The history of the trumpet goes back at least as far as the Egyptian King Tutankhamun. Among the treasures found in his tomb, was a silver trumpet dating from around 1352 B.C.. One also conjures up pictures of grand entrances - such as the trumpet fanfares played as Cleopatra entered ancient Rome. Instruments called trumpets included animal horns, seashells, and later, hunting horns and post horns. Most of these variations were used for signal or ceremonial functions. See also the gallery for Ceremonial & Signal horns .
The earliest trumpets used for musical purposes were natural or valveless instruments using the base tones and harmonic overtones. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, trumpets were called for by many composers - with the trumpets being played in various keys by use of interchangeable crooks. A slide trumpet was invented in the early 1800s, but was quickly superseded by keyed and valved instruments. The rotary valve trumpet was invented in 1835 by Joseph Riedl, and the piston valve trumpet by François Périnet in 1839,
There has been much said about trumpets being mostly cylindrical - versus cornets which are more conical. In fact, modern perinet valve trumpets have conical leadpipes and bell sections, and could therefore be defined as cornets. In fact, both have cylindrical and conical sections, so the argument is best left to the academics. When played side by side, the trumpet has a more sharp brassy sound while there is no confusing the distictive mellow sound of a cornet.
Listen to a Trumpet Solo