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Performer Guides: Trumpet

Use this guide to find resources for music performance, including LC call number browsing ranges for repertoire, books, and journals..

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Finding Repertoire for the Trumpet:

If you're looking for new repertoire to perform, it is often helpful to browse the Music Library's scores. The following call number ranges are for trumpet music; individual works within these numbers are arranged alphabetically by composer or arranger:

  • M85-M89, Trumpet alone
  • M260-M261, Trumpet and piano
  • M357.2, Brass trios
  • M557.4, Brass quintets
  • M1030, Trumpet with orchestra (full score)
  • M1031, Trumpet with orchestra (piano reduction)
  • M1130, Trumpet with string orchestra (full score)
  • M1131, Trumpet with string orchestra (piano reduction)
  • M1366, Jazz ensembles

Excerpts, etudes, and instructional materials are classified in the MT range and housed in the same location as books:

  • MT440, General works
  • MT442, Systems and methods
  • MT445, Studies and exercises
  • MT446, Orchestral studies (excerpts)

Digital Score Apps:

The Wilson Music Library provides Blair students, faculty, and staff with free access to nkoda and Henle through our subscription. Follow the instructions below to start using these popular apps today.

Selected Books on the Trumpet and Trumpet Players:

Cover of The Trumpet with a black and white photograph of Louis Armstrong.

The Trumpet

In the first major book devoted to the trumpet in more than two decades, John Wallace and Alexander McGrattan trace the surprising evolution and colorful performance history of one of the world's oldest instruments. They chart the introduction of the trumpet and its family into art music, and its rise to prominence as a solo instrument, from the Baroque "golden age," through the advent of valved brass instruments in the nineteenth century, and the trumpet's renaissance in the jazz age. The authors offer abundant insights into the trumpet's repertoire, with detailed analyses of works by Haydn, Handel, and Bach, and fresh material on the importance of jazz and influential jazz trumpeters for the reemergence of the trumpet as a solo instrument in classical music today. 

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Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of the Jazz Trumpet

(Book). This engaging book unveils the personal and musical lives of 479 brilliant jazz trumpeters, past and present, through intimate biographical profiles that describe each artist's unique traits, intriguing life experiences, relationships with other influential players, career milestones and key recordings. Artist covered include: Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Arturo Sandoval, Red Allen, Chet Baker, Bunny Berrigan, Roy Eldridge, Freddie Hubbard, Freddie Keppard, Lee Morgan, Fats Navarro, King Oliver and hundreds of others plus jazz figures who seem unlikely to have recorded on trumpet but did, such as Benny Goodman and Mose Allison. A fascinating read!

Plain burgundy cover of The Last Trumpet with title in gold.

The Last Trumpet: A History of the English Slide Trumpet

The nineteenth-century English slide trumpet was the last trumpet with the traditional sound of the old classic trumpet. The instrument was essentially a natural trumpet to which had been added a movable slide with a return mechanism. It was England's standard orchestral trumpet, despite the dominance of natural and, ultimately, valved instruments elsewhere, and it remained in use by leading English players until the last years of the century. The slide trumpet's dominating role in nineteenth-century English orchestral playing has been well documented, but until now, the use of the instrument in solo and ensemble music has been given only superficial consideration. Art Brownlow's study is a new and thorough assessment of the slide trumpet. It is the first comprehensive examination of the orchestral, ensemble and solo literature written for this instrument. 

White cover of the Modern Trumpet Player with a picture of a trumpet.

Dictionary for the Modern Trumpet Player

Titles in Dictionaries for the Modern Musician series offer both the novice and the advanced artist key information designed to convey the field of study and performance for a major instrument or instrument class, as well as the workings of musicians in areas from conducting to composing. Unlike other encyclopedic works, contributions to this series focus primarily on the knowledge required by the contemporary musical student or performer. Each dictionary covers topics from instrument parts to playing technique and major works to key figures. A must-have for any musician's personal library Trumpeters today perform a vast repertoire of musical material spanning 500 years, much of it in a variety of styles and even on a number of related instruments. In A Dictionary for the Modern Trumpet Player, scholar and performer, Elisa Koehler has created a key reference work that addresses all of the instruments in the high brass family, providing ready answers to issues that trumpeters, conductors, and musicians commonly--and sometimes not so commonly--encounter. 

