The trumpet dates back as far as 1500 BC and earlier. Trumpets from this period were found in Egyptian tombs, in Scandinavia, and in China. They were made of different metals from bronze to silver. Trumpets were depicted in art from Peru dating back to 300 AD. In the medieval times, the craft and instruction of the trumpet was highly guarded and only people held in high esteem could learn it. Trumpets were used in the military during this time to command their army.
Towards the end of the Medieval period into the Renaissance, the design of the trumpet improved, making it a more useful musical instrument. This trumpet, called the natural trumpet, consisted of a single coil tube so the player could only play overtones within one key. In order for a player to change keys they would have to alter crooks in the trumpet. Keyed trumpets were developed to allow for chromatic notes to be played, but the design was not used long because the notes wouldn’t play in tune. The first valved trumpets were invented in 1796 but revamped and patented in 1818 by Friedrich Bluhmel and Heinrich Stölzel; however, symphonies in France and scores composed by Mozart and Beethoven were still written for the natural trumpet. It wasn’t until the 20th century the valved trumpet was used and parts were written for it.
Trumpets are in the brass family and made from soft metal.