An Introduction to the Pedagogy of Donald S. Reinhardt

The following article is a rewrite of an earlier one originally published in 2003 on the Online Trombone Journal, entitled An Introduction to Donald S. Reinhardt’s Pivot System. Because the OTJ is currently not being updated and the code used to publish everything is so old the original article is currently unaccessible on the OTJ. I decided that this would be a good time to revisit the article and make it more accessible to folks wanting an introduction to Reinhardt’s teaching without overwhelming them with details that may not be relevant to their teaching or playing. If you wish to read the original article I have posted it here.


Doc_reclinedDonald S. Reinhardt (1908 – 1989), was an American trombonist and music teacher. As a young man he was frustrated with his lack of technical progress on the instrument, in spite of practicing very hard and studying with many experienced music teachers. One day an accident damaged the tuning slide on his trombone and when it was returned from the repair shop the counter weight was inadvertently left off. When Reinhardt went to play again the loss of the counter weight led to a much lower horn angle than he usually played, however the results were markedly better for him. Because the different embouchure that resulted was so unusual compared to the other brass player’s Reinhardt knew he became interested in studying how other musicians played. Over time, he analyzed and categorized thousands of players’ embouchures, tonguing, breathing, and other mechanical aspects of brass technique.

In 1939 the theater orchestra where Reinhardt performed was fired and so he took some time off to travel across the United States with his wife. While on this trip he met a young trombone student in Kansas, whom he gave a short lesson to. Helping this student led to Reinhardt’s interest in teaching brass musicians how to better achieve technical mastery of their instruments. Over the next couple of years he gave brass lessons for free in order to test out his ideas. In 1954 he established a teaching studio in Philadelphia.

Reinhardt called his approach to teaching brass the “Pivot System,” a name he would eventually regret. The term “pivot” led to the impression that he taught brass players to tilt their horn around while playing, while the term “system” implied that there was a universal approach that all brass students were to follow. Instead, the goal of his pedagogy was to find the physical and mental procedures that allowed each student to progress according to their anatomical and psychological makeup. He wrote:

The PIVOT SYSTEM (sic) is a scientific, practical, proven method of producing the utmost in range, power, endurance and flexibility on the trumpet, trombone and all other cupped-mouthpiece brass instruments. It was originated not only through forty years of research and experimentation in practical playing, teaching, writing and lecturing to many thousands of professionals, semi-professionals, supervisors, teachers, students, etc., but also through designing and producing personalized mouthpieces and being consultant of instrument design for several leading manufacturers of brass instruments.

This system, working on tried and tested principles, first of all analyzes and diagnoses the physical equipment of the player and then presents a specific, concrete set of rules and procedures which enable the individual to utilize, with the greatest possible efficiency, the lips, teeth, gums, jaws, and general anatomy with which he is naturally endowed.

– Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973 page XI

Because of the personalized nature of Reinhardt’s teaching it is very difficult to provide a summary of his pedagogy. He would break down his discussion of playing mechanics into three primary playing factors, breathing, tonguing, and embouchure. Depending on the needs of the student Reinhardt would emphasize one playing factor over another and developed individualized routines to help students improve.

Breathing

Reinhardt’s ideas on teaching breathing mirror what many other brass teachers and players have advocated over the years. He felt that the foundation of good breath control began with good posture, whether seated or standing. Two areas where Reinhardt approached breathing somewhat differently from many other brass teachers were his suggestions on “timed breathing” and mouth corner inhalations.

Reinhardt believed that rather than always taking a full breath to play that brass players should aim to take in enough air to play the phrase comfortably and no more. He felt that over breathing, particularly for the upper register, caused problems, including dizziness and strain. Under breathing would lead to a thin tone and lack of coordination with the tonguing and embouchure. He asked his students to practice breathing in slowly when possible, rather than trying to inhale enough air to make the phrase as quickly as possible.

More unusual than Reinhardt’s recommendation for timed breathing were his advice on mouth corner inhalations. Reinhardt felt that many playing issues were caused by brass musicians pulling their lips away or out of position from the mouthpiece to breath. In order to combat this tendency he instructed his students to keep the mouthpiece in place on the lips while breathing through the mouth corners. He likened the mouth center to an “outtake valve” while the mouth corners functioned as an “intake valve.” When the inhalation was complete the student was to snap the mouth corners forward into playing position immediately and without hesitation begin the blowing.

