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Trumpet playing in New Orleans before Bolden

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  • Nick Dellow
    The following appeared in the New Orleans newspaper the Daily Picayune, August 2nd, 1838 (and was reproduced in Playback magazine in January 1950): There is
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 27, 2009
      The following appeared in the New Orleans newspaper the Daily Picayune,
      August 2nd, 1838 (and was reproduced in "Playback" magazine in January
      1950):

      "There is a real mania in this city for horn and trumpet playing. You can
      hardly turn a corner that you do not hear some amateur attempting, in
      perfect agony, to perform his devotion to the god of music. A wag remarked
      to us yesterday that he never before thought to have run from a horn, and
      declared, without any apparent irreverence, that he earnestly desired to
      hear the last trumpet."

      As far as I understand it, before the Civil War the main instruments used by
      black musicians in New Orleans were the violin, the drums, and the
      banjo, accompanying dances at Place Congo etc. That begs the question -
      would the trumpet/horn players mentioned in the Daily Picayune
      have been black or white (or both)? Anecdotal evidence suggests that the
      black and white musicians in New Orleans shared many common influences,
      and many common instruments too, but this usually refers to the situation in
      the late 19th Century, after emancipation.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sue Fischer
      Nick, Thanks for that interesting article! The same thing still holds true today, except that these guys perform in Jackson Square and people give them
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 27, 2009
        Nick,

        Thanks for that interesting article! The same thing still holds true
        today, except that these guys perform in Jackson Square and people give them
        money....

        I've read some scholarly studies saying that the idea that brass instruments
        were left behind after the Civil War, making them available in quantity for
        the first time is just a myth. Instruments of all sorts were common in New
        Orleans because of the importance in local culture of the symphony, opera,
        and other musical organizations, and would have been readily available in
        pawn shops throughout the century. Instruments of the military wouldn't
        have been abandoned en masse in N.O. or anyplace else -- they were valuable
        and were technically the property of the government, although many bandsmen
        were allowed to keep their instruments after the war.

        Sue



        On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 6:40 AM, Nick Dellow <nick.dellow@...> wrote:

        > The following appeared in the New Orleans newspaper the Daily Picayune,
        > August 2nd, 1838 (and was reproduced in "Playback" magazine in January
        > 1950):
        >
        > "There is a real mania in this city for horn and trumpet playing. You can
        > hardly turn a corner that you do not hear some amateur attempting, in
        > perfect agony, to perform his devotion to the god of music. A wag remarked
        > to us yesterday that he never before thought to have run from a horn, and
        > declared, without any apparent irreverence, that he earnestly desired to
        > hear the last trumpet."
        >
        > As far as I understand it, before the Civil War the main instruments used
        > by
        > black musicians in New Orleans were the violin, the drums, and the
        > banjo, accompanying dances at Place Congo etc. That begs the question -
        > would the trumpet/horn players mentioned in the Daily Picayune
        > have been black or white (or both)? Anecdotal evidence suggests that the
        > black and white musicians in New Orleans shared many common influences,
        > and many common instruments too, but this usually refers to the situation
        > in
        > the late 19th Century, after emancipation.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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