The Brass Section

5 July 2015

Earlier this week, the Woodwind Section of the orchestra featured and today is the turn of the Brass Section. Contrary to popular belief, the saxophone is not a brass instrument and it most certainly does not feature in a regular orchestra. Oddly, there are a fair few surnames connected with this section, in particular, the trumpet. My favourite character is Randolph Trumpet who, in all fairness, may well be reading this blog if he googles his own name! He married in 1961 and had two children, one of whose middle names was also Randolph. Other trumpets are less colourful, like Elizabeth, Sarah, Thomas, Ann and others…. I guess with a surname like Trumpet, you don’t have to make too much noise with your first name?

John Tuba is referenced in one of the best books on our shelves, Potty, Fartwell and Knob (marrying in 1774). However, there was also a Female Tuba, born in Leicester in 1868 in June quarter and, as she was not given a first name, I am guessing that she did not last long on the planet.

There has never been – I am pleased to say – anyone called French or Flugel Horn, anywhere in the world (as far as we can tell) …. can you imagine?! But Trombone does feature in Italian and US records – including the grave of Trombone Pizzuto and family (Jamesburg, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA) – though no English Trombones have been located to date.

Trumpeters often double as buglers in certain symphonies, concertos etc. and Arsene P. Bugle was around for 71 years before passing away in Battersea in 1930. No birth has been located for him in England – perhaps a European player? There really is no end to the fun you can have in genealogy….! Percussion and string sections to follow – watch out for Tom Tom, a gong or two, violins, violas and harps.

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