Tonguing

Reinhardt’s instructions on tonguing could be very detailed and different for students, depending on factors such as the size of the student’s oral cavity, length of the tongue, relationship of the lower lip to the lower teeth, and other anatomical and stylistic considerations. However, he broke down the mechanics of tonguing on a brass instrument into the following.

The tongue as used in the PIVOT SYSTEM has three principal duties: one, the level of the tongue-arch is one of the factors for the control of range; two, the length of the tongue backstroke is one of the determining factors for volume and speed; and three, the tongue-level directs and governs the size of the cone-like air column so that it may strike the back of the compressed embouchure formation to produce the lip-vibrations for the particular tone to be played.

– Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, page 82.

He discouraged almost all his students to avoid attacking pitches with the tongue striking the lips. He wrote:

“Whenever a performer permits his tongue to penetrate between his teeth and lips, he is actually opening them to allow the tip of his tongue to penetrate between them. In so doing, he is subconsciously depending upon the timing of his reflexes to bring his lips together again for the purpose of vibrating. Some players get by in this manner for years but as they advance in age and their reflexes slow down, the real playing difficulties commence.”

– Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, pp. 100-101.

For more information about Reinhardt’s tongue types please visit this page about that topic.

 Embouchure

Arguably it is in the area of embouchure where Reinhardt’s teaching can contribute the most to brass pedagogy. He was perhaps the first brass author to make note of different embouchure types and make them an important part of his teaching. While these ideas remain somewhat controversial still today, the embouchure characteristics he describe have been independently discovered by later authors and researchers and make for a powerful pedagogical tool for brass teachers willing to make the effort to learn more about them.

In order to understand Reinhardt’s embouchure types it is first necessary to understand two basic characteristics that all brass players’ embouchures have, whether or not the player is aware of them, air stream direction and an embouchure motion that Reinhardt originally called a “pivot.”

Downstream Embouchure
Downstream Embouchure

While many brass players consider air stream direction to be the result of the player’s horn angle, use of a transparent mouthpiece shows that the main determining factor of the embouchure air stream direction is the ration of upper to lower lip placed inside the mouthpiece. When a brass player places the mouthpiece so that there is more upper than lower lip inside the mouthpiece cup the upper lip predominates and the air stream can be seen to pass the vibrating lips at a downward angle. When the a downstream brass musician plays in the upper register the angle of the air stream is directed even more so in a downward direction. Conversely, when a downstream embouchure player plays in the low register the air stream angle is closer towards blowing straight into the mouthpiece shank.

Upstream Embouchure
Upstream Embouchure

Upstream embouchure players are exactly opposite. These player set the mouthpiece upon the lips so that the lower lip predominates inside the cup and the air stream gets blown past the lips at an upward angle. When these musicians play in the upper register the angle the air stream passes the lips is even more upstream while in the lower register the air stream angle appears to get blown closer to straight out.

To learn more about brass embouchures and air stream direction please visit this page devoted to the topic.

The other main embouchure characteristic that is used to categorize a brass musician’s embouchure according to Reinhardt was the phenomenon he called a “pivot.” Reinhardt adjusted his definition of this term over time, and would later regret using it as a label for his pedagogy. Early in his teaching career he defined a pivot as:

Pivoting is the transfer of what little pressure there is used in playing from one lip to another. . . The instrument is slightly tilted to get the tone at its most open point.

-Reinhardt, Pivot System Manual for Trombone, 1942, p. 23.

This definition implies that the tilting of the instrument is the important consideration with the pivot, leading many to erroneously assume that Reinhardt advocated tilting the horn up and down in order to change registers. His later definition of the brass pivot is a more accurate description of the phenomenon.

The PIVOT is controlled by pulling down or pushing up the lips on the teeth with the rim of the mouthpiece. The outer embouchure…and the mouthpiece move vertically (some with slight deviations to one side or the other) as one combined unit on the invisible vertical track of the inner embouchure …; however, the position of the mouthpiece on the outer embouchure must not be altered in any way.

– Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, p. 194.

Where some players would ascend by pushing the mouthpiece and lips together as a unit upward towards the nose to ascend, other players pulled the mouthpiece and lips together down towards the chin to ascend. Many players will also perform best with the track of this motion at an angle, rather than straight up or down. Horn angle may be correctly altered at the same time, but the amount of change and direction the horn angle may change is personal to the player. To learn more about the embouchure motion Reinhardt called a pivot please visit this page devoted to the topic.

