Top 10 Facts About The Trumpet

By Brendan Lai-Tong

There are few instruments more familiar to the public than the trumpet. Influential artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maurice Andre and Phillip Smith helped bring the trumpet into the public spotlight.  The trumpet is a versatile instrument that is present in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, jazz, rock and more. As a result, there is an extensive amount of music composed for trumpet from solo repertoire to chamber music. Here are some facts about the trumpet that you may not know:

  1. A trumpet may seem short and compact when compared to larger brass instruments, such as the trombone, but this small instrument contains roughly 6 1/2 feet of tubing. That’s taller than the average human being, yet the instrument can fit comfortably in your hands.
  2. Trumpets are known for being used in bands and orchestras, but they also has a military component. Armies dating back to medieval times have used the trumpet as a signal device because of its loud, rich tone that can be heard over long distances.
  3. The trumpet has been around since ~1,500 BC.  There is even artwork by civilizations dating back to 300BC that showcase the trumpet.
  4. The early precursors to the trumpet, cornetto and natural trumpet, didn’t have valves or keys.
  5. Trumpets come in several varieties that are built to play in different musical keys. Some examples are B-flat, F, D, E, G and C.
  6. The trumpet has a cylindrical bore. This means that the diameter of it’s tubing remains consistent throughout the length of the tubing (except for the bell flare).  This is what gives the trumpet it’s characteristic, vibrant and focused sound.
  7. Modern trumpets are made from brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, but the earliest trumpets were made out of many different materials, including conch shells and wood.
  8. Other variations on the trumpet family include the cornet and flugelhorn. These instruments are more mellow due to their conical bore.  The tubing diameter of these instruments gradually gets larger towards the end of the instrument.
  9. The trumpet may only have three valves, but you can actually play 45 distinct notes by manipulating those valves.
  10. Bass trumpet is usually played by trombonists.

I hope you enjoyed the article, please feel free to comment if you have more interesting facts about the trumpet that I may have missed!

Looking for trumpet sheet music? Look no further! We have all you need at Sheet Music Plus.

Brendan Lai-Tong holds degrees in trombone performance from University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


21 thoughts on “Top 10 Facts About The Trumpet

  1. Jeremy

    This is a wonderfully interesting and useful piece of work, it will help my research enormously, so thank you very much! J xxx

  2. Quan Truong

    this is so cool I never evan knew this and this helped me alot on my work.

  3. Anonymous

    It helped me on my report

    1. Emily

      it helped me on my report too!

  4. Anonymous

    thanks a lot you basicly did my report for me

  5. bob

    thanks, it was very helpful.

  6. sus

    THanks so much :DDDDD

  7. Anonymous

    Thanks It really helped

  8. Anonymous

    Thxs this did my homework in seconds

  9. Anonymous

    Thxs this did my homework is seconds

  10. Omole Sam

    I love this. May i put it as part of the stuff in my blog? because it would really be of help to my students. I teach Trumpet and i love it.

    1. Sheet Music Plus

      Hi, you’re welcome to link to our article from your blog if you would like. We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the article!

  11. Racheal Pierce

    Do you know a good Video to watch about one of the famous trumpet players? Thanks in advance..

  12. Paul Camann (@prcamann)

    There is no “trumpet family”. The trumpet, cornet, and Fluegelhorn each descended from different instruments, unlike, say, saxophones or saxhorns, which were designed as collections of similar and complementary instruments. The trumpet descended from the old Roman buccina (hence the muscles around your mouth — your “chops” — are the buccinator muscles. The cornet is a descendant of the valved post horn, and the Fluegelhorn is a modern version of a keyed bugle with valves instead of keys. They all happen to play in B-flat as currently built, and are all playable with similar mouthpieces, but the similarities end there…

  13. Ayzlyn Hamann (@HamannAyzlyn)

    its cool to know these when you have to do a music report on what ever you want and I chose the trumpett!!

  14. Oluwatobi Paschal

    when you done no what to do, when you are confused you just be on a spot turning without know what to do…. i think this material will help a lot of people the way he has done today…. cudos more of this… i love it….. i love trumpeting

  15. Adrian Shafer

    I play one

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