The Revolutionary Instrument, the Trumpet

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The Revolutionary Instrument, the Trumpet Throughout the ages, styles, instruments, and concepts of music have changed very dramatically, but still the trumpet has survived them all. From Classical, to Jazz, to, Polka, to Latin, to Big Band, to small ensembles, to Opera, and Musicals. It is probably the most popular instrument of all time with talented musicians like Allen Vizzuti, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Dizzie Gillespie, Doc Severinsen, Herbert L. Clarke, and Claude Gordon. All these virtuoso trumpeters lead the way for us next generation trumpet players. But where did it all begin? The trumpet is an ancient instrument, its roots are found in drawings dating to 1500 BC by the Egyptians and the Teutonic tribes. No instrument has changed as much during its existence as these series of instruments. The prehistoric trumpet was 120 cm long and had a conical tube at one end measuring 10 cm in diameter, expanding to 26 cm at the other. The trumpet's basic design was a single, unvarying tube until the mid 1800s when slides and/or valves were added to make additional notes possible. Trumpets through history have been generally associated with either military or religious uses. It was used as battle cries into the depths of war and to make loud noises to potentially frighten the bewildered enemy. Because the style of war changed it soon lost its place on the battle field and was used more for ceremonies and signaling. The Renaissance brought improvements to trumpeters as they gained stature in royal courts and the instruments began to be used more for "musical" playing. Religious users of the instrument include the Romans, Tibetans, and Israelites, who allowed only priests to play the trumpet. The King James version of the Bible makes many references to the instrument, associating it with the voices of angels. The trumpet's popularity rose during the Baroque period, but declined through the early 1800s, as it grew too "courtly" and out of favor. The addition of slides and valves in the 1800s brought new life to the trumpet as it was used more frequently in orchestral writing. Some popular solo trumpet pieces include; The Artunian, The Hummel, The Hynd, Rhapsody in Blue, and The Sandoval.
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