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Trumpet Greats: A Biographical Dictionary

Gray cover of Mr. Trumpet with a black and white photograph of Roland Bernard

Mr. Trumpet: The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Bunny Berigan

The life of jazz trumpeter Roland Bernard "Bunny" Berigan (1908-1942) resembles nothing less than an ancient Greek tragedy: a heroic figure who rises from obscurity to dizzying heights, touches greatness, becomes ensnared by circumstances, and comes to a disastrous early end. Berigan was intimately involved in the commercial music business of the 1930s and 1940s in New York City. Berigan was a charismatic performer, one of the few musicians in the history of jazz to advance the art. His trumpet artistry made a deep and lasting impression on almost everyone who heard him play, while the body of recorded work he left continues to evoke a wide range of emotions in those who hear it.Too often writings about the Swing Era skip over the interrelationship between the music business and the music that the giants of jazz created. In Mr. Trumpet: The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Bunny Berigan, Michael Zirpolo takes on this difficult task, exploring connections between the business of music and contemporary music makers and the culture of social dancing that drove it all. 

Pale blue cover of Valved Brass with a picture of a predecessor to the trombone.

Valved Brass: The History of an Invention

In the history of brass instruments, few developments can rival the early nineteenth-century invention of the valve for enduring significance. Nevertheless, the acceptance of valved brass instruments proved controversial, as newspapers and other documents repeatedly attest. Christian Ahrens, (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) in his important monograph, Eine Erfindung und ihre Folgen: Blechblasinstrumente mit Ventilen (1986), devotes considerable attention to this heated controversy, as he traces the early use of valved brass instruments in the realms of art music, military music, and Volksmusik. Stressing social and aesthetic issues over the more familiar mechanical aspects, the author draws on a rich body of journalistic source material to detail a compelling reception history.

Orange, black, and white cover of Trompeta.

Trompeta: Chappottín, Chocolate, and the Afro-Cuban Trumpet Style

Afro-Cuban music evolved into one of the great musical traditions of the 20th century. This volume provides a comprehensive history of mainstream Cuban music, examining the music of all its eras from the perspective of two seminal trumpet players: Felix Chappottin and Alfredo Chocolate Armenteros. One or the other was present at almost every significant turning point in the stylistic development of Cuban music. An overview of the entire Afro-Cuban genre and its development is provided, as well as an in-depth examination of both Chappottin's and Armenteros' performance styles.

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Influence and Assimilation in Louis Armstrong's Cornet and Trumpet Work (1923-1928)

This study examines Armstrong's cornet and trumpet work during his most innovative period, 1923-1928, with a view to laying bare the sources of some of the impluses which contribute to the great outburst of emotion and variety of styles that inform that work. Analysis of the styles of contemporaries such as Bunk Johnson, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, Bessie Smith, Bix Beiderbecke, Earl Hines and others reveals characteristics which affected Armstrong. Influences such as white bands, opera and radion, minor modality, other compositions and the desire for anonymity are also treated.

Burgundy cover of Handel's Trumpeter with title in gold lettering.

Handel's Trumpeter: The Diary of John Grano

The Grano diary is one of the treasures of the Bodleian Library's Rawlinson collection of manuscripts. It was written by a musician who had worked under the direction of George Frederick Handel at the opera house in London's Haymarket. From 30 May 1728 to 23September 1729-the exact period of the diary-he was a prisoner for debt in the Marshalsea, that curious institution which gave the pensioned and relatively privileged inmates of the Master's Side a certain freedom to come and go-and to entertain the friends who were drawn here by sociability, compassion or the desire to test its louche reputation. Within this framework, John Baptist Grano's diary becomes a record of social manoeuvring, but with the underlying theme of a man's attempt to salvage his career and reestablish himself in the world outside the prison gate.

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Twentieth-Century Music for Trumpet and Organ

The Real Ambassadors: Dave and Iola Brubeck and Louis Armstrong Challenge Segregation

Keith Hatschek tells the story of three determined artists: Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Iola Brubeck and the stand they took against segregation by writing and performing a jazz musical titled The Real Ambassadors. First conceived by the Brubecks in 1956, the musical's journey to the stage for its 1962 premiere tracks extraordinary twists and turns across the backdrop of the civil rights movement. A variety of colorful characters, from Broadway impresarios to gang-connected managers, surface in the compelling storyline. During the Cold War, the US State Department enlisted some of America's greatest musicians to serve as jazz ambassadors, touring the world to trumpet a so-called "free society." Honored as celebrities abroad, the jazz ambassadors, who were overwhelmingly African Americans, returned home to racial discrimination and deferred dreams. The Brubecks used this double standard as the central message for the musical, deploying humor and pathos to share perspectives on American values. On September 23, 1962, The Real Ambassadors's stunning debut moved a packed arena at the Monterey Jazz Festival to laughter, joy, and tears. Although critics unanimously hailed the performance, it sadly became a footnote in cast members' bios. The enormous cost of reassembling the star-studded cast made the creation impossible to stage and tour. However, The Real Ambassadors: Dave and Iola Brubeck and Louis Armstrong Challenge Segregation caps this jazz story by detailing how the show was triumphantly revived in 2013 by the Detroit Jazz Festival and in 2014 by Jazz at Lincoln Center. This reaffirmed the musical's place as an integral part of America's jazz history and served as an important reminder of how artists' voices are a powerful force for social change.

