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Music History Essay

673 words - 3 pages

The trumpet has been a leading instrument throughout history, evolving through the advances in knowledge and technology it has become what it is today. The trumpet is in the brass family. The trumpet does not use a reed like some wind instruments, instead it uses what all brass instruments use, an organic vibrating source; the lips. The slandered trumpet today has a flared bell, tubing looped to form a straight-side coil, and three valves (Cassone 01). The trumpet as developed greatly throughout the centuries.
The modern trumpet is remarkably similar to its ancient predecessors, mostly for the way the sound is produced. The development of the shape though has changed greatly. The didgeridoo is an example of a wind instrument that uses the same organic sound production technique as the trumpet. This instrument comes from Northern Australian Aborigines. Instruments just like the trumpet have been documented in many different places ...view middle of the document...

It is very portable and the sound is very penetrating so it can be heard long distances. This is why they were used in battles. The next sets of trumpets often appear in Egyptian reliefs and paintings. There were trumpets found in the grave of King Tut in Egypt. Egyptian trumpets were made out of silver and bronze and were about 50 centimeters long. The instruments had a narrow ring soldered to the opening which acted as a mouthpiece (Guerrero). Plutarch’s Moralia refers to the sound of the trumpet as abhorrent to the inhabitant of the Nile delta, comparing it to the braying of a donkey. The next form of trumpet was much different.
The Claro became part of the trumpet family in the 12th century. The Claro was not more than two or three feet long. It was known for its clear ringing tones hence the name Claro. Its primary use was to be a signal or call. Galpin states that “A public assembly should be summoned by the common herald with the tuba or Claro”. Its shape limited its ability. The Claro could only have about four or at most five notes it could sound. The instruments first started as a broad flattened S shape. Then the S got tighter to the horn and finally it overlapped which became more standard into the 16th century. This is still a basic arrangement of the main tube today (Bate 104).
During the 14th and 15th century is when the first known mental trumpets start to show up. These instruments were made out of bronze and silver. During the late medieval period, paintings and writings record many different types of trumpets. The Claro came first and then Buisine. This was created in the West and was very long. It was about four to six feet and was superior to the Claro. The larger the tube was made the greater the number of harmonics it could create. Brass instruments without valves and slides could only produce the tones in the overtone series. (Ahrens 01). This instrument was produced to play in pure fifths and octaves. Instrument makers used this as the fundamental guideline for their instrument design. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance brought improvements to both the art of metal making and to the design of the instrument, which made it more useful for actual music creation.

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