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Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet

The trumpet is a musical instrument. It's the highest register of the brass instruments, and are played through closed lips, creating a buzzing sound. The trumpet changes its pitch by the player's lips, which decides the pitch of notes with the same valve fingerings, and by three valves, with each valve lowering the pitch by extending the length of the brass tubing.


The trumpet is one of the oldest instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BC; King Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt had bronze and silver trumpets, and the Moche people in ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art. However, these ancients trumpets were used as signaling instruments for military and religious purposes, rather than music as we understand it today.

During medieval times, trumpet playing was a closely guarded practice, and the craft was taught only within the highest of guilds. The trumpet remained for mostly court/military use all the way into the 16th century, and by the 17th and 18th centuries it was widespread and used by famous composers such as Leopold Mozart. From the 19th century to today, the trumpet is known as an orchestral instrument.

Use TodayEdit

The trumpet is still a highly popular instrument today, playing an essential role in orchestral, jazz, band, salsa and even contemporary music.


Trumpet anatomy


A trumpet is tuned using mostly the main tuning slide, as well as the first and third slides for certain notes and fingerings. Pulling out a slide lengthens the tuning of the trumpet and makes the pitch flat; shortening the tubing makes the pitch sharp.


The most common is the Bb trumpet, but other trumpets in A, C, D, Eb, E, low F and G can also be found. C trumpets are the second most common trumpets and are used mostly in American orchestras, its smaller build giving it a brighter sound than Bb trumpets. There are two small-sized trumpets available as well: the piccolo trumpet and pocket trumpet, the latter being the smallest. Larger, bass trumpets are also made, as well small slide trumpets, which are essentially tiny trombones small enough to produce a similar sound to a Bb trumpet.

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