Using the player’s air stream direction, direction of pivot, as well as the position of the jaw while both at rest and while playing Reinhardt would classify four main embouchure types with five subtypes, resulting in nine different embouchure types. Because some of these types function the same while playing, most former students of Reinhardt’s tend to only classify students into three or four brass embouchure types.

Before learning about Reinhardt’s embouchure types it’s important to note that he felt that a player’s embouchure type was determined by the student’s anatomical features and isn’t a choice that a student or teacher can make. Reinhardt felt that long term progress and playing success was best done with adopting the one embouchure type that best fit the student’s physical characteristics rather than switching between types or adopting a type that wasn’t most efficient for the player’s anatomy. Each embouchure type has some general characteristics and may respond to exercises and routines in very different ways. Over decades of careful experimentation, Reinhardt developed practice routines and exercises that were designed to help players of different embouchure types progress successfully.

Embouchure Type I and Type IA

Type I Teeth Structure
Type I Teeth Structure

The Type I and Type IA embouchures are rarer than most of the other types. These player’s upper and lower teeth meet when the jaw is in its natural position. Oddly enough, this teeth and jaw structure appears to inhibit anything other than a very high mouthpiece placement (downstream Type I) or very low (upstream Type IA) mouthpiece placement from working efficiently. Other than the position of the teeth, these types are virtually identical to other embouchure types while the musician is playing. Type I embouchures are identical while playing to either the Type IIIA or Type IIIB embouchures and the Type IA embouchure is identical to the Type IV embouchure while playing. Because of this fact, the Type I and Type IA embouchures will not be covered in detail here (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, p. 205).

Embouchure Type II and Type IIA

The Type II and Type IIA embouchures are similar to the Type I embouchures in that they are distinguished by the natural position of the upper and lower teeth. Players belonging to this rarer type have lower teeth that protrude in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is in its resting position. Because of this teeth and jaw position these individuals will almost always play with an upstream embouchure, necessitating a mouthpiece placement with more lower lip. Other than the position of the player’s teeth while the jaw is in its resting position, the Type II embouchure is virtually identical to the Type IV embouchure. The Type IIA embouchure are very similar to the Type IVA embouchure while playing. Because of these similarities the Type II and Type IA embouchures will not be covered here in detail (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, pp. 206-207).

Embouchure Type III

The Types III, IIIA, and IIIB are much more common than the Types I, IA, II, and IIA. These player’s lower teeth naturally recede behind the upper teeth when the jaw is in its resting position. Players belonging to these types rarely protrude their lower jaw past the point where the upper and lower teeth are even and all three types place the mouthpiece with more upper lip inside the mouthpiece cup.

Reinhardt’s Type III embouchure, often called the “Jelly Roll Type,” plays with a mouthpiece placement with usually only slightly more upper lip inside the mouthpiece cup. Because there is more upper lip than lower lip inside the mouthpiece the air stream is directed at a downward angle inside the mouthpiece cup. The jaw is typically receded beneath the upper and because of this the horn angle is typically tilted lower, often quite extremely. In addition to the receded lower jaw, one of the main distinguishing features of this embouchure type is that the player’s lower lip membrane is positioned in and slightly over the lower teeth. As this type player ascends the lower lip roll becomes more pronounced.

The Type III embouchure motion is usually to pulling down towards the chin to ascend and pushing up towards the nose to descend. In rarer cases Type III embouchure players will do the reverse pivot and push up to the nose to ascend while pulling down to descend.

In many cases a Type III player will have difficulties with the extreme upper register, changing types as he or she plays from around a concert F above high B flat or higher. This is particularly common with trumpet players, due to the smaller mouthpiece size and increased demand on faster lip vibrations. In these situations Reinhardt would reclassify this player as a Type IIIA or IIIB, according to their embouchure in the extreme upper register. True Type III players have a jaw that cannot protrude far enough to make a playing on a Type IIIA or Type IIIB possible. (Sheetz, PivoTalk Newsletter, Vol. 2, #3, p. 3).

One common difficulty Type III players have is their necessity of playing with the bell directed towards the floor because of a receded lower jaw. Players with this trouble need to be careful to not put their head too far back and place undue strain on their neck, restricting the throat (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

The Type IIIA embouchure tends to play with the mouthpiece placed quite high, often just under the nose with trombonists. These players also typically protrude the jaw more than the standard Type III players, but never to the point of thrusting the lower teeth beyond the upper teeth. With the jaw in a more protruded position the horn angle tends to be almost horizontal, and sometimes even higher. Because the upper lip predominates inside the mouthpiece cup this type also is classified as a downstream type.

