The most common form of trumpet found in the modern age is a B-flat valve trumpet. There was a time when this particular instrument had a switch which could be used to convert it into an A trumpet but this was not found to be satisfactory and often lead to notes being out of tune. Besides the B-flat instrument, other types of trumpets in use today include:
- The C trumpet considered by many to be brilliant and flexible but lacking nobility of tone.
- The D trumpet – this is a small trumpet which particularly helps in the performance of trumpet parts in baroque music. This trumpet has been much used by Benjamin Britten (who tends to pitch his third trumpet habitually in D) and even in pop music such as the Beatles “Penny Lane”
- The Trumpet in F – invented by Rimsky-Korsakov and much used by the Russian school of composers i.e. Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov although this particular instrument is probably not used so much in the modern era.
- The Bass Trumpet in C – like the Wagner Tuba, this old instrument can be found in a modern orchestra. It was invented by Richard Wagner for the “Ring Cycle” and was used mainly as a doubling instrument. This trumpet is usually played by a trombone player as it is of similar pitch and using a similar mouthpiece. Despite the fact that this bass trumpet can be written for with many crooks, the bass trumpet in C is probably the most commonly used by orchestral players.