The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BC. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument.
The significance of the valve can be seen from the fact that it equated a solitary trumpet with three valves to seven natural trumpets or one trumpet with six crooks. The valve trumpet made its first orchestral appearance in1835 and from the time of Wagner who required three trumpets, this has been the usual complement for the modern symphony orchestra though repertoire may require fewer or more.
Louis Armstrong - Mack The Knife - 1959
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These men would all take a back seat to the man who would be the last to be called of "king" of jazz trumpet — Joseph "King" Oliver, mentor and idol to Louis Armstrong. ... Oliver became an early master of mutes, and the natural tendency to find new sounds seemed to be strong in Oliver and his fellow New Orleans cornetist, Thomas "Papa" Mutt Carey. ... Oliver never got credit for the design [of the Harmon mute], and to this day, nearly all trumpeters in the world use the Harmon mute at one point or another.
From a vantage point sixteen years later from initiation to completion, it remains a central thesis of this book that the advent of jazz was a fundamentally important event in the history of the trumpet. Louis Armstrong's improvised solos with the Hot Five and the Hot Seven from the end of 1925 until 1928 were the most significant evidence that a tipping point in the evolution of the playing technique of the trumpet had been reached. Over the century to follow, the idiom and technique of the trumpet flourished in all musical genres. Jazz had given players the freedom to improvise outside the parameters of instrumental orthodoxy.
In most of his operas and oratorios, Handel scored for a pair of trumpets and timpani. A single trumpet was called for in some of the early operas, and three trumpets and timpani were included in the more festive works. Handel almost exclusively wrote for trumpets in D.
Wynton Marsalis-Hummel concerto in E (3rd movement )
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During the Classical era (ca. 1775–1820), composers employed trumpets mainly to add brilliance and power to the orchestra, usually in the traditional combination with timpani. Two important solo works nonetheless date from the Classical era: Joseph Haydn's Concerto in E-flat for trumpet and orchestra (1796) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Concerto, also in E-flat (1803).
The metal trumpet dates from the 2nd millennium bce in Egypt, when it was a small ritual or military instrument sounding only one or two notes. Used in various forms as a military and sometimes civilian signal instrument—as the straight Greek salpinx, the similar Roman tuba, and the Roman lituus, straight with an upturned bell—it came into prominence as a musical instrument in the Middle Ages. Later forms included the natural trumpet of the 16th–18th centuries and, following the invention of valves about 1815, the modern valve trumpet.
The tonality, or key, of the instrument could be changed by the use of a crook, an extra coil of tubing inserted next to the mouthpiece. The commonest orchestral crook in Bach’s era produced the trumpet in D, but in approximately 1800 trumpets were crooked from F down to low B♭ as specified by the composer.
Trumpets are commonly available in several sizes named according to the pitch class of their fundamental. Instruments in Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and piccolo Bb or A have actual fundamentals Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and Bb or A. The Bb instrument is used mostly in school bands and popular music. The C trumpet is the favorite among professional orchestra players.