Type IIIA performers always utilize Pivot Classification One, pushing up towards the nose to ascend and pulling down towards the chin to descend. When a student found that Pivot Classification Two worked more efficiently Reinhardt would classify the player as a Type IIIB (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, pp. 208-209).

Brass players belonging to Reinhardt’s Type IIIA embouchure often have a tendency to raise their horn angle while inhaling. When they bring the mouthpiece back down to play they crash the mouthpiece rim against the lips, causing swelling and inhibiting endurance. Type IIIA players of larger mouthpieces, such as trombonists, may find that their nose gets in the way of their ascending pivot, necessitating practice increasing their lip pucker instead of relying exclusively on their pivot to ascend (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

IIIA
IIIA Embouchure Type

The Type IIIA embouchure tends to play with the mouthpiece placed quite high, often just under the nose with trombonists. These players also typically protrude the jaw more than the standard Type III players, but never to the point of thrusting the lower teeth beyond the upper teeth. With the jaw in a more protruded position the horn angle tends to be almost horizontal, and sometimes even higher. Because the upper lip predominates inside the mouthpiece cup this type also is classified as a downstream type.

Type IIIA performers always utilize Pivot Classification One, pushing up towards the nose to ascend and pulling down towards the chin to descend. When a student found that Pivot Classification Two worked more efficiently Reinhardt would classify the player as a Type IIIB (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, pp. 208-209).

Brass players belonging to Reinhardt’s Type IIIA embouchure often have a tendency to raise their horn angle while inhaling. When they bring the mouthpiece back down to play they may crash the mouthpiece rim against the lips, causing swelling and inhibiting endurance. Type IIIA players of larger mouthpieces, such as trombonists, may find that their nose gets in the way of their ascending pivot, necessitating practice increasing their lip pucker instead of relying exclusively on their pivot to ascend (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

Embouchure Type IIIB

IIIB
IIIB Embouchure Type

The Type IIIB embouchure is perhaps the most common one, especially among symphonic brass players, and is therefore most frequently described in method books by brass pedagogues who recommend a single embouchure for all students. These players typically don’t place the mouthpiece as high as a Type IIIA embouchure or as low as a Type III. The upper lip still predominates inside the mouthpiece cup and this embouchure is therefore classified as a downstream embouchure. The lower teeth of a Type IIIB player is receded beneath the upper teeth on these players and the horn angle is usually slightly lower than a IIIA.

Type IIIB players always utilize Pivot Classification Two, pulling down towards the chin to ascend and pushing up to descend. When a Type IIIB student finds that Pivot Classification One is more efficient this player should be reclassified as a Type IIIA (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, p. 209).

Type IIIB embouchure players tend to have great flexibility and an easier time playing with a darker tone quality, but also have a tendency to become so concerned with a fat sounding lower and middle register that they play with too open an aperture. This results in difficulties playing above a concert D flat above high B flat. Because this type utilizes Pivot Classification Two it is also common for these players to dig the mouthpiece rim into their upper lip, causing swelling and trouble with endurance (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

Embouchure Type IV and IVA

Embouchure Types IV and IVA players have lower teeth which recede beneath the upper teeth while their jaw is in their resting position, but since these types place the mouthpiece with more lower lip inside the cup than upper lip the air stream is directed at an upward angle, regardless of the position of the jaw while playing or horn angle.

IV
IV Embouchure Type

In addition to placing the mouthpiece lower on the lips, Reinhardt’s Type IV embouchure plays with the lower jaw quite protruded beyond the upper, in spite of the jaw’s natural position. While playing this embouchure type is identical to Reinhardt’s Type II embouchure. Due to the protruded position of the lower jaw the horn angle of this embouchure type is very high, sometimes higher than horizontal.

Type IV players almost always utilize Pivot Classification Two, pulling down to ascend and pushing up to descend. There are exceptions, however. In those exceptions Reinhardt often found that the mouthpiece placement was too low for this player’s embouchure and the player should adopt a different embouchure type (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, p. 210).