Desperado: An Autobiography

Tomasz Stanko is arguably the greatest jazz musician Poland has ever produced. His career spanned almost 60 years until his death in 2018. A visionary trumpeter and composer, a protege of Krzysztof Komeda and a colleague of musicians from Poland, Sweden, Norway, Britain, Cuba and the USA, his impact on jazz internationally was profound, proving that jazz was not exclusively an American art form but truly world-wide. In 2014 he was awarded the Polytika Passport in Poland, the Prix de musician European in Paris and the Preis der deutschen schallplattenkritik. The book is a no-holds-barred extended interview with broadcaster Rafal Ksiezyk originally published in Polish by Wydawnictwo Literackie.

Bunny Berigan: Elusive Legend of Jazz

The accomplishments of seminal jazz trumpeter Bernard Bunny Berigan have secured his place in the annals of American musical history. In his short lifetime, Berigan performed more than 600 recordings and achieved national as well as international success. He served as a direct link between Louis Armstrong and those who developed form his roots - Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Wynton Marsalis and others. Berigan and his soaring trumpet catapulted the Benny Goodman band, along with the rest of the country, into the Swing Era and assured Goodman's coronation as the King of Swing. Berigan's uninhibited jazz style inspired and dominated every group with which he played, including the bands of Hal Kemp, Paul Whiteman and Tommy Dorsey. His great technical skills and instant reading ability made him a coveted studio player for such vocalists as Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, and Lee Wiley.

Roy Eldridge - Little Jazz Giant

Roy Eldridge, Little Jazz Giant is the first biography of the spectacular trumpeter, Roy 'Little Jazz' Eldridge, whose style is universally recognised as the all-important link between the playing of Louis Armstrong and the achievements of modernist, Dizzy Gillespie. The indignities he experienced and overcame during the 1940s while working in otherwise all-white ensembles proved he was as bold a social pioneer as he was a performer.

KD a Jazz Biography

Written in tightly constructed rhymed quatrains, this is the first biography of internationally acclaimed Texas jazz trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Beginning in 1963 with Dorham's recordings in Denmark, this book-length poem traces the story of the Texan's career performing with the greatest musicians of the bop and hard bop eras in jazz history-including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. Also discussing extensive traveling as a musician and his lamentably short-lived group the Jazz Prophets, this account demonstrates why Dorham remains something of a cult figure despite his premature death at age 48.

Better Days Will Come Again: the Life of Arthur Briggs, Jazz Genius of Harlem, Paris, and a Nazi Prison Camp

Arthur Briggs's life was Homeric in scope. Born on the tiny island of Grenada, he set sail for Harlem during the Renaissance, then to Europe in the aftermath of World War I, where he was among the first pioneers to introduce jazz music to the world. During the legendary Jazz Age in Paris, Briggs's trumpet provided the soundtrack while Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Lost Generation got drunk. By the 1930s, Briggs was considered "the Louis Armstrong of Paris," and was the peer of the greatest names of his time, from Josephine Baker to Django Reinhardt. Even during the Great Depression, he was secure as "the greatest trumpeter in Europe." He did not, however, heed warnings to leave Paris before it fell to the Nazis, and in 1940, he was arrested and sent to the prison camp at Saint Denis. What happened at that camp, and the role Briggs played in it, is truly unforgettable. Better Days Will Come Again, based on groundbreaking research and including unprecedented access to Briggs's oral memoir, is a crucial document of jazz history, a fast-paced epic, and an entirely original tale of survival.

Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography

In a counterpoint to Davis' autobiography, Carr provides a balanced portrait of one of the undisputed cultural icons of the 20th century. Photos.

Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis: A Twentieth-Century Transnational Biography

This book addresses how Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis were distinctively global symbols of threatening and non-threatening black-transnational masculinity, reintroducing jazz to its international routes and challenging US exceptionalist definitions of jazz as uniquely American. Noting African-American jazz performers' shifting racial, gender, sexual, class, national, and transnational formations and representative of jazz's international histories, this book centers Armstrong, Ellington, and Davis in debates over US popular-musical exceptionalism, noting the ways these musicians have been a part of definitions of jazz as a jingoistic and exclusively US form of popular culture. Armstrong, Ellington, and Davis performed groundbreaking jazz and lived their lives in radically contrasting ways, acting as countercultural and conservative jazz icons, disturbing claims of the musical culture as distinctly American throughout the twentieth century, from the 1920s Jazz Age to the 1930s Great Depression, the cultural Cold War, and the Reagan Era. As each pushed jazz into creative and alternative realms, Armstrong, Ellington, and Davis fused jazz with transnational traditions and genres. Without them, jazz would lack some of its most innovative, challenging, and aesthetically pleasing sounds. Book jacket.