Trumpet History
The development of the modern trumpet can be traced back over a thousand years. All major civilizations of the past had trumpets, most ancient trumpets were hooked or straight and had a long cylindrical tube with a flared bell on the end. However, for this purpose we are only interested in Orchestral trumpets for marching bands which started in the late 18th century.

A satisfactory arrangement for notes was not invented until the 19th century ,when Stolzel and Bluhmel produced the first valved trumpets. These trumpets had three different items for straight trumpets. 1) separate types of mouth pieces, 2)bent tubing and 3)valves that diverted air and created a variety of notes.


1. CURVED TRUMPETS allowed the hands to be placed in the bell to lower the pitch like with a French horn

2. SLIDE TRUMPETS used the lengthing-tube principle of a trombone

3. KEYED TRUMPETS used the shorten tube principle of a bugle.
All three were replaced by valved instruments in the 19th century


4. TILTED BELL TYPE three valved,invented by Getzen quite often used in jazz bands

5. PICCOLO TYPE four valved short and deep valves sometimes referred to as a Cornet in British bands with large bell for high notes

6. RENAISSANCE TYPE three valved long stemed small bell for higher pitch sometimes called a fanfare trumpet

7. Bb TRUMPET three valved,shallow wrapped tubing,fitted mouth pieces and muted cups,used by modern jazz bands, orchestras and military bands in North America

8. MELLOPHONE three valved Bb trumpet style with large bell flared used mainly in drum and bugle corp or college bands

9. FLUGEL HORN three valved widely used in jazz because of its rich, mellow lyrical timbre. The same pitch and range as the Bb trumpet or cornet. It is three valved wide tubular body and bell.

Toy soldier band manufacturers rarely try to make a difference in the above list of instruments so that item 7 prevails and British makers call it a cornet while North American makers call it a trumpet. I have recognized this problem and make most of my manufacturers differentiate either by 1) depth of instrument cast or 2) bell size on front of instrument so that if we are making a British band we make cornets discussed later with bugles and we also use a large Bell on our college bands as a mellophone.

The flugel horn is only different from the cornet by the large bell on the front. I criticize most makers for not attempting to make these differences in their instruments. It is either they don't pay attention to the historical accuracy or haven't the manufacturing ability to make different sizes. There are however reasonable problems with scale when attempting to make item 6 verses 7, this I can accept.

Remember, the fun is in the search!

The custom made band representing retired band members from the 1950's World championship Preston Scout House Band drums and bugles has three variations left to right a)flugel horn b)cornet, c) trumpet

Another of my big ten brass bands representing Purdues Brass section shows flugel horns, trumpets, mellophones and other brass instruments.