The trumpet is a wind instrument widely used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group ranges from the highest register piccolo trumpet in the brass family to the bass trumpet, whose pitch is one octave below the standard B♭ or C trumpet.
Trumpet-like tools have historically been used as signaling devices in combat or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. They began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles such as orchestras, concert bands and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music.
They are played by blowing air through nearly closed lips (called the player’s embouchure), creating a “buzzing” sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century, pipes have mostly been made from brass tubes, usually double-bent into a rounded rectangular shape.
There are many different types of trumpets, the most common of which is in the key of B ♭ and has a tube length of about 1.48 m (4 ft 10 in). Early trumpets had no means for changing the length of the tube, whereas modern instruments usually have three (or sometimes four) valves for changing the pitch. Most pipes have piston type valves and some have rotary type valves. The use of rotary valve trumpets is more common in orchestral productions (especially German and German-style orchestras), although this practice varies by country. A musician who plays the trumpet is called a trumpeter or trumpeter.