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The Tale of the Silver Trumpet

27 January 2021

A short video is now available on the College’s YouTube channel, explaining the history of Queen’s rare seventeenth-century silver trumpet and showing it in action, played by Crispian Steele-Perkins.

Queen’s members will be familiar with the traditional use of the trumpet to call everyone to dinner on formal occasions. In the video, Crispian explains that it is one of only about seven English trumpets that survive from the seventeenth century. Seventeen copies of the trumpet were made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, but Crispian thinks that this is the original.

Designed as a fanfare trumpet only, the instrument has no holes, slides or mechanical assistance and the trumpeter must vibrate their lips at the right speed to produce different notes. As Crispian demonstrates, however, it can still play very well in the right hands.

Watch 'The Tale of the Silver Trumpet' here.