asking "Would Mozart like how the Kyrie sounds on my Shires Bass?"....

Thoughts and any resources for further research?
harrisonreed
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:46 pm

No, trombonists were not always given the hand.

I don't think many full time trombonists sitting day in and day out in big orchestras are either, outside of initial rehearsals.
hyperbolica
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:31 am
Location: hyperbolica@outlook.com

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by hyperbolica » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:15 pm

You mean this video?


I think it changes over time, and depends on location and which group you are talking about. In the northeast, in the 80's and 90s, I played as loud as I felt the situation called for, and rarely got the hand. Where I am now (mid atlantic, in kind of a classical cultural backwater), if I play over mf, there are complaints.
whitbey
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by whitbey » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:51 pm

Symphony. I get asking for more more often then less. Seems like less is everyone, not just me.

Concert band. Too many never play soft enough or loud enough. So yes it happens.

Small bore cuts and large bore is fuller sounding in my book. So a few generations back probably had the same as we do now. Just not as good of horns. I imagine most of the other instruments were not as good back then too.

I know I can play softer then anyone. It's just that no one ever hears me.
harrisonreed
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:43 pm

whitbey wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:51 pm
I know I can play softer then anyone. It's just that no one ever hears me.
bold. World's greatest
Pre59
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
Location: Devon UK

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by Pre59 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:33 am

whitbey wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:51 pm


Just not as good of horns. I imagine most of the other instruments were not as good back then too.

Oh really? That's a comment and a half!
Kbiggs
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by Kbiggs » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:53 am

Bone2Collins wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:36 pm

Were trombonists before the "modern trombone" (let's say before 1900s) always given "the hand" for playing too loud? Or is this stereotype of us a new condition in the symphony orchestra?
No, and yes. Yes, and no.

Seriously, though, there are many variables, among them: the music director, the number of orchestra/band members, the venue, and the ability of the other orchestra members (not just the trombones) to play loud. When all else fails, follow the person with the stick. Even when they are wrong, they’re right.



Opinion: I hear nothing out of place with Brian Hecht’s playing in the STS video. It’s loud, yes. More importantly, he plays with a beautiful sound with lots of body and sizzle, he has a consistent in tone and volume with consistent fronts to the notes, and it’s marked (IIRC) ffff.

Remember also that STS, ITA Festivals, and other similar gatherings are places where low brass players get to play pieces in the manner they should be played, as dictated by the select opinions of the orchestral cognoscenti, the true leaders of the orchestra. :wink:
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
VJOFan
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:39 am

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by VJOFan » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:01 am

When I played in Mozart's orchestra in Leipzig....

You'd have to find some contemporary journals, diaries or letters to get a real answer to your question,

Certainly by 1900 trombones had a reputation for loud, "Don't look at the trombones. It only encourages them." Richard Strauss.

But for my own experience, once I understood the relative importance of the notes I was playing, I stopped getting the hand.
User avatar
JohnL
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 am
Contact:

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by JohnL » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:40 pm

I suspect the first "hand" came about at the same time as the first note played by a trombone in a conducted ensemble.
whitbey
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Did we always get "the hand"?

Post by whitbey » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:07 am

I got part of a hand one time. Just one finger.
Female director. I found her buttons.
Post Reply

Return to “Teaching & Learning”