The Structure of the Trumpet
Differences between the piston system and rotary system
Subtle differences in timbre between the piston system and the rotary system
There are two types of valve: the piston valve and the rotary valve.
Let's first take a look at the piston valve, as this is probably familiar to most people.
Names of the parts of the piston-system trumpet
When the trumpeter presses the first piston, air flows through the first slide. Pressing the second piston or the third piston causes air to pass through the second or third slide respectively. Pressing a piston lengthens the path of the air. The principle of the piston is shown in the diagram below.
There is a set alignment in which the pistons should be inserted. The pistons of Yamaha trumpets are numbered in order of distance from the trumpeter when the instrument is held as to be played, with numerals 1, 2 and 3 engraved in sequence. The pistons should be inserted with the numerals facing toward the trumpeter.
Let's move on to the rotary valve. Please take a look at the valve section.
Names of the parts of the rotary-system trumpet
Overall, the rotary-system trumpet is flatter in shape and is also held in a different way from the valve-system trumpet, as if the trumpeter is nibbling on a hamburger. With his right hand, the trumpeter presses the three round levers.
Pressing the lever and turning the rotary 90° changes the flow of the air through the instrument. When the instrument is played, the tube will be short if the lever is not pressed, and long if the lever is pressed.
The rotary-system trumpet attained widespread use in countries such as Germany and Austria, while the piston-system trumpet became popular in France and elsewhere. The rotary-system trumpet has a characteristic mellow sound which blends well with strings and with other wind instruments. The piston-system trumpet boasts a flamboyant sound that stands out above the other instruments.