It is common for Type IV players to change their horn angle while inhaling and crash the mouthpiece against the lips for initial attacks, similar to the Type IIIB embouchure (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

IVA
IVA Embouchure Type

Type IVA embouchures are identical to Type IV embouchures with a couple of exceptions. Like the Type IV, these players place the mouthpiece with more lower lip inside the mouthpiece and the air stream is directed in an upward direction. Unlike the Type IV embouchure, Type IVA players keep their jaw in a somewhat receded position so that the lower jaw is beneath the upper while playing, resulting in a downward horn angle.

The Type IVA embouchure typically utilizes Pivot Classification Two, pulling down to ascend and pushing up to descend, but there are some deviations to this principle (Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, 1973, pp. 210-211).

The type IVA embouchure can be a very delicate embouchure type in the player’s early stages, which may be one reason why so many brass method books actively discourage utilizing this embouchure. When the Type IVA placement is a little wrong the whole embouchure system can often break down completely. Similar to the Type IIIB embouchure, Type IVA players often dig into their upper lip while pivoting down to ascend, causing excessive swelling (Sheetz, Quirks of the Types).

Further Exploration

The best way to learn more about the pedagogy of Donald S. Reinhardt is to study from one of his former students, particularly the few who attended his teacher clinics. Most of the students that Reinhardt taught focused exclusively on their personal correctional procedures and may not be as qualified as others to correctly classify a student’s embouchure type or design a good routine. Today there are more “second generation” students who learned about Reinhardt’s pedagogy from one of his former students and who have gone on to make it part of their own teaching.

Baring lessons with a qualified teacher, the most detailed book about Reinhardt’s teaching is The Encyclopedia of the Pivot System. Reinhardt’s intention with this large text was to help students who were taking lessons with him. It is organized in a frequently asked questions format by topic, but little effort was made to arrange the materials in a linear manner. The writing style can be very technical at times and this book may not be the best introduction to Reinhardt’s pedagogy, although serious students of the Pivot System will want to read this book. Pivot System for Trumpet/Trombone, A Complete Manual With Studies is a much older book and much of the writing in this book is considered out of date compared to the Encyclopedia of the Pivot System. It does, however, contain many exercises that Reinhardt developed to help players with breathing, tonguing, articulations, embouchure development, range, dynamics, and more. Like the Encyclopedia of the Pivot System, these books are best explored under the guidance of a teacher experienced with Reinhardt’s pedagogy who can help the student design a routine that fits the individual’s particular embouchure and tonguing types.

Selected Bibliography

Elliott, D. (1998). Ten questions with Doug Elliott, The Online Trombone Journal [Online]

Everett, T. (1974). An Interview with Dr. Donald S. Reinhardt, The Brass World, Vol. 9, No. 2, 93-97.

Reinhardt, D. S. (1973). The Encyclopedia of the Pivot System of the pivot system for all cupped mouthpiece brass instruments, a scientific text. New York: Charles Colin.

Reinhardt, D. S. (1942). Pivot System for Trombone, A Complete Manual With Studies. Bryn Mawr, PA: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.

Reinhardt, D. S. (1942). Pivot System for Trumpet, A Complete Manual With Studies. Bryn Mawr, PA: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.

Sheetz, David H. Gone But Still Important, PivoTalk on the Web [Online] Unavailable

Sheetz, David H. Quirks of the Type, PivoTalk on the Web [Online] Unavailable

Wilken, D. (2000). The correlation between Doug Elliott’s embouchure types and playing and selected physical characteristics among trombonists. D.A. diss., Ball State University.


Additional Resources

Trumpet Herald Donald S. Reinhardt Forum
An online forum devoted to discussing Reinhardt’s teaching and the Pivot System. Discussion here is actively moderated to restrict content to things written or spoken by Reinhardt exclusively.

Donald Reinhardt Facebook Discussion Group
A Facebook group for discussing the pedagogy and life of Donald Reinhardt.

Donald S. Reinhardt Foundation Official Website
The official web site of the Donald S. Reinhardt Foundation, a not for profit organization devoted to preserving the teachings of Reinhardt. At this time this web site has not been updated since 2011.

The Reinhardt Foundation Facebook Page
The Facebook page of the Donald S. Reinhardt Foundation.

