What Is the Difference in Trumpet Colors?

by Sean Russell
The trumpet is available in several colors.

The trumpet is available in several colors.

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A trumpet provides a clear sound that works well either in a group or by itself. Like most musical instruments, the material used in a trumpet's creation plays a large part in the overall sound of the instrument. These materials are often different colors naturally, but can also be plated or finished with lacquer or metal. While color technically has no effect and lacquer has a negligible effect on the sound of the instrument, the plate and core material used can change the sound of a trumpet drastically.

Building Material

One aspect of a trumpet that affects its color in a major way is the material that it is made from. Although the trumpet is regarded as a brass instrument, trumpets are also occasionally made from silver and gold. The color of these metals differ slightly, with brass appearing slightly brighter and less warm than gold, and silver appearing without any yellow. Although the color itself has no effect on the sound, gold and silver have a more delicate and vibrant sound than that of brass. Ambronze, a brass alloy specially designed to have a deep and rich sound, is also sometimes used in the construction of trumpets. Like its sound, the color of ambronze is darker and warmer toned than polished brass.

Age

Another key to the look of a trumpet is its age. As a trumpet is used, it will become slightly worn. This wear can cause the finish or polish to dull, creating a warmer look. Unless the wear on the trumpet over time is extensive, the age of the trumpet will not affect the sound noticeably as long as the trumpet parts remain well oiled and maintained.

Finish

Of course, simple metallic colored trumpets are not the only ones available on the market. Trumpets that have been colored red, blue, green and orange have been finished with a mist of lacquer after the production process is complete. This material is designed to cover the outside of the trumpet as well as inner parts of the horn. The lightness of this material means it has little effect on the overall sound of the instrument.

Plating

Although most trumpets are made from brass, many are plated with a different metal, such as gold, silver or nickel. These change the color of the trumpet, making it more silver, more gold or glossier. Unlike finish, plate is a hardened metal that can change the resonance of the trumpet and affect the sound.

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