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Muted trumpet

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Muting a trumpet affects the tone and reduces the loudness of an instrument. Straight and cup mutes are commonly used in classical music while wah-wah (often called Harmon, after a popular brand), plunger (the "plumber's helper"), and bucket mutes, were developed (and commonly used) in jazz. Occasionally, all these mutes are used in both types of music. Big-band brass sections used hat mutes, flapping them in unison. Miles Davis often played through a Harmon Wah-Wah mute without the stem - this had a large hand in shaping the character of his sound, and greatly influenced the jazz community in such classic tracks as All Blues. There are also straight and cup mutes designed for the piccolo trumpet, but they are rarely used.

Though companies manufacture bowler-hat mutes and plunger mutes, their namesake objects were also their origins. It is still common practice to use a plunger-head or a hat to create a unique trumpet sound - the mutes imitate the sounds of the objects used by classic players who defined the genre.

Practice mutes are not used for performance but instead muffle the sound of the trumpet to avoid creating an undesired disturbance. Electronic practice mutes also exist - these nearly entirely stifle the sound of an instrumet and rely on a microphone inside the mute to deliver sound to the player's ears.

Prices for mutes vary drastically according to type, quality, and brand. Mutes will usually make the instrument play sharp. High quality mutes try to reduce intonation issues while maintaining the characteristic sound. Even so, it is often necessary for the trumpet to accommodate by adjusting the tuning slide.

This article was started using a Wikipedia trumpet article
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