One of my fanfare trumpets. This is a real musical instrument.
I make these Baroque Trumpets, Natural Trumpets and Fanfare Trumpets for use in Renaissance Festivals.
They are played at the jousts, knighting and crowning ceremonies. These instruments are 51 – 54 inches long depending on the flare of the bell that is used. They use trumpet mouthpieces (the mouthpiece is not included). For purposes of strength the instrument is double walled. This outside wall not only makes it sturdy (I have used mine in combat as a staff) but it also smooths out the line as it goes from the mouthpiece to the bell. The inner tubing is all copper and is what makes the trumpet play. The outside tubing is for appearance only.
This valve-less Natural Trumpet will play any and all bugle calls. The sound is very good due to the double wall construction.
Horns are made using used bell sections from other instruments. ALL have small dents and a patina. Great for that Real Ren Faire flavor. They are all raw copper and raw brass. NO finish.
In the picture above you see 2 Bb Trumpets to show the scale. Next there are 2 Fanfare Trumpets. Finally a wall hanger toy (that I bought on ebay). This shows the difference between a real playing instrument and a new years noise maker.
I got this letter from a man who bought one of these horns.
Dear Pops . . .
I received the fanfare trumpet the other day and couldn’t be happier. It plays even better than I had hoped, even with me at the other end andan ancient Olds 3 mouthpiece. I couldn’t believe the “true”trumpet sound as opposed to the “flat”, dull sound I am used to hearingfrom horns such as these. I once played in an All State Concert Band(centuries ago) under the direction of Leonard B.Smith, and he did asolo with a coach horn called “Coach Horn Gallop.” That’s the only othertime I heard a coach horn with a true tone.
Making a Fanfare Trumpet
You can make your own for about $ 100
- Take the bell off of an old ruined trumpet (some store may donate one or buy an old horn on ebay for $ 30.)
- You can use the lead-pipe from the old trumpet. Connect to a few inches of 3/8 ID inch pipe. (I make my lead-pipes from 3/8 inch pipe and taper it for the mouthpiece.)
- To this add a 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch expander/reducer fitting.
- The main section will be 1/2 inch pipe. The length here will vary due to how long the bell section you have is (after removing from the old horn.).
- The overall horn length should be 54 inches total.
- Connect the bell to a few inches of 3/4 inch pipe or a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch reducer.
- The fittings placed after the lead-pipe (after 11 inches) and before the bell (in front of (10-11 inches) fall in a dead place. Far enough away from tapers so that they do not effect the sound of the horn.
- Get a section of 3/4 inch pipe to cover the works (from lead-pipe end to bell) if you want a smoother look. I wrap leather laces over the spot where the pipe connects to the bell.
- Epoxy will work fine for connecting the fittings. (The one I play and fight with at Ren Faires is only taped and has survived 5 years. I use it as a weapon against swords and staffs.)
- If you use copper tubing and a good bell it will sound like an expensive trumpet.
I’ve made them in Bass Bb, Bass D, Bass Eb, Bass F, Bb, B, C, F and piccolo Bb.
To be period instruments they would be pressure fitted and sealed in wax NOT soldered.
If you plan to have several played in a group together they NEED tuning bits like a Flugelhorn or piccolo trumpet uses. They should be tuned slightly sharp and have a lot of play in the tuning bits.
Trumpet bells work well for Bb, B, C. But a smaller bell like a cornet bell is needed for the Eb. And a really small bell for the piccolo.
I’ve made scores of them for race tracks and Ren Faires. It is VERY easy to make one that sounds fine but a little tricky to make it play all the harmonics in tune. (Sorry I can’t be much more specific but I still have to take them apart and lengthen the 1/2 section or the lead-pipe after making one; to get it in tune. I’ve spent literally days tuning them before.)
The Bass Bugle (Baroque Trumpets or Natural Trumpets can also be made.)
I made these for use at Renaissance Fairs. That is the reason these use a Trombone bell. I needed more volume for outside. They are played at parades, jousts and weddings. These are long enough to be more chromatic in the upper register. So besides normal bugle calls some real music can be played in the upper register. I’ve played real wedding music on these (Prince of Denmark).
Horns are made using used bell sections from other instruments. (These are usually old and have some small dents. Perfect for that REAL Ren Faire look.)
There are 2 models one using a Trombone mouthpiece and one using a trumpet mouthpiece. The trumpet model has extra internal tubing to made the bore size compatible with the mouthpiece.
They are UNfinished or sometimes very old lacquer.
To make Baroque Trumpets or Natural Trumpets you would use a bell from one of those fake Civil War Bugles. (The taper is better for a more authentic instrument.)
The Mini Bugle
I made some for my kids. Then I sent some to friends of mine. These are now being played during solos at Jazz gigs. They are mouthpiece mega-phones. They do NOT sound like real trumpets since they are only a few inches long. They are however quite loud and they are chromatic and can also do 1/4 tones (if you can buzz them.)
These come with an attached mouthpiece that has been altered to make the bugle play.
I have to ruin a mpc to make them work. When I used Condor Horns (80 year old model T horns) the horn itself could cost 100 dollars on ebay. I started using clown horns because they are cheaper.