This portion of my method is undeniably one of the most important. For this reason, too, have I given it considerable development, especially in the exercises which are made by the movement of the lips: that is to say, without having resource to the addition or substitution of a valve. The fingering indicated should be scrupulously followed, however unusual it may appear. I have designedly had recourse to the fingering in question, not because I wished to recommend its habitual usage, but in order to invest this kind of exercise with an amount of difficulties which must absolutely be overcome, by COMPELLING the LIPS to move without having recourse to the valves.
This exercise, moreover, is analogous to that practiced by singers when they study the movement of the glottis in order to arrive at the shake.
The easiest interval to perform in this manner, is that of the minor second. The interval of major second is somewhat more difficult, as a certain movement of the lips is necessary to obtain it.
The interval of the THIRD is the most difficult of all; for it is often met in situations wherein it becomes impossible to have recourse to the valves, to assist in carrying the sound from the lower note to the higher note.
I, therefore, recommend the diligent practice of this kind of exercise: it becomes the foundation of an easy and brilliant execution. A great suppleness of the lips is thereby obtained, especially when the execution of the shake is arrived at.
I only give these exercises as STUDIES; and I in no way advise pupils to adopt them in general practice, as is often the case with certain players who wish to apply to the cornet a system that has no solid foundation: – the cornet being one of the most complete and perfect of instruments, repudiating rather than requiring all factitious practices, the effect of which will always appear detestable to people of taste.
I must take this opportunity of pointing out an intolerable defect much affected by the adepts of this school, as regards the movement of the lips. I allude to the manner in which they execute the grupetto.
In order to execute this ornament on the cornet, all that is required is the regular movement of the fingers, and each note will be emitted with irreproachable precision and purity. By what right, then, do certain artists substitute an upper third for the appoggiatura which ought to be at the interval of a second? Why, in short, do they execute:
instead of playing:
which is the only correct method? And, that on all degrees of the scale. The answer is, that these gentlemen find it more convenient to have recourse to a simple movement of the lips, which obviates the necessity for moving their fingers: as though it were not more natural to emit the true notes by employing the valves.
Some performers pursue this evil practice still farther; and do not hesitate to execute triplet passages by the movement of the lips, instead of having recourse to the valves.