Trumpet Facts

15 Interesting Facts About The Trumpet

An ancient and multi-genre instrument, with power that’s truly impressive during a close encounter; the trumpet sits as a part of a small brass group or has extravagant roles in Jazz and Classical music. Certainly one of the oldest instruments ever invented, the trumpet demands your attention, however well it’s played. 

Trumpet Facts

1. Is It Two Blasts For Attack?

Trumpet Facts

Evidence of early trumpets exists from the late Bronze Age. In a toneless and basic form, the trumpet was used to communicate during conflict or daily errands. Initially, it was not used to create music but was important for everyday life with examples of similar versions found throughout the world.

2. I Love Trump

The word ‘trump’ has huge meaning in our current political climate. It’s also the first word commonly used in English to describe the trumpet. This comes from the French word ‘Trompe’, which describes a ‘wind-instrument’. No irony there. Ted’s List is a politically unaffiliated organisation.

Trumpet Facts

3. Motorboat

Like the bugle, trumpets produce notes primarily on how the player’s lips vibrate when blowing into the valve (tubular resonator). The slower the vibration the lower the notes, the faster the vibration the higher the notes. Buzzing your lips is the key!

4. I Know All The Notes

Trumpet Facts

A part of the aerophone family, modern trumpets were first produced in Paris in the mid 19th century. Constructed of brass, their manufacture was made in greater scale in Britain and the USA. The ‘key’ design change in trumpets was the addition of keys and valves. This helped to produce all the necessary notes, increasing the usefulness and popularity of the instrument.

5. Mine’s 1.8 Metres Long

The modern trumpet consists of components like the bell, finger hook, mouthpiece and piston valves. These are all set along the line of tubing. The tubing of the trumpet is surprisingly long, given the compact size of the instrument; around 1.8 metres in length. This of course is due to its folded form. 

6. What A Wonderful World

High up on the list of great jazz trumpet players, Louis Armstrong was raised in America at the start of the 20th century. In his early life, Louis lived in poor conditions but was fortunate enough to work for a Jewish family who showed him great respect. Their kindness and generosity allowed him to first discover music. During his career, he had many nicknames such as ‘Satchmo’ and produced five decades of wonderful jazz in a range of instruments, including the trumpet. 

7. You Can Bach Up My Tree

Take a piece from composers Bach and Vivaldi, published in 1711 and originally performed on the organ; this is now commonly performed with piano and trumpet, giving a great classic example of its audible power.

8. This Price Is Making Me Dizzy

Another of the great trumpet players Dizzy Gillespie had his iconic instrument with a damaged bell. This was the most expensive trumpet ever sold on the second-hand market, costing $55,000. The most expensive ‘manufactured’ trumpet was Yamaha’s solid platinum version, which as you’ve guessed, is made of platinum! This would have set you back $185,000. They didn’t sell many. Yamaha do, however, sell many more conventionally expensive trumpets such as their Xeno Artist Model, at around $5,000 (£4,400).

Trumpet Facts

9. Embrasse Cette Trompette

Trumpet Facts

The pièce de résistance of Jazz trumpet is sustained high notes. This is achieved with smaller mouthpieces to great effect. A good example would be Kind of Blue by legend, Miles Davis. This shows another top dog at play, showing his amazing skills and finesse.

10. Who Would Want To Be Flat?

Trumpets have 7 main variants in tonal character, depending on their purpose or genre. The most popular is type C. Trumpets are most commonly tuned to B♭but again have variants.

11. Let’s Get Higher Baby

What is the highest note available on the trumpet? Ultimately, no one really knows for sure. When a player reaches for the very high-end of their ability it becomes harder to maintain quality of performance. We’ve all heard the noise of someone failing a high note. To counteract this, experts would say that open-mindedness and determination are key. If you decide that it’s hard, well…it will seem harder. Instead, have a positive mindset and work hard! 

12. The Ball’s In The Hole

Trumpet players often use additional objects to alter their sound such as mutes. These are placed in the Bell and come in many forms, ranging from silent, warm, projecting and bright alterations.

13. Can I Ask Trump For A Loan?

Let’s do our regular look at beginner instrument costs. Low-end packs cost between one and four hundred pounds ($150-500) and tend to come with useful additions like music stands. For those wanting to make a great investment in a Bb trumpet, expect to pay between two to five thousand pounds ($2,500-6,000).

14. Trump Gets Everywhere

To add more weight to the flexibility of the trumpet, and brass in general, look at genres like ska-punk. In their early years, bands like Clash and Madness mixed punk rock and ska to create something unique. Another example of this adaptability is seen in alternative pieces such as Jack Garrat’s Love, Death and Dancing and Runaway by The National. 

Trumpet Facts

15. Maybe Stick To Cars

Trumpet Facts

To add to their list of accolades, Toyota created a robot that can play the Trumpet. This was an example of robot technology in the early part of the 21st century. It was also part of the creator’s desire to produce a robot orchestra. Thanks for the nightmare-fuel Toyota.

That's the end of our Trumpet Facts... So what now?

Trumpet Facts

About the Author

Who Can Assist You Make Decisions?

Your search is over! The Founder of Ted’s List, Robert Emery, has a very busy career as an international conductor, record producer and pianist. Our goal isn’t to sell you pricey classes that you’ll never use. Our objective is to help you. Just like Robert wanted to help his son, Teddy, by obtaining honest guidance from buddies who are actually world-class professional musicians.

Alarming basic fact coming up: I guess you didn’t know that there is simply no responsibility for your instrumental instructor to have been professionally trained. But surely they require some kind of certification to be able to take peoples money? Nope. If you wanted to, you could turn around tomorrow and call yourself a music instructor! Crazy isn’t it…

You’d be amazed at the number of trumpet teachers that don’t know their mouthpiece from their spit valve! So that’s where our specialists come in. And no, contrary to various other websites which shall remain nameless, our experts are real-life, performing, qualified performers. They are at the top of their game either in the UK or America. Some are even names you’ll recognise.

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