Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



One of the most challenging aspects of trumpet playing that pedagogues must teach is how to produce a professional tone. Trumpet students are often good musicians, play correct notes and rhythms, and even have proficient technique. However, many are unable to consistently produce a tone comparable to that of a professional. There are a number of methods that can be utilized to improve a student’s tone quality. In my own teaching and in the teaching of many professionals, tone concept has been used as a catalyst for the improvement of tone quality. A students’ exposure to a professional-quality trumpet tone will allow them to conceptualize that tone in their mind (tone concept), and it is only then that they can ultimately produce a comparable tone themselves (tone production). Not all professional trumpet tone qualities are created equal, however. Professional trumpet tone qualities can be of equal quality with different characteristics. Different characteristics of a professional tone may be more or less appropriate depending on factors such as musical genre/style, career goals, personal preference, etc. When teaching, pedagogues often describe the differences in these tone qualities with a variety of adjectives such as bright, dark, brilliant, warm, rich, etc. The meaning behind these words as it stands today is ultimately ambiguous and subjective at best, however, and can often be lost in translation from teacher to student. The purpose of this project is multi-faceted; to examine how professional trumpet players and teachers describe various trumpet tone qualities, to compare similarities and differences among descriptions, and to ultimately be a resource that will prove useful to both teachers and students when attempting to refine tone quality.



Committee Chair

Matthew Vangjel