News and Events

  • The fourth volume of Sabine Kalus's definitive series, Trumpets and Other High Brass -- A History Inspired by the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, is now available. Subtitled Heyday of the Cornet, Volume 4 explores the history of the piston-valve B-flat cornet.

    This new volume describes the beginnings and initial model standardization of cornets in Paris and London, and the arrival of European designs and makers in the United States. It traces the unique exuberance of cornet models by American manufacturers and their advertising practices. The social phenomenon of the cornet as an affordable, mass-produced commodity in the most remote places of the American heartland is investigated through cornets made by central European manufacturers, modeled after American designs, and sold through dealers. Related developments of the E-flat cornet, the pocket cornet, the echo cornet, and some cornet cousins in the alto, tenor, and brass ranges, such as the balla horn and mellophone, are also considered.

    Available only in hardcover, Volume 4 includes 352 pages in an 8-1/2" x 11" format. It features more than 800 color illustrations and includes a DVD of musical examples performed on instruments in the Utley Collection at the National Music Museum. Previous volumes in the series are also available:

    Volume 1: Instruments of the Single Harmonic Series (2012) explores western and ethnic trumpets and bugles without slides, tone holes, keys or valves.

    Volume 2: Ways to expand the Harmonic Series (2013) presents the history of the slide trumpet, the cornetto and serpent, the keyed trumpet, and the keyed bugle.

    Volume 3: Valves Evolve (217) explores and documents the invention and development of valves for brass instruments.

    In 2017 Sabine Klaus received the Historic Brass Society's highest honor, the Christopher Monk Award.

    European orders should be made through Edition Whitehall.

    Orders from the US and outside of Europe should be made through the National Music Museum directly. Use code CCXXII to receive a $25 (US) promotional discount through July 30, 2022.

  • The guidelines for the Historic Brass Journal have been updated. To view them, click here.

  • Everyone is welcome to join a one-day symposium Farbe und Atmosphäre im tiefen Schweben – Basstrompete und Bass-/Kontrabasstuba im Orchesterklang Richard Wagners at the Musikinstrumentenmuseum der Universität Leipzig (live and online) to be held on Thursday 30 June 2022 from 10:00 CEST. Prof. Dr. Klaus Aringer (Kunstuniversität Graz) will be giving the keynote presentation at 10:45 CEST. Papers and discussions will be held in German and English.

    His orchestra is famously known as "harmony's realised thought, in its highest, most alive form for movement" (Oper und Drama, 3. Teil, IV). So much has already been said about Richard Wagner´s conception of sound, yet when we speak of the "colour" of his orchestra, our knowledge surrounding the bass trumpet and the bass / contrabass tuba is still in its infancy. These valved low brass instruments (labrosones) should not be relegated to the periphery; their sound worlds creates unique atmospheres in Wagner´s œuvre, while the strong, chromatic tone production in the tenor and bass registers is made possible with technology, through which efforts towards an audible hegemony in the age of nation-building and imperialism made its appearance. The aim of this symposium is to approach the conception of low brass instruments in Wagner´s work by addressing a characteristic facet of instrument manufacture, and the application of technical innovations in instrumentation.

    Further details can be found here:

    To join virtually, please use the following link: Prior registration is not necessary.