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Brass instrument with tubing twice-folded in an elongated shape. (In its broad sense, trumpet may refer to any lip-vibrated instrument.) The modern trumpet has a mostly cylindrical bore, three valves, and a cup-shaped mouthpiece, and it is usually a B-flat or C instrument. The trumpet had taken its basic modern shape, with its ovoid loop, by c. 1500. In the 17th–18th centuries it employed crooks (removable lengths of tubing) to enable playing in different keys. The valved trumpet was developed in the 1820s. The trumpet has been associated with ceremonial and military uses since the 16th century. It joined the standard orchestra by c. 1700, though it was only selectively used, usually with the timpani. Its brilliant sound has since made it indispensable in a wide variety of ensembles. See alsocornet; flügelhorn.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on trumpet, visit Britannica.com.