Alessi-Vacchiano trumpet straight mute

Alessi-Vacchiano
£ £62.00
Ref: L3000

Suitable for trumpet or cornet.

The Alessi-Vacchiano mute was developed by New York Phil trumpeter William Vacchiano (1912–2005) and his colleague Joseph Alessi, Sr (father of trombonist Joe Alessi), resulting from their efforts to invent a mute that worked well in both upper and lower registers.

The story of its almost accidental discovery is told by Brian Shook in his 2011 biography of Vacchiano:

In Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, op. 35, the trumpet is required to play a muted low F-sharp. The mutes at the time were not suitable for this register, affecting intonation and response. Vacchiano and his former student, Joseph Alessi, Sr., began working on a solution to invent a mute that sounded good in all registers with uniform intonation. After going through almost twenty mutes, Vacchiano and Alessi were not able to improve both the upper and lower registers with the same mute.

One day, Vacchiano accidentally tipped over the shelf containing all of the discarded mutes. While picking them up he decided to try them all again and surprisingly stumbled across one that did exactly what they wanted. The two of them could not understand why they had already discarded the very mute that worked. Upon examining the mute closer, it became apparent that the bottom end of the mute was dented from the fall, changing its shape from a round contour to a flat end as a result of Vacchiano knocking it off the shelf. Thus, the Alessi-Vacchiano Mute was born.

Also available:
L3000C copper bottom

Straight mutes are by far the most widely used mutes for brass. They are cone-shaped with three narrow corks to hold them in the bell. Sound emerges from the gaps between the corks. Straight mutes generally reduce low frequencies and accentuate high, giving a more nasal, reedy sound. Aluminium straight mutes have a brighter sound than those made of softer materials like plastic, fibre or wood.

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