To older trumpet players the title Flow Studies brings up fond memories of one of the great trumpet players of our time. The younger practitioners of the tromba may not be familiar with the name Vincent Cichowicz but to the more seasoned, the name represents one of the finest trumpet performers and teachers of our life time.
The name Cichowicz represents the Chicago Symphony when the likes of the following represented the Chicago Symphony dynasty in the mid 1960s.
Cichowicz, Vincent Trumpet 1952 – 1974
Clevenger, Dale Horn (Principal) 1966 – 2013
Farkas, Philip Horn (Principal) 1947 – 1960
Gilbertsen, James Trombone (Assistant Principal 1968-1982,
Herseth, Adolph Trumpet (Principal 1948-2001, Principal Emeritus 2001-04) 1948 – 2004
Kaderabek, Frank J. Trumpet 1958 – 1966
Kleinhammer, Edward Marck Bass Trombone 1940 – 1985
Lambert, Robert Trombone (Principal) 1955 – 1965
Leuba, Christopher Horn (Principal) 1960 – 1962
Scarlett, William H. Trumpet 1964 – 1997
Jacobs, Arnold Tuba (Principal) 1944 – 1988
It was during this period that Mr. Cichowicz’s booklet “Trumpet Flow Studies” was published by the School of Music at Northwestern University in Chicago. To say that this collection of preexisting etudes was a booklet is giving more credit than it is due for nearly half of the examples are taken from other sources.
The most important feature of his book is how he simply altered old etudes with a series of slurs.
As the tile indicates “Trumpet Flow Studies” is a collection of slurred etudes. Slurring was a big part of the “big air” movement at that time and I’m sure that the advice and expertise of Arnold Jacobs, the “God Father of breathing as applied to brass instruments” may have had some influence on its birth.
Through my own experience, the use of slurred passages tends to open a player’s throat and begin to darken a player’s sound. On the flip side: the more tonguing you do, the tighter and edgier your sound.
In my own practicing I have incorporated this thinking to the point where I have put together a series of exercises which actually continue where Mr. Cichowicz’s booklet ended. I use these daily and have found them to be very helpful in sustaining an even and open air flow.
When you look through the material in Trumpet Flow Studies, pages 5,6,7,8 are the only exercises which were actually hand written by Mr. Cichowicz or Assistant Professor Luther Didrickson. Every other exercise was taken from other published material and adapted to the constant slur articulation. We can only guess at the reason behind this decision to change from hand written to coping others works. My guess is that it was faster and easier to copy existing material and at the time of its first implementation, any copyright issues could be dismissed; sighting a nonprofit/educational usage. Also copyright laws cover a very small portion of the total material under copyright.
Now back to my exercises…..
As you will see, the printed material and the recordings are consistent with my “rest as much as you play” method which you will find to be very easy to follow. By limiting the amount of time your mouthpiece is on your face and the fact that once you start the recording you will usually complete the exercise, beneficial practice time is guaranteed.