Many modern day trumpets are mass produced, but there are some companies that make professional trumpets using a variety of new and old techniques. With traditional techniques alongside 21st Century technology the modern day trumpets are equal to none. The level of technology within a brand depends of the size of the company. Machinery is specially made to produce individual parts for the instrument. A trumpet compromises of six different components the bell, valve block, valves, slides, lead pipe and the mouthpiece.
As seen in the clip above computers and robotic arms are dedicated to producing mouthpieces for the Yamaha Corporation, giving them unparalleled consistency. This is just one part of the Yamaha line that is automated but the instrument is still assembled by highly skilled craftsmen which is why each trumpet has its own unique personality.
A more traditional aspect in the production process is how manufacturers still hand produce the bell section. Below is a video that demonstrates how this trumpet bell is crafted and what techniques are used to construct each part.
Take a look at this video ‘How It’s Made: Trumpets’
Most of the other parts on the trumpet like the valve block and the lead pipe are made using a mixture of techniques. Once machinery has produced all the parts, they are then assembled by a production line of skilled workers. Once the trumpet has been constructed it is then in its ‘raw state’. The trumpet will then be polished and Lacquer or Plated depending on the customer’s request. An electrical current is ran through the instrument while the lacquering or plating process is undertaken as this encourages a even finish to the surface of the trumpet.
Technology can benefit the production of these instruments but should not be used as a replacement of the traditional craftsman as I believe this would take the personality out of each trumpet. It will be interesting to see how the industry will change over the next decade and what technologies will be adapted and/or created to fuel the musical instrument market.