The bugle is a small brass instrument that is basically a natural horn, because it has no valves or keys. One might wonder how the pitch is altered without any keys or valves; the pitch can be altered by controlling the air that the musician is blowing into the horn through closed lips. Blowing through closed lips is what creates the vibrations that make the sound. Of course, even with the ability to alter pitch manually without keys or valves, the instrument is fairly limited to a smaller range of notes it can make; which appears to be five notes at most.
The bugle is a fairly simple instrument that was originally developed from instruments like the horn. The brass bugle has not changed much and still appears more or less the same today as it did when the first brass bugles were first created, though they have altered in appearance quite a bit from the original horns that came before the brass bugle.
It would appear that it was and is most often used by the military in marching bands or signal calls that need to be made. Though it has been used in other types of music, it does not appear to be a brass instrument that is used as often as others. Its limited range, tone and pitch is very commanding and bold; this could be the reason why it is more popular in the military and marching bands.
It may not be the first instrument that a new musician will choose to learn how to play. The bugle is simple in construction, and it only requires a person to control the amount of air that they blow into the instrument, but it does take some time and practice to be able to get the control they need. Still, it might not be an attractive instrument to lean how to play by many, but then it also depends on why they are learning to play the instrument, such as whether they are in a band and are limited to what instruments they can play.
School bands would be another way for young people to be exposed to the chance to play the bugle. The instrument is not overly expensive and the music is not too expensive either, so it is yet another brass instrument that can be an attractive choice for school bands to include in their class. It is also an instrument that can be relatively easy for people to find in used instrument stores, where the cost is a fraction of what it would be when new.
The bugle is also another brass instrument that has been known to be donated to schools by people who no longer have a use for their bugles, but who also want to show their support for exposing young people to music. Some people do enjoy playing this particular instrument; some even find it a little challenging, especially if it is the first instrument they have ever learned how to play.
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