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trumpetA Brief History of the Trumpet

The trumpet is one of the oldest instruments. It was first used for signaling in ancient China (2000 BC), Egypt (1500 BC) and Scandinavia (1000 BC). These early trumpets were long and straight with no valves.

In the 1500’s the first music for trumpet was written. Later in the 1700’s short pieces of tubing called crooks were added so the trumpet could play more notes. Finally in 1815, the valve was invented which made the crooks unnecessary. Now the trumpet could play all the notes of the scale by using the valves.

The trumpet is a member of the brass family of instruments. Students interested in playing the french horn, should begin by playing the trumpet.

Things to Consider in Choosing to Play the Trumpet

Below are some factors one should consider when choosing the trumpet. While it is not mandatory that a student wishing to play the trumpet possess each characteristic listed, the chance for success will be greatly increased if a number of these factors are present.

  • Lips are thin to medium. Thick lips are often better suited for the larger mouthpiece of the trombone or tuba.
  • Front teeth are straight and even. If a slight overbite exists, it poses less of a problem on french horn than on trumpet.
  • For some students, braces are a hindrance in forming a correct embouchure.
  • Student is immediately able to produce a clear “buzz” on the mouthpiece.
  • Student is able to sing a simple melody
  • For french horn: Sense of pitch is exceptional.
  • Work habits are strong and achievement is high.

Suggested Brands

Instrument brands listed in bold are the director’s recommended brands. Currently, I believe the Yamaha product is the best student-line instrument available today. Based on my many years experience teaching Band, Yamaha has proven to be the most consistent and well-built instrument for the middle school band student.

Yamaha, Bach, Jupiter