トランペットでペダルトーンを演奏することに伴うリスク | バジル・クリッツァーのブログ

[…]   David Wilken氏のウェブサイトより、記事“Associated Risks” of Trumpet Pedal Tones(原文こちら)の翻訳です。   – – – – – – – トランペットでペダルトーンを演奏することに伴うリスク – – – – – – –   わたしは以前、ある記事のなかでペダルトーンを練習することに「リスクが伴う」と述べ、それがどんなリスクであるのかという質問を受けた。   このブログ(www.wilktone.com)のなかで、トランペット奏者に対し、ペダルトーンをたくさん練習することを避けること、時には一切吹かないようにすることまで何度も示唆してきた。   わたしの意見として、トランペット奏者がペダルトーンを演奏することで得られる恩恵は、他の練習を通しても得られると思う。さらに言えば、あらゆる金管楽器の奏者たちが、ときに他の音域を演奏するのと根本的に異なるやりかたで極端な低音域を演奏することがある。これは、極端な低音域以外の他の音域において悪い癖をもたらしてしまう傾向があり、これがわたしが述べた「ペダルトーンの練習に伴うリスク」の意味である。   混乱を避けるため、言葉の定義をしておこう。大半の金管楽器における「ペダルトーン」は通常、基音のことを指す。倍音列において基音の上にある音は、基音のオクターブ上になる。その次は5度上だ。   チューバ、その他の低音金管楽器、ホルンに関しては、標準的なオーケストラやソロのレパートリーにおいてペダルトーンは頻繁に使われている。   一方で、トランペットは少しばかりちがった「種族」だ。まず、楽器の構造上、トランペットにとってのペダルトーンは音響学的な妨害要因があって他の金管楽器と同じようには機能しない。さらに、トランペット奏者の間では Low F#〜ペダルCの間の音のことを「ペダルトーン」と呼ぶことが一般的だ。対照的に、他の金管楽器奏者はそれらの音を「偽音」(訳注:英語文化圏では)と呼ぶ。この「偽音」を、トランペット奏者は音自体のツボよりも実質的にベンディングを用いて演奏している。意図した音程に対応するツボが無いからだ。   偽音にしてもペダルトーンにしても、標準的なトランペットのレパートリーには稀にしか登場しないし、いざ登場するときも特殊な音響効果を意図して用いられている。   この記事の議論の目的において、わたしは主にトランペット奏者を念頭に置いており、ほかの金管楽器奏者について述べているわけではない。   トランペット以外の金管楽器奏者は、実在する音楽的状況においてペダルトーンを実際に演奏する必要に面するだけでなく、楽器の構造上、ペダルトーンを正しい奏法で演奏することがトランペットよちよっぽど容易である。   とは言いつつも、トランペット以外の金管楽器奏者に対しても、ペダルトーンあるいは特定の音より下の音域を練習することを一時的にやめるように指示することがある。後述するが、その奏者がトランペットのペダルトーン演奏において起きやすいことと似たことが起きてしまっている場合だ。   この記事におけるわたしの論点の骨子は、   「多くの金管楽器奏者が自分の限界に近い低音域を過剰に練習してしまい、それが他の音域に酷い影響を与えていることが多い」   ということだ。   特にトランペット奏者は、一部には楽器の構造のせいもあると思うが、ペダルトーンの過剰な練習により演奏上の問題を生み出してしまいがちである。     アメリカのトロンボーン奏者で金管楽器教育者のドナルド・ラインハルトは、彼に学びにきたトランペットの生徒たちには断固としてペダルトーンを練習しないよう注意していた。     “ずっと昔スーザが活躍していた頃、当時有名だったコルネット奏者が、毎日「ペダルC(記譜のド)から吹き始め、半音ずつ下降しながらフォルテッシモで伸ばしながらいろいろなアーティキュレーションで吹く」という練習をすると、超高音域がすくなくとも一時的には演奏可能になることを偶発的に発見した。しかしながら彼は、骨の折れる実験を重ねた後、「ファルセット的高音域」(訳注:ファルセット=裏声、作り声)は非常に短命であることを見つけた。この寿命が来た後は、音域は以前より狭まってしまうのだ。   わたしが接してきた18人の先生のうちのひとりがこのペダルトーンにまつわる話をしてくれたのだ。ちなみにこの話に出てくる奏者は音域の狭まりが露見するまで1年半持った。   このペダルトーンを練習するという理論は、アンブシュアを大量に、非常にゆっくり、緩んだやり方で振動させるということをやる。