page 6b: Trumpets

Musical Instruments of Middle-earth:


Trumpets could be made from either animal horn or metal but had no valves, in any case. (Valves for brass instruments were not invented until the 1820's.) Because of that restriction, their range and tuning would correspond with some lower segment of the natural overtone series for resonant tubes. The trumpets of Rohan, and of the Shire (if any), would almost certainly be of animal horn, as both Boromir's (of Gondor) ancient family horn and the horn given to Merry in Rohan were. Some Gondorian and/or Numenorian trumpets may well have been fashioned of brass or silver. I know of only one reference to Elves playing trumpets, and that was at the dawn of the First age of the Sun, when Fingolfin's company had just finished crossing the Helcaraxe. It is not made clear of what sort those trumpets were nor whether they played melodies or only sounded a blast; I tend toward the latter opinion.





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Written by David J. Finnamore
Orlando, FL, USA

Page last updated January 4, 2000