Last night, I was watching a television special featuring American music. I noticed that a trumpet player in the band had something attached to her instrument. It appears that the valves of the trumpet are extended far below where they would normally end.

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What is the name of this attachment and what is its function?

EDIT: I was able to find a much clearer picture: enter image description here

The black sleeve around her arm leads me to believe that it is merely an accessibility device.

  • I never heard of an attachment to the valves. The instrument looks like a plain-vanilla Flugelhorn with piston valves to me.
    – guidot
    Jan 11, 2016 at 9:31
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    Who's the player? If you don't know, who's the band? (Might be able to find other images.) Jan 17, 2016 at 3:22
  • 6
    It isn't a flugel. Best theory seems to be that the girl's got something wrong with her hand or arm. An extension, screwed in place of the bottom valve cap, seems an excellent way of arranging a prosthetic device. You need two, to give torque. Three would be unnecessary,
    – Laurence
    Feb 13, 2016 at 19:47
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    There are trumpet attachments available to improve ergonomics, and valve weight systems that extend downward, but none to this extreme. It's safe to surmise that she's recovering from a broken arm or other such injury, and being very careful to not strain herself. In fact, why don't you find the source of the photo and email her (or her conductor)? Mar 23, 2016 at 19:12
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    @EverettSteed: that would make a fine answer. Her sleeve suggests she suffers some kind of injury. No need to be a broken arm, though, it could be strain from holding a trumpet several hours a day every day.
    – Gauthier
    Apr 6, 2016 at 11:53

1 Answer 1


From the description it sounds as if it is a fluid cup on the bottom of the valves. It would be there to prevent oil and saliva that would normally come out the bottom of the valves from dropping onto the floor. Purpose is for sanitary reasons.

  • Note that the liquid that you remove from brass instruments with the water key is more water from the player's breath that condensed in contact with the tubing, rather than saliva. Sure, there's saliva in the mix as well, but it's mostly water. Or so I wish to believe ;)
    – Gauthier
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:55
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    Further, there's no such liquid (salive/water) coming from the bottom of the valves. It'd be oil. And given the volume of the thing shown in the picture, that'd be a LOT of oil.
    – Gauthier
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:56

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