それを通して、コルネットやトランペットの超高音域における格段により高速で引き締まった振動のためのアンブシュアの物凄い挟み込みやパッカー(すぼめ)の力を引き出すというものだ。ケースによっては確かに、これによって引き出される即座の高音演奏(ペダルトーンの練習の直後に行う)は、「ファルセット」な高音を生み出した。しかしながら、何度か繰り返しやっていくうちに結果はまったく出なくなっていった。   現在(訳注:ラインハルトの活動していた時期)になってもまだペダルトーン系指導者が存在するが、彼らはいずれも自身が「創始者」であると主張している。   わたしなら、そのような紳士達がお生まれになったはるか前から、彼らが「メソッド」などと呼ぶものはすでに本に載っていると言いたいところだ。   たしかに、彼らはペダルトーンエクササイズをさらに追加し手順を体系化してはいる。しかしながら、60年前(訳注:ラインハルトが述べているこの時点から60年前。現在からは90〜100年前?)にこのやり方が試されたときと同じように、まったく結果が出なくなることが保証できる。”   (Donald Reinhardt, Encyclopedia of the Pivot System)     1980年にラインハルトがトランペット奏者にレッスンしているテープの録音によると、ラインハルトが上述しているコルネットのヴィルトゥオーゾは  Harold Stambaugh, のことであり、この奏者は1920年から1929年かけてスーザと一緒に演奏している。ラインハルトはこのレッスンの中で、ペダルトーンの推進者たちの多くが音域と音質は素晴らしいがスタッカートに弱点を抱えていると詳しく論じている。彼はペダルトーンをたくさん練習するトランペット奏者たちが、ペダルトーンにおいては問題なく機能するアンブシュアの特徴を通常の音域でも敷衍させ、それがスタッカートのパッセージを綺麗に演奏することに制限をもたらしていると見た。   ペダルトーンが潜在的に金管奏者を台無しにしてしまう可能性を持っているが、その程度やあり方はその奏者のアンブシュアタイプにより異なる。トランペットでペダルトーンをたくさん演奏することは、マウスピースのなかに上唇をたくさん入れることを促進する傾向がある。教則本によっては、ペダルトーンを演奏するとき実際に上唇がたくさんマウスピースに入るような当て方をするようにという具体的支持が書かれていることさえある。   もしあなたが「超高位置タイプ」(訳注:3つのアンブシュアタイプに関してはこちら)のアンブシュアタイプの持ち主ならば、これをやってもまあ大丈夫だろう。   しかし、もしあなたが「低位置タイプ」ならば、ペダルトーンのときにはペダルトーン用のアンブシュア(おそらく下方流方向アンブシュア。訳注:詳しくはこちら)で吹き、他の音域は本来のアンブシュア(上方流方向アンブシュア訳注:詳しくはこちら)で吹く、という結果になる。これが起きる箇所には注意していれば聴いても見てもすぐ分かるシフトがあり、   この奏者がペダルトーンを演奏しているときにマウスピースを非常に高い位置に置き、実質的に「超高位置アンブシュアタイプ」で演奏しているのがわかるだろうか?   しかしながらその後、普通の音域に戻るとき、この奏者はマウスピースを物理的に唇から離し、位置を下に移してことを余儀なくされている。「低位置アンブシュアタイプ」になるのだ。シフトが簡単に見て取れる例だ。   これが上方流方向のトランペット奏者にとって、ペダルトーンを練習することが破壊的(訳注:建設的の対義的な意味)になりうるひとつの要因だ。その奏者にとって最適なマウスピースの当て方・位置と実質的に真逆のものをペダルトーンのときにわざわざやることになる。   次に、この奏者(原文記事の二つ目のビデオをご覧ください)は優れた「低位置アンブシュアタイプ」のトランペット奏者で、クロード・ゴードンのエクササイズをいくつか演奏してくれている。彼がエクササイズを演奏している間、唇を前にすぼめることに頼り、マウスピースと唇が一体的に歯と歯茎にしっかり根付く感じを失うことに気がついてほしい。また、ペダル音域に移行するとき彼がマウスピースを唇に対してより高い位置にスライドして下方流方向アンブシュアにスイッチしていることについても着目して頂きたい。   ペダル音域から始まるエクササイズにおいては、通常の音域に移行するにあたってマウスピースを唐突に下にスライドして彼にとって通常の上方流方向のアンブシュアに戻している。   