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About Fanfare

A fanfare (or fanfarade or flourish) is a short musical flourish that is typically played by trumpets or other brass instruments, often accompanied by percussion (Tarr 2001). It is a "brief improvised introduction to an instrumental performance" (Griffiths 2004). A fanfare has also been defined as "a musical announcement played on brass instruments before the arrival of an important person", such as heralding the entrance of a monarch (Lloyd 1968, 172). Historically, fanfares were usually played by trumpet players, as the trumpet was associated with royalty (Lloyd 1968, 172). Bugles are also mentioned (Davidson 1907). The melody notes of a fanfare are often based around the major triad, often using "[h]eroic dotted rhythms" (Lloyd 1968, 172). By extension, the term may also designate a short, prominent passage for brass instruments in an orchestral composition. Fanfares are widely used in opera orchestral parts, notably in Wagner's Tannhauser and Lohengrin and in Beethoven's Fidelio. In Fidelio, the dramatic use of the fanfare is heightened by having the trumpet player perform offstage, which creates a muted effect.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Fanfare , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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