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The History of the Trumpet


The Trumpet

        The trumpets of today have many ancestors from which they originated form. One of the oldest Non- keyed trumpets is the Alphorn. It was made of the trunk of a tree. It is best known for its big body and big sound and it is still used today in some mountainous areas. They were commonly used for herding cows, summoning communities, church ,and war calls (tpt his). In in the seventeenth century, also known as the baroque era, the Alphorn evolved into a Natural trumpet. Natural trumpets were made of metal instead of a tree trunk (tpt his, trump his). The Natural trumpet looked like a long cylindrical tube with a flared bell at the end (tpt his). As years passed more responsive and better sounding trumpets arose.

    In the late seventeenth century, the Rotary trumpet was born. Just like the natural trumpet, this trumpet was made of metal (tp his). The rotary trumpet was used by players of this time, mainly for orchestras (tp his). In the modern day orchestras, they are not really used, unless the conductor requires it (tp his). Just like the non-keyed trumpets were replaced so was the rotary trumpet.

    Around the beginning of the nineteenth century, the first valved trumpets D,G, and E-flat were created. Each of these new trumpets were considered a blessing to the trumpet players of this time period (tp his). Each one of these great trumpets have three to four valves. When these new trumpets were created composers were inspired to write new pieces using the greatly improved trumpets.Handles Messiah, written by handle is a great orchestra/opera piece and it was Specifically written for the D trumpet (tp his). G trumpet was used more for orchestral parts and was used for transposition. The E-flat trumpet had two grand pieces written for them. These two amazing pieces were the Hayden Trumpet concerto and the Hummel trumpet concerto. These pieces are by far the most requested audition pieces in the world. These pieces like the Handles messiah can be taxing and harder to play. Of course new challenging pieces call for new trumpets to make them easy to play.

    Around the nineteenth to twentieth century, new trumpets were made. These trumpets are the B-flat, C, Bass, and B-flat/A piccolo trumpets. Out of all of these trumpets, the Bass trumpet is the most rarely used. The C, B-flat, and B-flat/A piccolo are used in orchestra and symphonic bands. The B-flat trumpet is used in school bands, jazz bands, marching bands, and much more. But for Weddings the trumpet of choice, for years, has been the B-flat/A piccolo trumpet. The Pic or B-flat/A piccolo trumpet made a very dramatic change in the way we play the trumpet today and compose pieces that showcase the range of the instrument.

    One of the pieces that was made for the B-flat trumpet is the Hindemith Trumpet Sonata. The Hindemith Trumpet Sonata is transposed to C trumpet, due to many trumpet players finding it easier to play. The B-flat/A piccolo trumpet had the best piece ever written specifically for it. Its name was the Brandenburg Concerto. This piece was re-written many times due to the difficulty, but the piccolo trumpet changed that for ever (tpt history). The trumpet wouldn’t have become what it was if we didn’t have the great inventors we had throughout history. These inventors are Charles Clogget, Widinger of Viena, and Fredrick Bluemel.

    In 1788, Charles Clagget invented the first valve. In 1801, Windinger of Vienna put five rotary key on the first trumpet. If it wasn’t for them we would not have the trumpets we have today. After being inspired these famous inventors, customized with more efficient parts.

    Due to the trumpet evolving so much, many trumpet players looked for more improvements in the instrument. Therefore the shepherds crook was invented to give the trumpet player a more mellow tone. A tuning slide was invented for the player to be able to tune his instrument to the orchestra or band that they were playing with. These innovations became popular in the 17th century (hst trpt). But if it weren’t for these inventors trumpets, we wouldn’t have the potential in the conceive the making improvements that make music even more beautiful.

    Scientist believed that trumpets were being used for signaling around 2000BC (trum). It was believed that they were being used in parts of china due to a discovery of a fossilized animal horn that was carved out. Pictures of trumpets were found that date back to Mesopotamia around 2700BC. for years the trumpet has been played by important and noble people. The trumpet has been played even for King Tut, who’s time was the earliest recorded for trumpets (Egypt his). Years after King Tutthe trumpet evolved in to the B-flat, g, D, B-flat/A piccolo, and E-flat trumpet. They were played by and for kings and noble men.

    The Trumpet is Known as the noblemen of all musical instruments. Only a noble --men could play the trumpet. The trumpet was always played for a king and no matter what the trumpet players always sit at the kings right side. Thankfully trumpet players of today world do not have to be of royal, noble blood to play the trumpet.

    Trumpet players of our time are Wynton Marsalis, Maurice Andre ,and Maynard Ferguson. Each of these trumpet players were not born into a wealthy family, but of middle class. They became the best trumpet players that the world has ever seen.Wynton Marsalis is a world renown recording artist who has won eight Grammies. Maynard Fergusons a world renown recording artist, who has been nominated for a Grammy. Maurice Andre is another world renown recording artist and is know all over the world for his amazing classical performances.

    If it weren’t for the innovators of the trumpet, their wouldn’t be valved brass instruments, nor would the development of classical music have progressed so beautifully. The Jazz music of today simply would not exist and the full potential of some of the greatest classical scores would have been realized. Thank God for all of those who believed in the celestial sounds of the trumpet.


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