What is a trumpet?

The trumpet is the oldest and most popular member of the brass instrument family. The trumpet has been around in some form since for over 1500 years, in fact trumpets were found with the Pharos buried in ancient Egypt.

By far the most common type of trumpet is the modern Bb trumpet. This instrument was first invented about a hundred and fifty years ago and hasn’t really changed that much since.

Nearly every trumpet player begins their journey on a Bb trumpet (or it’s cornet cousin the Bb cornet). The Bb trumpet can be found playing in a whole host of different musical styles and ensembles including classical, jazz, rock, pop and folk music.

How the trumpet works

The trumpet is a transposing instrument which means that when the trumpet player plays a written C the note that comes out in concert pitch (same as the piano) is the key name of the trumpet. So; if a Bb trumpet plays a C then the note that comes out would be a Bb on the piano, if an Eb trumpet plays a C then the note that comes out would be an Eb on the piano. This is complicated but it’s not anything to worry about, all teachers, composers and arrangers of music make sure that the parts for trumpet work properly with all the other instruments, just make sure you’re using proper Bb trumpet music when you want to fit in with other instruments.