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Old 06-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you play a quarter-tone on a trumpet?

I am trying to compose music in the Arabic scale. Now for those familiar with Middle-Eastern music, it uses a 24-note system. This is the regular Western 12-tone system but with exactly 12 other notes exactly in between each Western tone.

If D-flat is the 1st and 2nd valves fully depressed on the trumpet, then would D-flat-flat (quarter tone between C and D-flat) be the 1st and 2nd valves halfway depressed? Or is it not that simple?

Also, if I rig my guitar with extra struts to affect the 24-tone system, where would those struts need to be constructed? Not exactly half-way between the two main struts, I imagine. Perhaps 2/3 of the way?

Thank you.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you saying D♭♭? Because that's just a C. I think the tone you want is C-quarter sharp. With brass instruments it's about how much air you put into the instrument too. I'm not a brass player but I'm pretty sure that if you depress valves only halfway you can alter the tones.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I lack the the type computer skills to know how to type it correctly. The note I'm talking about, I believe, is denoted as a "D" followed by a sort-of doubly flat symbol where the two "b's" are shown as connected. The quarter sharp is denoted as the "#" with an extra vertical line.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Symbols like this, right?



I play flute, so it's easy for me to achieve 1/4 and 3/4 tones just by rolling the hole inwards or outwards. I'm sure there's a way on the trumpet but you might need valve extensions or something. Too bad it's not a trombone!
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbythefornicationbug View Post
I am trying to compose music in the Arabic scale. Now for those familiar with Middle-Eastern music, it uses a 24-note system. This is the regular Western 12-tone system but with exactly 12 other notes exactly in between each Western tone.

If D-flat is the 1st and 2nd valves fully depressed on the trumpet, then would D-flat-flat (quarter tone between C and D-flat) be the 1st and 2nd valves halfway depressed? Or is it not that simple?

Also, if I rig my guitar with extra struts to affect the 24-tone system, where would those struts need to be constructed? Not exactly half-way between the two main struts, I imagine. Perhaps 2/3 of the way?

Thank you.
I'm awful at brass instruments, so any advice from me would only be a hindrance. For the fret placement though, you can use a fret placement calculator that can give you the right measurements that you can do yourself if you have a precise enough way to measure it out. The ratio is something odd but I don't quite recall what it is, but here's a link to one of the calculators: ExMI’s Fret-Placement Calculator.
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