Who Was Arban?

Joseph Jean-Baptiste Arban was born in Lyon on February 28, 1825. He began his musical career in the Military Band of the French Navy, and was part of the battalion which was on the ship “La Belle Poule” during the trip to Sainte-Hélène to carry Napoléon’s ashes back to France. In 1841, Arban entered the Paris Conservatory in the trumpet class of il François Georges Auguste Dauverné where he earned a first prize in 1845. After leaving the Conservatory, Arban went back to the Marine Band where he became a cornet player, staying at this post until 1852.

A friend of Adolphe Sax, Arban worked with Sax on his instruments starting in 1846, writing one of the first examination pieces for the saxophone for Sax’s class at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1857, Arban was named professor of Saxhorn at the French Military conservatory. In 1864, Arban was named the Cornet professor at the Paris Conservatory, the same year as the first publication of his “Grande méthode complète pour cornet à pistons et de saxhorn “. After briefly leaving the Conservatory for a concert tour of Saint-Petersbourg at the invitation of the Tsar Alexander II, Arban returned to the Conservatory in 1880 and began making the modications to his instrument which later became the “cornet Arban-Courtois”. Until his death in 1889 in Paris, Arbn continued to improve the cornet. Read more on Wikipedia.

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