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Booth, Matthew: Sound the Trumpet – The John Wilbraham Method


Probably the most important book on the subject to have appeared in recent years, Sound the Trumpet encapsulates the musical philosophy of John Wilbraham, one of the 20th-century’s most eminent and colourful trumpet players and teachers.

Matthew Booth, himself a former student, explains how knowledge of Wilbraham’s unique insights into the art and craft of playing the instrument can benefit all performers, whether beginners or professionals. Drawing his teacher’s witty sayings and pithy technical analyses into a comprehensive system, he has produced a complete and indispensable guide to mastery of the trumpet, amounting to nothing less than the ‘Wilbraham Method’.

Ref: B860 ISBN: 9780852498606 ISMN: 9790220219887 Categories: , , By: ,


Foreword by Michael Laird
I was a friend, colleague and admirer of John Wilbraham. Sitting next to him on the concert platform and in the recording studio I learnt a lot from him about music in general and the trumpet in particular. John was a fine musician who loved the trumpet, and this shows in his many excellent recordings. He was a source of inspiration to me as he was always trying to do something exciting and original on the instrument.

The thing I remember most about John was how organised a trumpet player he was. He paid tremendous attention to detail. John always knew which trumpets he would be using, which mouthpieces and which mutes – and he always brought a music stand he could adjust to the correct height – nothing was left to chance. He would study the score, get the part or write it out, and know the music inside out prior to any performance. This systematic approach characterised both John’s own playing and also his philosophy of teaching. Great performers, like great athletes, do not leave things to chance or simply hope for the best. They work out a way to achieve the best results they can – every time.

I congratulate Matthew Booth on encapsulating the essence of John’s ideas on trumpet playing. This book will be of great help to beginners and experienced players alike. I just wish I had owned a copy 35 years ago – it would have saved me a lot of time and heartache! This is a fitting tribute to a man who was devoted to his musical instrument, and who thought long and hard about the best way to play it.

Michael Laird

A John Wilbraham Tribute site can be found here.

When John Wilbraham died in April 1998, a number of Obituaries appeared in the press. Links to two are given here:

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