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date: 17 October 2019

Trumpet (Fr. trompette; Ger. Trompete; It. tromba)locked

  • Margaret Sarkissian
  •  and Edward H. Tarr


(Fr. trompette; Ger. Trompete; It. tromba)

A lip-vibrated aerophone. The term is used not only for the modern Western instrument and its ancestors, but also generically to denote some or all of the lip-vibrated wind instruments, depending on the system of classification.

See also Organ stop.

In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system (1914), the term ‘trumpet’ is applied to any instrument in which ‘the airstream passes through the player's vibrating lips, so gaining intermittent access to the air column which is to be made to vibrate’. This category is then divided into two subgroups; natural trumpets (‘without extra devices to alter pitch’) and chromatic trumpets (‘with extra devices to modify the pitch’). Further subdivisions are made on the basis of body shape (conch shell or tubular) and method of playing (side-blown or end-blown) in the case of natural trumpets, and of pitch-alteration method (fingerholes, slides or valves) and shape of tubing (conical or cylindrical) in the case of chromatic trumpets....

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