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Trumpet Valve Air Flow

The pitch of brass instruments is changed by the length of its tubing. The shorter the tubing, the higher the pitch of the note. On a brass instrument, a valve is a mechanism that, when in use, directs the air column along additional tubing inside the instrument, thus producing a different fundamental and harmonic series.

The illustrations below demonstrate how the air flows through a trumpet as each valve is depressed.

No valve pressed

1st Valve

2nd Valve

3rd Valve

1st & 2nd Valves

1st & 3rd Valves

2nd & 3rd Valves

1st, 2nd, & 3rd Valves