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Brief History of the Trumpet
The use of the trumpet dates back to Ancient Egypt and Greece where it can be seen being used as a signalling device. It was during the 14th century that the trumpet became recognized as a musical instrument being referred to as the “Natural Trumpet” it produced harmonic tones. Instrument makers attempted to develop the Trumpet during the later part of the 18th Century. Their attempt was to make it more versatile as the main limitation they found was that it could not be played chromatically. Before this the only solution to playing the Trumpet chromatically was found by Anton Joseph Handel who suggested the player places their hand in the bell to solve the problem. Indeed this was seen as such a solution that Trumpet makers, such as, Michael Woggel bent the body to make it easier for the player to put their hand down the bell. It was after this that the slide Trumpet was created in England, which resembled a smaller Trombone. This still failed to provide the versatility a Trumpet player needed but became the precursor to the Trombone.
Heinrich Stoelzel was the first person to invent a practical tubular valve system. Its innovation was unprecedented. However, it still did not provide the complacency and reliability needed. Joseph Riedlin in 1839 invented the rotary valve system which is the system still popular around the world today. Perfect by famous instrument makers, such as, Henri Distin the rotary valves provided versatility of the tube length which meant that the instrument was fully chromatic. With more and longer valves the full spectrum could be achieved.
In 1842 the first Trumpet factory was built in Paris by Adolphe Sax. In a rush to meet demand more opened in England and the United States. As popularity of the Trumpet increased parts became standardised and generally supplied by Gustave Auguste's company Besson. It was in 1875 in Elkhart Indiana that the main and most famous factory opened its doors. Here the production of brass instruments have been perfected and are still built today.
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