History of the trumpet

The trumpet is a musical instrument that has its origins in the most remote antiquity of human civilization. Many ancient and of great religious value writings, such as the Bible, mention trumpets as paramount elements in mystical rituals.

An air instrument with a sublime sound

But not only do we find it in Christianity, but also in Greek culture, as Homer in his famous battles. Even in the ancient Egyptians, there is evidence that they were used, for in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun himself, who reigned fourteen centuries before Christ, these instruments were found.

In the case of the early Greeks, at the Olympic Games they resonated with great intensity. Ancient Rome is not left behind, as various sculptures corroborate this. But he was not always known as a trumpet; about the Middle Ages, there were two similar instruments with the names ‘clear’ and ‘bucina’.

In its beginnings, the “clear” was formed by a long tube, so its size was considerable. But over time its structure was modified, doubling the tube in zigzag mode. From that moment, it was known as “clarification” and in fact, that term has not yet been extinguished.

It was of such magnitude the relevance that in the original peoples of the world was given to the trumpet, which we can appreciate, for example, in the court of King Henry XVII, who possessed 42 instrumentalists, of which 14 played the trumpet.

In classical music

Classical music highlights the constant use of trumpets. Note that the first thing that emerged was the orchestras in the 17th century. At the time, excellent composers such as Monteverdi excellently combined melodies, such as his great work “Orfeo”, a touch unmatched for five differently tuned trumpets.

But not only did Monteverdi musicians use such a wonderful instrument, but purcell also appeared, as in his opera titled “Dioclesian”. A curious fact is that the great trumpeters were at the service of kings and were belonging to noble families. Thus stands out John Shore, from a family of only trumpeters and to whom Purcell composed. Especially the Germans were the ones who used it frequently.

The magic of the trumpets of a Handel, in his masterful works such as “The Messiah” and “Samson”, is undeniable. But if that’s not enough, Johan Sebastian Bach doesn’t fall behind, composing unprecedented musical jewels. In more modern but prodigious times, Mozart and Haydn give it a different touch to the trumpet: now they used it as harmony, not melody. In secondary form, not primary.

Ludwing Van Beethoven was one of the classical masters who most highlighted the splendor of the sound of the trumpet. But none like Richard Wagner as this instrument, using trumpets enhanced by Bl.mel and St.lzel, who applied a piston system to him.

Before Wagner, due to the morphology of the trumpets, they could not be used so freely. An exemplary case is presented in the Wagnerian work “Tanhauser, where the musician used 12 trumpets. But generally, he used three of them in his creations.

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History of the trumpet
Source: Education  
July 28, 2019

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