What Are Trumpets Used For? (Explained For Beginners)

are used trumpets good
Written by Corey Morgan


Trumpets are used of a variety of reasons and are used by different categories of people and organizations, hence the use of a trumpet in different places and the sounds produced while it is in use determines the significance for the time being.

In this article, we will be sharing with you what you need to know about the various uses of the different types of trumpets and possibly why it is so.


Trumpets are used for a whole lot of reasons, and some of these reasons are listed in no particular order below and so include the following:

  1. Used in an ensemble
  2. Used in art music
  3. Used as a military instrument
  4. Used as hearing aids
  5. Used for building anticipation
  6. Used in solemn moments

These uses will be properly explained in the following successions below.

1. Used in an ensemble:

The various types of trumpets are often used in an ensemble; a jazz ensemble and a classic ensemble. Before explaining how the trumpet is used in a jazz ensemble or in a classic ensemble, it is important that we understand what an ensemble is.

An ensemble is generally a group of people who perform vocal music or instrumentals. More so, an ensemble is a musical group that goes by a name. So they perform either vocal music or instrumentals and the group is best identified by a name.

During the instrumental ensemble, the trumpet is usually an important instrument especially because of the melody it brings to the ensemble. It brings harmony to life in the jazz ensemble such that a jazz ensemble is not entirely complete without a trumpet sound. The melody and the harmony are deeply need for the intrinsic value they bring to music.

2. Used in art music:

The making of the trumpet is in itself an art, apart from being an art, it is also used in the art music. This may sound a little complicating or confusing right? I know. But trust me it is as easy to comprehend because the way it sounds is its typical implication. T

his is best seen in an orchestra. Although every form of music is an art as music is in itself an art, the orchestra best explains how music the trumpet is used in art music through the orchestra. To this effect, we will also look at the meaning or the idea of an orchestra.

That way, we are able to see how the various types or trumpet are used in art music. Or how the trumpet in general is used in art music. Orchestra is however the ensemble of many instrumentals as well as different families and even groups.

In the same vein, trumpet is used in art music when it is used by concert bands. Have you seen a concert band before? Not the regular brigade band, I mean a secular concert band. If you have, then you will definitely understand what I am saying about the use of trumpet in an art music like the concert band.

Like in the ensembles and in the orchestra, the trumpet like other brass instruments adds a different sound that harmonizes the overall sound produced by the team.

3. Used as a military instrument:

More so, it was used to facilitate communication in the military. Whether it was a retreat or an assembly, or a break, the natural trumpet was used to promote good communication in the military. It was a communication means that never failed in the military.

4. Used as Hearing Aids:

By the beginning of the seventeenth century, there was the making of an ear trumpet to improve the hearing organ of the deaf in the society. The ear trumpets are tabular or funneled in shape and are designed to collect sounds or waves for the ear.

At the time, they were used as hearing aids which strengthened the sound energy that came to the eardrum, and over time improved the hearing of both the deaf and those that were hard hearing.

This ear trumpet was mostly made from animal horns and a few other materials. More so, there is need to explain that the sound trumpet is different from the ear trumpet because there is no keen sound amplifier for sound trumpet. Today, a few other technological devices have been used to replace the ear trumpet well.

5. Used for building anticipation:

The trumpet is used in building anticipation in the mind of the people, so they get ready for something or they get an awareness and are conscious that something is about to happen. It could be an announcement, it could be an alert, or it could even be a warning, or even a signal to act. There are a few instances of the trumpet serving the purpose of building an anticipation.

We will go biblical a little bit to further illustrate this.

When the children of Israel as accounted in the book of Joshua chapter five marched round the wall of Jericho for six days, on the seventh day they were asked to march round and shout as soon as they hear the trumpet sound and the blast of the ram horns.

So the trumpet was to build an anticipation in them as well as alert them that it was time to shout, and on the seventh day, as they marched round the city walls, they waited on the trumpet just as they were instructed and as soon as they heard the sound of the trumpet, they let out a big shout and the walls of the city of Jericho came trembling and fell flat.

Another biblical illustration is seen in the book of Revelation, where the bible says that at the sound of the trumpet, the Son of man will appear in the clouds and the saints, both those who died in Christ Jesus and those who are living in Christ Jesus will join the Son of man in the clouds. Hence, the trumpet is used to make a call, getting the people’s attention to what is about to happen.

Away from the biblical examples, there are also other secular examples of the trumpet used to build anticipation. These are too many but only a few will be shared to avoid repetition as they all point to one thing.

During parades, like in the brigade or in the military, the trumpet is used to tell people that it is time to drum or parade as the case may be, so at the sound of the trumpet, people who are in position march out immediately.

The same is applicable in a choir. Sometimes, the sound of the trumpet is used for an intro before the vocalists begin, or used as an interlude, telling the vocalist to hold on for a while and letting the audience or the congregation fell the tune of the song and revel in the melody that the moment brings them.

Finally, trumpets could also be used to build anticipations in school sometimes. Say people are in their various classes, and the management desires to pass a general information, the buzzing sound of the trumpet may go off to alert the people that an announcement is about to be made.

6. Used in solemn moments:

Have you been to a solemn assembly or to a burial service, or to a burial memorial before? There are moments of silence that are ushered in with just the sound of the piano or the sound of the trumpet, filling the atmosphere with calmness and filling the people with awe.

In such places, one does not need to make any further sounds as the messages sent already indicate that one needs to be silent at the moment. It could last for a period of five minutes or thirty minutes or even one hour, depending on the situation on ground and on the nature of the assembly. What is important is that the purpose is served.


The trumpet can be used for so many reasons, and so knowing how to use the trumpet and when to use it is important.