Dissertation Defense Announcement
Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music announces the Final Dissertation Defense
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
March 23, 2022 at 5:00 PM in Music Building Room 125
Advisor: Dr. Janet Page
The Music Composed for the Keyed Trumpet
ABSTRACT: "The keyed trumpet was the world’s first practical fully chromatic trumpet and was invented in the 1790s by adding keys to the natural trumpet. The best-known works composed for the keyed trumpet are Haydn and Hummel trumpet concertos, which are two of the most beloved pieces in the trumpet’s modern concert repertory. Despite these concertos’ popularity, several misconceptions about the keyed trumpet, including that it had little music composed for it and was rarely employed, persist. My dissertation builds upon the work of earlier scholars and includes a catalog documenting 720 pieces with keyed trumpet of which 676 survive, with those that can be reliably dated dating from 1796 to the mid-1850s. The existence of this large body of works firmly puts to rest the notions that the keyed trumpet had little music composed for it and suggests that it was more widely employed than previously thought. My examination of this repertory reveals several aspects about the keyed trumpet and its music that were not yet known or only touched on in previous research. First, the instrument was most often employed in Austria, Bohemia, and Italy, and was used in a variety of contexts including military bands, dance orchestras, chamber groups, church ensembles, the Italian opera pit, and as a solo instrument. Second, the vast majority of keyed trumpet parts avoid the instrument’s higher register and intonationally precarious keys, which suggests there having been a relatively large population of low-to-intermediately skilled keyed trumpeters, and that the instrument was widely employed enough for a generalized manner of writing for it to have developed. Third, the keyed trumpet was used alongside valved instruments in some ensembles, which suggests that the transition from keyed to valved soprano brasses was not an immediate break is some places, but rather one of overlapping and gradual change. And fourth, much of the keyed trumpet’s repertory continued to be performed on early valved trumpet and flügelhorn long after it fell out of use, which suggests that the keyed trumpet’s music had a greater impact on that performed on and composed for valved brasses than formerly suspected."