Instrument video compliments of Be Part of the Band


The earliest trumpets were made of animal horns, hollowed out wood or bamboo shoots, and objects like conch shells. Later metal models were long, straight tubes, which gave way to the coiled, elongated loop trumpet about 1500 and remained the standard in orchestras until around 1800. The trumpet like the one we know today first appeared in 1820, when valves were added. The valves lowered the basic pitch of the trumpet and offered a harmonic series different than older models.

The cornet developed in the 1850s when valves were instituted on the small, circular-coiled post horn. Though used in orchestras during the 1800s, cornets are mainly played in brass bands today. Trumpets and cornets are very similar in both sound and playing technique.

Trumpet players like Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong (who played cornet, as well) are credited with changing the face of popular music with their stunning solos and arrangements.

Based on information found on-line in the Encarta Encyclopedia.

Care and Maintenance – click here for video

Holding the instrument in your left hand, insert the mouthpiece into the mouthpiece receiver on the lead pipe and turn it gently to the right. Carefully press down the second valve and remove the second valve slide. Apply oil to trumpet and cornet valves at least once a week, whether sticking or not, so as to deter both wear and corrosion of the metal. To do so, take the valve out of the casing, then rinse with water and wipe it off. Liberally apply valve oil over the entire valve. When replacing the piston, be certain to turn it until it clicks to assure the valve is in the proper alignment for air to flow freely through the instrument. If you cannot get any air through the instrument, check valve alignment first. Clean the mouthpiece frequently in warm water, and use a brush to clean out the tube. The trumpet or cornet should be rinsed out every two months. Soak the instrument in a tub with a small amount of dish soap for 30 minutes, and use a “snake” to clean the inside of the tubing. Wipe the valves and reapply valve oil after cleaning. Use a lacquer-polishing cloth or soft cloth to wipe the outer surface of the instrument. Cleaning kits can be ordered through your director.
Portions of the assembly instructions were written based on information found in Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method by Bruce Pearson; Neil A. Kjos Music Co., Publisher