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«The Trombone of Anton Schnitzer the Elder in Verona: A Survey of Its Properties and Their Acoustical Significance Hannes W. Vereecke The growing ...»

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From the research presented, the following observations can be made: (1) The instrument is well-suited for reproduction and for use in historically informed performance practice.

(2) The use of a mouthpiece with a belly-shaped backbore has an important influence on the playing behavior and tonal characteristics of the instrument, and thus its use should be taken into serious consideration by performers. (3) The wall thickness of the bell ranges from 0.25 mm. to 0.35 mm, which is thin in comparison to modern bells. (4) The use of two crooks lowers the pitch one whole-tone, while the use of four crooks lowers it by a major third. (5) The raw materials Schnitzer used consisted of a brass alloy with approximately 20% zinc and 1% lead. (6) Mercury has been found in the gilded parts, which is an indication that the ferrules where fire-gilded. The meaning of the crooks and especially their arrangement requires further research. Furthermore, the acoustical meaning of both the bell ball and the material composition need further study.

Hannes Vereecke is Scientific Associate at the Institute for Musical Acoustics, University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. He studied musical instrument making at the Royal Conservatory Ghent (Belgium), specializing in the study of the sound and construction of brasswind instruments. He is currently engaged in doctoral research on the Renaissance trombone and its reconstruction.


The author gratefully acknowledges the Accademia Filarmonica, and in particular Dr. Michele Magnabosco, for granting me access to the instrument. I also thank Dr. Manfred Schreiner and Dr. Bernadette Frühmann, Institute of Science and Technology in Art, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, for the XRF analysis. Furthermore, the author wishes to express gratitude to Rainer Egger, Gerd Friedel, and Alex Schölkopf for support on the realization of the copy of the mouthpiece and the instrument. I also thank Stewart Carter and Gordon Murray for their editorial support.

This research was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 23105-N24.


–  –  –

Markus Raquet and Klaus Martius, “The Schnitzer family of Nuremberg and a Newly Rediscovered Trombone,” Historic Brass Society Journal 19 (2007): 11–24, here 19. Raquet and Martius incorrectly give the date as 1578.

Marco Di Pasquale, “Gli strumenti musicali dell’Accademia filarmonica di Verona: un approccio documentario,” Il flauto dolce 16–17 (October 1987), 14.

Ibid., 3.

The other three surviving mouthpieces include one attached to an instrument made by Anton Schnitzer the Elder, in the collection of the Palais Lascaris, Nice; one anonyomous mouthpiece associated with a trombone made by Pierre Colbert, in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; and another anonymous mouthpiece recently discovered by the present author, associated with a trombone made by Anton Schnitzer in the collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Kassel. There are however questions about the authenticity of the Colbert mouthpiece.

John Henry van der Meer and Rainer Weber, Catalogo degli strumenti musicali dell’accademia filarmonica di Verona (Verona: Accademia Filarmonica,1982), 72–74.

Max Thein, Heinrich Thein, unpublished restoration report (Bremen, 1990).

Recommendations for Access to Musical Instruments in Public Collections (CIMCIM, 1985).

Cary Karp, “Woodwind Instrument Bore Measurement,” The Galpin Society Journal 31 (May 1978), 9–28.

K. Eichhorn, Kupfer-Zink-Legierungen (Berlin: Deutsches Kupferinstitut, 1966), 86.

J. Rooney and A. Reid, “Ultrasonic inspection of small diameter thin-wall tubing,” Ultrasonics 4/2 (April 1966): 57–63.

I wish to thank Dr. Martin Kirnbauer of the Musical Instrument Museum, Basel, for kindly placing this measuring device at our disposal.

Koen Janssens, “Use of microscopic XRF for non-destructive analysis in art and archaeometry,” X-Ray Spectrometry 29/1 (January 2000), 73–91.

Maarten van Walstijn, Murray Campbell, and David Sharp, “Measurement of Input Impedance of an Acoustic Bore with Application to Bore Reconstruction,” Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Meeting, Salford, England (2002).

Gregor Widholm, “Brass Wind Instrument Quality Measured and Evaluated by a New Computer System,” Proceedings of the 15th International Congress on Acoustics, Trondheim (1995), 517–20.

Michele Magnabosco, “La collezione ovvero la dotazione di strumenti musicali dell’Accademia Filarmonica di Verona,” Liuteria Musica e Cultura 3/2 (2008), 29–34.

William C. Aitken, The Early History of Brass and the Brass Manufactures of Birmingham (Birmingham: Martin Billing, Son and Co., 1866), 104.


–  –  –

Personal communication with the Wieland Company, January 2010.

Paul Anglmayer‚ “Computermodellgestützte Untersuchungen über den Einfluss unterschiedlicher Mundstücksformen auf die Eingangsimpedanz von Trompeten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Wiener Mundstücken,” Tagungsprogramm zur Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Physikalischen Gesellschaft ÖPG 98 (1998); Leopold Ritzengruber, “Akustische Studien an Trompetenmundstücken,” (Vienna: Thesis submitted to the Institute for Musical Acoustics, University for Music and Performing Arts, 2000), 1:37.

Arthur H. Benade, “Blechblasinstrumente,” in Die Physik der Musikinstrumente (Heidelberg:

VEREECKE 41 Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 1988), 44–55, here 44.

Arnold Myers, “The Horn Function and Brass Instrument Character,” Perspectives in Brass Scholarship, Proceedings of the International Historic Brass Symposium, Amherst, 1995, ed. Stewart Carter (Stuyvesant, New York: Pendragon Press, 1997), 240.

Arnold Myers and Murray Campbell, “Trumpet Design and Acoustical Characteristics,” Brass Scholarship in Review: Proceedings of the Historic Brass Society Conference, Cité de la Musique, Paris 1999, ed. Stewart Carter (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2006), 262.

On the brassiness potential parameter see Arnold Myers, Robert Pyle, Joël Gilbert, and Murray Campbell, “The Influence of Bore Size on Brassiness Potential,” Proceedings of the Second Vienna Talk (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 2010), 102–05.

Myers, “The Horn Function,” 250.

Measurements of the 1594 Anton Schnitzer instrument preserved in the Edinburgh Collection have been kindly provided by Arnold Myers (personal communication, June 2009), those for the instrument in Nice by Robert Adelson, July 2009.

Raquet and Martius, “The Schnitzer Family,” 17.

Marin Mersenne, L’harmonie universelle (Paris: Sébastien Cramoisy, 1636); see also Herbert W.

Myers, in “Communications,” Historic Brass Society Journal 20 (2008), 230–31.

Robert W. Pyle Jr., “A Computational Model of the Baroque Trumpet and Mute,” Historic Brass Society Journal 3 (1991), 79–97.

Henry George Fischer, The Renaissance Sackbut and Its Use Today (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art 1984), 22.

Richard A. Smith, “Recent Developments in Trumpet Design,” International Trumpet Guild Journal 3 (1978), 1–8.

Thomas R. Moore, Erin T. Shirley, Isaac E. Codrey, and Amy E. Daniels, “The Effect of Bell Vibrations on the Sound of the Modern Trumpet,” Acta Acustica united with Acustica 91/1 (2005), 578–89, here 589.

Wilfried Kausel, Daniel W. Zielow, and Thomas R. Moore, “Influence of wall vibrations on the sound of brasswind instruments,“ Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128/5 (2010), 3161–73, here 3173.

Wilfried Kausel, “Optimization of wind instruments revisited,” Proceedings of the 1st EAA-Euroregio 2010 (Ljubljana: University of Ljubljana, 2010), paper no. 52.

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