In Wagner’s “Rule, Britannia”, the orchestration calls for two trumpets.

trumpets I’ve had no luck searching for what “vent.” and “ord.” mean. “Open” and “muted”, or ...?

  • 1
    I trust on my feeling for languages and looked up ventura and ordinata but couldn’t find something reasonable. Now I’m sure vent stands for ventil and ord. = ordinaria. Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 18:58
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    Even this a very rare problem I vote for it as I didn’t know the answer quite promptly. Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


Vent. is an abbreviation for Ventil, which is the German for valve.

Ord. probably denotes ordinary, for non-valved trumpets, i.e. bugles.

If you look through the Vent. parts, they do feature chromatic notes, which would require valves. The Ord. parts are all bugle notes, except these bugles have a lowest open note which is an octave lower than today's common D trumpet.

  • I didn’t see your answer but now as I’ve posted mine and see yours I bet we are right. +1 Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 19:22
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    Dolmetsch agrees with you. Trumpet players should be aware that "ord" in the middle of a piece can mean to remove a previously inserted mute. Clearly not the case here. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 14:19

I just can guess:

Tromba ord. means ordinaria and will stand for natural trumpet.

Tromba vent. stands for ventil, these are piston trumpets with valves.

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