Did you know that trumpets have been around for thousands of years? One of the oldest musical instruments, trumpets date back to at least 1500 B.C. Archaeologists even found bronze and silver trumpets in the Egyptian tomb of Tutankhamen, better known as King Tut.

Although we think of modern trumpets as musical instruments, military leaders used early trumpets as signaling tools. Without the trumpet, messages may not have reached other sections of a large army. Leaders gave special protection to trumpet players due to their critical role.

Basically just a curved, hollow metal tube, a trumpet begins with a mouthpiece at the narrow end and ends with a flared bell at the opposite end. The bell of the trumpet projects sound.

trumpet players press or release three valves to play different notes. As a player blows into the trumpet, the valves direct the air through small pieces of extra tubing to produce different notes.

Though it may sound easy, playing a trumpet can be a challenge because you must learn how to properly blow into it. To play a trumpet, you must purse your lips tightly together and let them vibrate as you blow. If that’s not complicated enough, you also need to move your tongue at the same time.

Though it may sound somewhat unpleasant, caring properly for a trumpet requires the player to occasionally empty the water that builds up inside. As you play a trumpet, moisture from your breath condenses inside the instrument.

As this happens, it may begin to sound like it's gurgling. Pressing the “water key” allows the moisture to drip out. Some people refer to this as the “spit valve.”

 

Wonder What's Next?

Lace up your skates and glide back to Wonderopolis in the morning. We’ll be sharing a history lesson on slippin’, slidin’ and glidin’.