Anblasen Fanfare – PDF

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https://youtu.be/OG7cHwzYb2A I arrived at calling it Anblasen meaning “To Blow” because it was in Germany during the 16th and 17th C where fanfare playing was a recognised trade. Every town had several styles of trumpeters to hand for all occasions, not to mention the upper echelons of the trade like the Jagger trumpeters that Bach wrote the 2nd Brandenburg concerto for. Conducted here by Frank Renton and the Fairey Band.

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I arrived at calling it Anblasen meaning “To Blow” because it was in Germany during the 16th and 17th C where fanfare playing was a recognised trade. Every town had several styles of trumpeters to hand for all occasions, not to mention the upper echelons of the trade like the Jagger trumpeters that Bach wrote the 2nd Brandenburg concerto for.

Historically a fanfare was to announce nobility and VIPs and was played/written in a style to ensure that all noticed the arrival, and tended to be melodic. The less melodic music/trumpeters were used for signalling, time of day, gates closing, and so forth. These signals used the harmonic series and arpeggios only. These Watchtower trumpeters had to be heard from a distance up to a mile or more. It is these aspects which inspired Anblasen. So we have elements of the arpeggiated signal, the opening, which revolves around the basic 3rd, 4th & 5th harmonics (plus a 20th C additive of the major 7th) that were commonly used by signallers, the Watchtower trumpeters. The rustic fanfare in the cornets from bar 9 to 17 has the idea of blowing joyous announcing/communication, using few notes, in a shouting/singing treatment with organum clashing harmonies from the horns to add to the rustic racket effect of the period. These groups, which played melodic fanfares, were named Staddpfifer Trumpeters, who generally were paid more than Watchtower trumpeters, and were treated more like rock stars. Watchtower trumpeters did the day to day drudgery signalling.

Watchtowers, & Staadpfifer, were, in short, not socially compatible. It is well documented in a 17th C book on the noble art of trumpeting, that- Whilst on the way home from a hard day’s signalling via the Bier Haus, several Watchtower trumpeters entered the house of a Staadpfifer trumpet player while he was practising a fancy melodic tune. They took his trumpet, and then knocked his teeth out with it. Practice makes perfect! I hit on the idea of this incompatibility to continually shift the piece into higher gears as if in competition with itself, like the opposing trumpeters. Concluding at the end with the most noise, plus harmonic surprise peculiar to 20th C fanfares.

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