Timbre of Trumpet Mutes

I shoved the Timbre app in front of Adam and got him to play a note with each of his mutes to see what they looked like.


Here is an unmuted C. The indicated note is concert pitch. I forgot to change it. The harmonic at the 5th is quite strong.

Next was a straight mute made of metal. Slightly harsher tone, fits with the increase in the number of harmonics.


Cup Mute. This is a much mellower sound. Interestingly, the shape is not dissimilar to the Clarinet Timbre shape.

It's got a noticeably lower pitch.

Cup Mute - Trumpet
Cup Mute - Trumpet

Next was the Harmon mute. This is a kind of tinny sound. More harmonics here.

Harmon mute with stem
Harmon Mute Timbre

Next was the Harmon mute without the stem, or as Adam prefers, "The Thingy". This is a hugely different Timbre. There are lots and lots of harmonics here.

Harmon Mute - No Stem
Harmon Mute Timbre without stem

Trumpet mutes make the higher harmonics more prominent in different ways to make the distinctive sound of each mute. The cup mute is a bit on an exception, having the reverse effect.

In order of dissonance we have:

  1. Harmon - no stem (most dissonant)
  2. Harmon - with stem
  3. Straight Mute
  4. No Mute
  5. Cup Mute (most mellow)

All have their place, and I've learnt a lot about mutes in the process of trying this.

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