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The Trumpet. Natalie Gardner. Introduction. The trumpet dates way back into the antiquity period. The trumpet has evolved by receiving valves. The trumpet has also evolved by having trumpets pitched in the keys for every note of the scale an octave above the normal B-flat instrument.

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The trumpet

The Trumpet

Natalie Gardner


  • The trumpet dates way back into the antiquity period.

  • The trumpet has evolved by receiving valves.

  • The trumpet has also evolved by having trumpets pitched in the keys for every note of the scale an octave above the normal B-flat instrument.

  • These fall into two basic categories:

    • B-flat and C

      • More for everyday use

    • D, E-flat, E, F, G, piccolo B-flat/A, and C

      • For literature requiring a high tessitura

Why do we need different pitched trumpets
Why do we need different pitched trumpets?

  • There are many different trumpets to cover the demands of the different types of orchestral and solo music around today.

  • It also allows for:

    • The player to play in a better part of the range in the harmonic series.

    • Easier entrances.

    • Playing in a higher register.

    • Improves accuracy.

    • Becomes less tiring for the player.

  • Examples:

    • Bach’s B-minor Mass for B-flat trumpet

      • More beneficial to play it on the piccolo trumpet in A because the notes fall in a rather high range on the B-flat trumpet.

    • Haydn Trumpet Concerto

      • More beneficial to play on the E-flat trumpet.

    • Hummel Trumpet Concerto

      • To play in the original key , it is more beneficial to play on the E-flat or E trumpet.

The b flat trumpet
The B-Flat trumpet

  • Replaced the long F trumpet in the orchestral setting.

    • Because many of the players who played the cornet were used to the technical advantages of the B-flat trumpet.

    • The C trumpet however could be more beneficial in the orchestral setting.

  • Primary trumpet because it has a fuller timbre and blends easier in the ensembles.

  • Most music for band is written for the B-flat trumpet.

  • Students start out on the B-flat trumpet to learn a good tonal concept and tone production before moving to other trumpets.

The c trumpet
The C Trumpet

  • Georges Mager in 1920 was the first to use the C trumpet in an American orchestra.

  • The timbre is carries well and the player can project more with less effort compared to the B-flat trumpet.

  • Is better in an orchestra setting than the B-flat trumpet because with long periods of rest the C trumpet is better for making “cold”.

    • Also allows for more sense of security and control, as well as, more dynamic contrast.

  • The C trumpet is not preferred in Jazz bands because of its timbre and playing characteristics.

The d trumpet
The D Trumpet

  • Developed in the 19th century because of the popularity of Bach’s and Handel’s choral pieces.

  • It used to be called a Bach trumpet because of this, but the name was changed to avoid confusion with the natural trumpet.

  • Made it easier to play the harder passages in Handels Messiah and many other choral pieces.

  • Has recently been replaced by the piccolo trumpet in A because of the smaller bell and bore size.

    • It is also more reliable during performances.

  • The D trumpet provides the advantage of the valve trumpet with the full tone quality of the natural trumpet of the Baroque era.

The e flat trumpet
The E-flat Trumpet

  • Today it is mainly used to perform the Haydn and Hummel concertos.

  • Passages seem to fit better with the fingerings and tone production on this trumpet.

  • The fingerings allow for easier trills and accuracy.

  • The E-flat trumpet has problems with intonation, as well as, tone quality compared to the B-flat trumpet.

Trumpets in e f and g
Trumpets in E, F, and G

  • E Trumpet:

    • Developed so players can perform the Hummel Trumpet Concerto in the original key. (E major)

  • F Trumpet:

    • Was made for the difficult passages in Bach’s Second “Brandenburg” Concerto.

    • It has been replaced by the Piccolo Trumpet in B-flat.

  • G Trumpet:

    • It is like the Baroque instrument because of its tone and feel.

    • It combines the timbre that is similar to the D trumpet with the technical advantages of the piccolo trumpet.

The piccolo trumpet
The Piccolo Trumpet

  • The B-flat/A is the most popular piccolo trumpet.

  • It has four valves:

    • Helps to extend the range down to a perfect fourth.

    • Adds five notes to the players range.

    • More alternate fingerings are available to help with intonation.

  • It used for high passages in orchestral settings.

  • The piccolo trumpet does not mean the player will automatically have a high range; It just brings the notes down into a better register.

  • The piccolo provides better control and security.

  • There is also a piccolo trumpet built in C, that offers more choices of keys for the players.

What trumpets should a player have
What trumpets should a player have?

  • Trumpet Students:

    • Should mainly stay on the B-flat trumpet unless they want to further their education with the trumpet into college.

  • Professional Players:

    • Four main Trumpets are needed: B-flat, C, E-flat/D, and the piccolo B-flat/A.

    • They should also consider owning a flugelhorn.

Professional players
Professional PLayers

  • Maynard Ferguson

  • Dr. Tim Cordell

  • Lois Armstrong

  • Wynton Marsalis

  • Miles Davis

  • Clifford Brown

    Just to name a few.


  • Whitener, S. (1997). A complete guide to brass. (2nd ed., Vol. Edition, pp. 24-33). Belmont, CA: Schirmer Thomson Learning.

  • History of the trumpet. (n.d.). Retrieved from

  • Trumpet history. (n.d.). Retrieved from