Musical innovation: the instruments making an impact

Playing a tune for the trumpet

In most bands today, you will find a trumpet. They originated from many ancestors in history. The oldest known trumpet, that has no keys, is called the Alphorn. This trumpet was created originally from a single trunk of one tree. It was famous for the big body style and the loud sound it generated. The Alphorn trumpet is still used, even today in some parts of the world, as a prop for herding cattle. Many years ago, communities would also use the sound to call meetings or church services to order.

During the 17th century, Charles Clagget redesigned the trumpet to be more realistic for its uses. The horn became smaller and actually could project a sound that would travel farther. This was known as the rotary horn, or trumpet. In the year of 1788, Clagget invented valves and introduced them onto the trumpet, this allowed the user to generate more tones from the musical instrument.

Shortly after in 1801, in Vienna, the innovator Windinger placed a total of five rotary keys onto the trumpet. Fredrick Bluemel was also partnered and was responsible for this improvement.

As the instrument continued to progress, ‘shepherds crooks’ were designed, allowing a more even and mellow tune to be created. Several years later, a tuning device was placed on the trumpet. These were more inventions that occurred around the 17th century and it was during this time that bands and Orchestras would play the trumpet for the important politicians of their day.

Many scientists believe that trumpets were used as early as 2000BC as fossilized bone horns are known to have been discovered. Some cave walls had pictures of an instrument that we now call a trumpet, these date as far back as Mesopotamia in 2700 BC. Many Kings and Queens were announced following a trumpet sound and the trumpet soon became a vital instrument for both noble and important people in history. Its loud sound was thought to make all people below them to stand in order and heed their speeches.

King Tutankhamun had thousands of trumpets play for him during his reign. This instrument is clearly recognized as a nobleman in the instrument world. For many years, only those of a noble descent were allowed to learn how to play the instrument and were the only ones allowed to play this instrument in public.

Get on your feet for the guitar

The most commonly used instrument used today would be no other than the guitar. It’s so widely used and popular because it’s actually extremely easy to pick up and use. None of the music that you hear today, or even yesterday for that matter, would ever sound anything close to what you hear it as had any form of a guitar not been used to push the sound of the track forward.

In 1779, Gaetano Vinaccia created the guitar in its earliest form. Vinaccia’s family was famous for their crafting of mandolins and he wanted to try something a little different with the mandolin formula. So technically, this guitar was actually a mandolin in its first stage of play.

It wasn’t until the 1850’s that the new “mandolin” would start to become its own instrument. At this point, inventor Antonio Torres Jurado added his own attachments to the instrument to help differentiate it from the mandolin. He then named it the Guitar. Jurado was Spanish, making Spain the country where the guitar was first distinguished as being its own instrument and was used to help define the Spanish culture and its musical endeavors.

Of course, the progression of the instrument would not end with Jurado. Many years later in 1936, a man named George Beauchamp took the same concepts implemented by Jurado a step further by creating the electric guitar. The electric guitar is what gives songs that very interesting sound you hear so much in today’s music by the world’s most popular artists and bands. Who would have guessed it all began in a small mandolin shop in 1779?


© 2018 Wilson Gunn