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Trumpet – a musical instrument

The trumpet (Italian tromba, French trompette, German Trompete, English trumpet) is a brass musical instrument of the alto-soprano register, the highest in sound among brass. A natural pipe has been used as a signal instrument since ancient times, and from about the 17th century it became part of the orchestra. With the invention of the valve mechanism, the pipe received a full chromatic scale and from the mid-19th century it became a full-fledged instrument of classical music. The instrument has a bright, brilliant timbre; it is used as a solo instrument in symphony and wind orchestras, as well as in jazz and other genres.

The sonorous calling voice of the trumpet has been known since ancient times to shepherds, hunters, and warriors. Long before our era, the pipe was known to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. In the Middle Ages, the trumpet actively participated in knightly ceremonies, games and tournaments, in the campaign, on vacation in battle. For the first time, the Italian composer C. Monteverdi introduced the trumpet opera orchestra when in 1607 he composed fanfare of 5 independent trumpet parts in overture for his first opera Orpheus.

To understand how the pipe works, let us turn to its historical counterpart, a well-known to us pioneer horn, an indispensable participant in all gatherings, gatherings and camp life. It is distinguished by the simplicity of the device. This is a metal tube (barrel), twice folded into an elongated-oval shape in order to make it easier to hold the tool. Two thirds of the bore are cylindrical, and a third, gradually expanding, goes into a “bell” – a bell.
On such an instrument, you can extract only 5-6 sounds. Therefore, it is called a natural pipe.

At the heart of a modern pipe is the same device. But unlike the natural one, it has a special valve mechanism, which makes it possible to obtain all stages of the chromatic scale – 33-35 sounds. A great role in the extraction of sound on the pipe is played by the tip – the mouthpiece. Its good playing qualities are just as important as the high playing capabilities of the instrument itself.

The trumpeter does not have a keyboard in front of him, such as a pianist. He must imagine it in his imagination, form lips accordingly, reinforce with the pressure of breath the clear, coordinated actions of the tongue and fingers. Only after long systematic studies does the instrument become obedient and can a musician perform any one-voice, case-sensitive work on it.

Types of pipes

The most common type of trumpet is a trumpet in B flat (in B), which sounds a tone lower than its notes. American orchestras often also use the trumpet before (in C), which is non-transposable and has a slightly brighter, more open sound than the in B. trumpet. The applied volume of the actual sound of the trumpet is from e (small octave) to c³ (to third octave) , in modern music and jazz it is possible to extract higher sounds. The notes are written in a treble clef, usually without key characters, one tone higher than the actual sound for the in B pipe, and in accordance with the actual sound for the in C pipe. Before the valve mechanism appeared and for some time after that, there were pipes in literally all possible tunings: in D, in Es, in E, in F, in G and in A, each of which was intended to facilitate the performance of music in a certain key. With an increase in the skill of the blowers and an improvement in the design of the pipe itself, the need for so many tools has disappeared. In our music, in all tonalities it is performed either on the trumpet in B or on the trumpet in C.

Among other pipe varieties:

Alto trumpet in G or in F, sounding a pure quart or quint below the written notes and designed to play sounds in a low register (Rachmaninoff – Third Symphony). Currently, it is used extremely rarely, and in compositions where its part is provided, flugelhorn is used.

Bass trumpet in B, sounding an octave below a regular trumpet and a large note below the written notes. It went out of use by the second half of the 20th century. At present, its part is played on the trombone – an instrument similar in register, timbre and structure to it.

Piccolo pipe (small pipe). The variety, constructed at the end of the 19th century, is currently experiencing a new upsurge in connection with a revived interest in ancient music. It is used in B flat (in B) and has the ability to be rebuilt (in A) for sharp keys. Unlike a regular pipe, it has four valves. Many blowers use a smaller mouthpiece for a small pipe, which, however, affects the timbre of the instrument and its technical mobility. Among the outstanding performers on a small trumpet are Winton Marsalis, Maurice Andre, Hoken Hardenberger.

In the group of brass instruments of a symphony orchestra, the trumpet is the highest instrument in the range. We usually hear her voice when the internal tension of music reaches its highest point. It is she who gives the sound of the orchestra an amazing solemnity, elation.

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