The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded oblong shape.
There are several types of trumpet; the most common is a transposing instrument pitched in B♭ with a tubing length of about 134 cm. Earlier trumpets did not have valves, but modern instruments generally have either three piston valves or, more rarely, three rotary valves. Each valve increases the length of tubing when engaged, thereby lowering the pitch.