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I hope the image won't bother you guys.

As you can see, there's something attached to trumpet's mouth(?). Well I'm not a trumpet player because when I first heard the sound of that, it feels more authentic, more like 1940's sound.

What is it actually? And how to use it, is it just place the thing right there and play like normal?

  • 1
    The "mouth" of the trumpet you mention in your question is called the bell. The harmon mute is typically wrapped at the base with a strip of cork which makes it stay in place when inserted into the bell flare. You don't do anything noticeably different when playing a trumpet with the mute in, other than the resistance you feel is slightly different, but something you grow used to quickly. Mar 27, 2015 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


It's called a mute. Brass players place mutes in the bells of their instrument to affect it's volume and tone quality (timbre). There are several different kinds of mutes in existence, with different shapes and materials which produce different effects on the resulting sound. People have even used toilet plungers as mutes.

This video provides a great demonstration of various types of mutes, and their resulting sounds.

  • 3
    Specifically, it's a Harmon mute. Dec 30, 2014 at 5:24
  • 6
    Even more specifically, it's a Harmon mute with the stem removed. With the stem you can create a "wah-wah" effect by opening and closing the opening with your hand. Without the stem, it's locked in to a very characteristic sound that is metallic and a little bit tinny. It's a gorgeous sound that is especially associated with 40s Jazz, but is still very commonly used. Dec 30, 2014 at 13:45
  • Miles Davis used a Harmon mute with stem removed. Mar 11, 2020 at 12:46

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