Trends In Historic and Modern Performance Practice for the Trumpet in Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen"

Michael Ryan Ellzey


The purpose of this document is to compare the Alto F trumpet used by the players of Richard Wagner's orchestra to the modern trumpet, with reference to specific excerpts from Der Ring des Nibelungen. It will discuss topics pertaining to transposition, range, keys, timbre, and crooking. Other elements that will be explored are the evolution of the valved trumpet and how it led to the Alto F trumpet. The document will also discuss the eventual replacement of the Alto F trumpet by the modern C and B-flat trumpets. Included in this section will be a historic study of the practice of transposition by the orchestral trumpet player. Finally, this document presents a statistical analysis of how the trumpet is used by Wagner in Der Ring des Nibelungen.