Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 38, 1905
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– 138 –

Notes on Dr. Newman's Maori Trumpet

I may say at the outset that, owing to the peculiar oval-shaped wooden mouthpiece, which is very rough on the lips, it is well-nigh impossible to produce any of the lengthy bugle-calls, such as the “Reveille” and “First Post,” as can be done with comparatively little effort on the regulation B-flat bugle.

The tones that the instrument gives out are very similar to those of a bugle, but it cannot be made to produce the lowest C of the pakeha instrument. Such calls as the “Dress for Parade,” “Rouse,” and “Last Post” cannot, therefore, be played in their entirety.

The staff notation of the Maori instrument is:—

and that of the B flat bugle:—

It will thus be seen that the Maori trumpet is capable of producing four notes. The lowest, however, is hardly as clear as the G of the brass bugle, and the lips of the performer require to be in exceptionally good form to produce with any degree of success its highest note. The two middle notes, G and B, can be produced with exceptional clearness, and are, in fact, far more pleasant to the ear than the C and E of the brass instrument.

Appended is a list of the calls which are most suited to the Maori trumpet, which when sounded would assuredly astound the average regimental sergeant-major when that portly non-commissioned officer was asked to believe that the tones did not emanate from the military bugle in every-day use.

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List of Calls Suited To The Maori Trumpet.
  • Officers.

  • Sergeants.

  • Fall in.

  • Men's dinner call.

  • Sergeants' dinner call.

  • Fatigue.

  • Picquet.

  • Orders.

  • Sick call.

  • Salute for guard.

  • Alarm.

  • Charge.

  • Fire, and Cease fire.

  • Extend, and Close.

  • General salute.