Have this question ever came to your mind, “who invented the trumpet"? Well, we usually aren’t eager to know when and from where it came as it doesn't serve our learning purpose.
But to understand a trumpet better, you must have to know its background.
There’s no need to tell that a trumpet is a brass wind musical instrument.
But how it looks in present days isn’t the same as when the ancient people first used it.
Neither the materials, cost nor the quality, was the same as they are now. Like all other things, it too went through the evolution.
Dating back to 1500 BC, we see its use in battle or hunting purpose as signaling devices.
Its performance in art music is beyond any description.
Whether it’s orchestras or jazz, it performed revolutionary.
Now you can easily understand it has a rich history. Want to know how that was? Let’s travel with a time machine.
If I ask you who invented the radio, you’ll certainly name, Guglielmo Marconi.
But in the case of the trumpet, you can’t take a particular name. Its use is historical.
The purpose, materials, and quality changed and developed gradually.
Early cultures in Australia and Africa used hollowed trumpets for religious rites.
China, India, and Tibet also made trumpets those were like a long telescope. Later it went through a huge transformation.
The concept of hand in the bell and bending the trumpet first came in 1750.
In those days contemporary trumpets couldn’t play the chromatic stage. Anton Joseph Hampel placed the hand in the bell as a solution to this.
Michael Woggle and Johann Andreas Stein bent it so that player’s hand could easily reach the bell.
However, Charles Claggett is the person who first attempted a valve mechanism.
Heinrich Stoelzel and Friedrich Bluhmel first invented a practical tubular valve.
And Francois Perinet improved it to the piston valved trumpet in 1839, today’s most preferred one.
The trumpet is an English word first used in the 14th century.
The old French word “trompette” is the word from where it originated.
Since the age of Ancient Egypt, Greece and the Near East, people have been using trumpets.
Early trumpets were not used as musical instruments only. People also use them as megaphones for ceremonial purposes.
And also for commanding, signaling, announcing.
Most of them were in the form of horn until 1400 BC when Egyptians developed it joining a wide bell with it.
Israelites, Assyrians, Etruscans, Romans, and Celts, all used that horn form.
By 1400 BC, Egyptians developed it with bronze and silver.
But within AD 1095-1270, Europeans started using hammered sheets of metals. Their contact with Arabic culture helped them to take it to the next level.
In the late middle age, the Renaissance played a significant role in wide spreading its use.
However, in the 16th century, people started using it in military communication.
Again, the craftsmen of Nuremberg in Germany started excelling in trumpet making. They exported most of them to Europe.
Also, the written accounts of trumpet playing first occurred by the end of this century.
In 17th and 18th centuries, a huge transformation happened. Some brilliant composers like Each and Handel contributed a lot to this change.
During the last half of 18th century, both the composers and trumpet makers tried to improve it.
They made it more versatile.
Adolphe Sax, in 1842, founded the first trumpet factory in Paris. However, the USA now manufactures most of its trumpets in Elkhart, Indiana.
Briefly, the more people modified it, the more it got versatile. The more its qualities developed, and its usefulness also increased.
We all know that trumpet is a brass instrument.
But you may surprise to know that, the first ever trumpets were simply hollowed sticks.
In the early age of trumpet, people used horns, cane or tusks of animals as trumpets.
However, nowadays, most of the part of a trumpet is of brass.
But except the screws, water key and the rubbing surface of the valves, they are of different elements.
Yellow brass (70% copper and 30% zinc) is the most common type. Besides, gold brass (80% copper and 20% zinc), silver brass (copper, zinc, nickel) are also familiar.
Some manufacturers use special alloys like Am bronze that contains 80% copper, 2% tin, and 13% zinc.
Certain parts like the bell of the trumpet are of this special brasses. They produce a more resonant sound.
Some manufacturers also gold or silver-plate the basic brass.
The screws are of steel. Manufacturers electroplate the rubbing surfaces with chromium or nickel alloy like "Monel".
They also link the water key to cork, the valve with felt and the valve keys with mother-of-pearl.
As you can understand, the trumpet you are playing today is the endeavor of many talents.
They worked days after days to increase its versatility.
Hope this article will give you the basic concept of the trumpet history. You'll find all the primary information related to its invention.