The trumpet is one of the oldest instruments created. Trumpets have changed drastically through the years. The first ‘trumpets’ were conch shells and actual bulls horns. Long ago, these horns were used as a communication device instead of a musical instrument. The sound of the horn carried messages over hills, through valleys and over the noise of rowdy armies. It carried warnings of danger to neighboring villages, activated certain sections of an army into action, was used for hunting and for religious purposes.
Horns changed when the Bronze Age rolled around. Casting horns of metals like silver and gold, became a craze. Ancient Egypt, in particular, was fond of their horns. Using them for religious purposes, symbolic purposes and they were even buried in King Tut’s tomb.
Centuries later, during the Renaissance period, horns started being cast in brass and were dubbed ‘Natural Trumpets’ (or valveless horns). When the 1800’s rolled around the most significant changes were made to the natural trumpet to look like the modern trumpet we have today. Multiple musical engineers developed the modern trumpet to have valves. This was the greatest invention for trumpets because now, it allowed the musician to play chromatically and in a wider range. Thus, the birth of the modern trumpet was born.
About the Trumpet
The trumpet is played in a wide variety of genres, such as rock, pop, country, jazz, and blues. Most widely loved in jazz and marching bands. These instruments are great for students interested in playing an instrument. Bb trumpets are the most common trumpets you’ll find among students and beginners.
How to play
The trumpet is played by making a buzzing sounds with your lips into the mouth piece. By making the “buzzing” sound it creates the full noise which then exits the bell of the horn.
How the sound works
Valve pistons are the tube like structures located in the middle of the trumpet. By pressing each button on top of the trumpet, the valve will change the path that the air will pass through the trumpet which creates different tones, allowing you to put certain notes together to make a song.
Buying a Trumpet
Here are some things to look out for if buying a trumpet in order to get your monies worth.
A new student model trumpet can cost anywhere from $400-$1,000.
- It should be in playing condition
- No dents
- Each valve should move effortlessly up and down. You can check by pressing the buttons on the top of the instrument.
- Each slide should pull in and out effortlessly.
The price range of a Bb trumpet varies. It simply depends on the kind of trumpet and condition.
- No major dents or crimps, especially on the valve casings and any tube on the trumpet.
- Check the quality of the metal, it should be smooth and even. Especially around any joint where a metal tube meets another.
- If it doesn’t have a serial number or brand; for your sake and the sake of the repair man or woman, walk away!
Here is a list of brand names that tend to be reliable:
Hopefully this information can help educate you on your journey into the brass world. Playing an instrument can be very rewarding if you are set up for success. Whether beginner or professional, let us help you. Stop by our shop or visit our contact page with your questions.
By Leah Houston