the natural trumpet

One of the earliest forms of the natural trumpet is the didgeridoo - an instrument native to the northern regions of Australia, and has been used for over a thousand years as a ceremonial instrument. Over the centuries, various forms of the trumpet have been in use by different cultures for religous ceremonies, as a signal instrument and by the military.

By the time of the early 17th century in Europe, the natural trumpet had entered a new era. Previously it was an instrument used in the military, for signals in training and warfare, as an alarm to warn against fires and foes in towns and cities, and a ceremonial instrument for the royal courts. Around the advent of the baroque era the trumpet began to show a new persona - that of an 'art instrument'. Some players learned to play more securely in the higher range of the instrument where the tones occur closer together - the clarino register. This, and the ability to bend and manipulate notes, enabled the player to play melodies. The culmination of the art of clarino playing can be seen in the dazzling trumpet repertoire of the high baroque. Works by Bach, Händel, Purcell, Biber and others showed the trumpet as an instrument capable of artistry and nuance.