The 19th century was an exciting time to be a trumpeter. As orchestral and operatic music began to serve the growing middle class that emerged during the industrial revolution, the trumpet experienced great innovation, in both form and function. Chromatic instruments with valves, keys, and slides were opening up a new world of possibilities for solo, chamber, and orchestral performance, and countless method books for these instruments were published throughout the century.
Interestingly, there was also a great surge in publication of methods for the natural trumpet, even long after valved instruments were commonplace. In fact, the natural trumpet stood its ground for much of the 19th century, and although it went out of fashion for the first half of the 20th, it is becoming increasingly relevant today. Our new book, The Natural Trumpet Tutor (currently in draft print) addresses many of the reasons for this and aims to present the natural trumpet in a 19th century—as opposed to a Baroque—context.
Click on the text below to read our new chapter "Trumpet Enrichment" which explores the acoustics behind the natural trumpet's characteristic timbre.
Many thanks to Arnold Myers and Murray Campbell for their help in addressing this fascinating subject. If you are interested in pursuing this or any other topic related to brass acoustics, the 2021 publication The Science of Brass Instruments is a must-have. Click the book image for a link to purchase a copy in hardcover or kindle on Amazon.