余談であるが、この奏者はその後やがてゴードンのエクササイズを採用することをやめ、自分の練習から除外するに至ったという。彼個人的に、長期的にみて有益とは思えなかったからだそうだ。   いま述べた二つのアンブシュアの機能上の特徴(マウスピースの当て方を変えること・アンブシュアの根づき感を失うこと)はどちらも、トランペット奏者が(そしてときには他の金管楽器奏者も)極端な程音域とその他の音域の一貫性・つながりを断った吹き方をしているときに非常に頻繁に見受けられる特徴である。     いくつかのメソッドでは、ペダルトーンの吹き方として、写真のように意図的に唇を外にめくり出してマウスピースを唇の内側の膜のところに置くよう指示しているものがある。     これをするには、その後にペダル音域から別の音域に移行する際、唇を元の適切なポジションに巻き込み直して戻すというアンブシュアシフトが必ず必要になるし、また言うまでもないが唇の内側の膜を傷付ける危険がある。このやり方は、すでに紹介した二つの動画のケースにおいて、ペダル音域から移行するために唇とマウスピースを別のポジションにスライドさせる必要を生じるという結果と、それほど相違はない。   また、奏者によっては音域を下がっていくために顎を開けて落とす動作を過剰に組み込むことがある。 これは一定程度は機能し、また低音域で大音量を確保する助けにはなるが、顎の開き・落としはマウスピースを上唇に対する適切な位置から引き下げてしまう傾向が伴う。これはいつも起きるわけではないが、低音域とそれ以外の音域とで吹き方を変えてしまうやり方のうちトランペット奏者もほかの金管楽器奏者も共通しているもののひとつだ。   奏者が通常の音域の演奏においてペダルトーンアンブシュアを使いさえしなければ、何の害もないのではないか?という議論もできなくない。過剰にペダルトーンの練習を熱中したり量的にやりすぎなければたしかに、あなたの演奏に危害を及ぼすことはおそらくないだろうが、   A:トランペット奏者がペダルトーンを通常の音域の演奏と一貫した吹き方で吹くことに伴う困難   B:ペダルトーンのアンブシュアをそれより上の音域にも持ち込んだり影響させたりするリスク   を対比すると、後者のリスクは、わたしからするとトランペット奏者に対しペダルトーンの練習をすることを単純に避けることを助言するのに十分だ。唇のリラックス、音の開放、音域の開拓に関しては他のエクササイズを通してやった方がいいと思う。   他の金管楽器奏者もまた、超低音域を、ほかの音域を演奏するときのアンブシュアとマッチしない吹き方で練習することを避けるのが賢明な可能性がある。例えばこの写真のように。   しかしながらトランペット以外の金管楽器は標準的なレパートリーでペダルトーンが用いられており、トランペットより音響学的にうまく響きもするので、どこかの時点ではアンブシュアをシフトしたりアンブシュアを崩すことに依存するような吹き方でない方法でペダルトーンを鳴らす方法を学びたいところだろう。     Q.ほかの音域と矛盾なくつながるような吹き方で、トランペット奏者はペダルトーンを演奏できるだろうか?   A.可能なのはたしかだ。しかしそれには長期間の練習が必要になるものだし、アンブシュアタイプによってそれがやりやすい人とより難しい人がいる。     Q.では、ペダルトーンを練習することは、それにかけている時間に見合うだけの恩恵があるのか?   A.ペダルトーンを用いなくても同じ恩恵をもたらすことができて、ペダルトーンのようなリスクがないほかの方法(ただし、その方法は個々人のアンブシュアタイプによって異なるが)がいくつもあることを考慮すると、わたしは個人的にはトランペット奏者にはペダルトーンの練習は避けるよう助言する。     Q.たまにペダルトーンを吹くだけでも奏者を台無しにするのか? A.おそらくそうはならないが、ペダルトーンを毎日過剰にやると、そうなってしまう可能性が高まる。     いうまでもなく、ペダルトーンを信奉している非常に優れたトランペット奏者は多く存在する。一方で、一切やらないという奏者もたくさんいる。   最終的にペダルトーンが有益なのかどうかは、かなりの部分で奏者個々の解剖学的特徴によって個々に異なりまた独自である一方で、わたしはトランペット奏者たちにはペダルトーンの連取を1ヶ月やめてみて、同じ時間をほかの練習に充ててみることを提案したい。試してみてどうだったかは、ぜひこちらでコメントして共有して頂きたい。 […]

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