Die Thailand Königs-Palast-Trompeten

22 Copies of the Thai-Trumpets

22 Copies of the Thai-Trumpets

Im Jahr 1999 besuchte Prof. Dr. Sugree Charoensook vom „College of Music Mahidol University“ von der Mahidol Universität in Bankok, Thailand, unser Haus. Er zeigte eine historische Naturtrompete und gab uns die Gelegenheit zur eingehenden Untersuchung.
Dr. Charoensook erklärte, daß dieses Exemplar der 22 königlichen Palasttrompeten seine Wurzeln im 17. Jahrhundert habe, durch das Geschenk einer Trompete des französischen Königs Louis XiV an den König von Thailand.
Eine Trompete mit Königlichem Wappen und Ständer repräsentierte in damaliger Zeit eine hohen repräsentativen Wert, der so weit ging, daß die Vorlage einer solchen Trompete bei einer Gerichtssitzung schon wie die Präsenz des Königs selbst verstanden wurde. Unser Haus erhielt den Auftrag dieses einmalige, heute noch lebendige Trompetenensemble mit 22 authentischen Kopien auszustatten.
Die Originale fanden Platz im Nationalmuseum.


In the year of 1999 Prof. Dr. Sugree Charoensook from „College of Music Mahidol University“, Bangkok, Thailand visited our company in Bremen. He brought an antique natural trumpet and gave our company the possibility to do researches on this instrument. Dr. Charoensook explained that this trumpet has it’s roots in 17th century. The French emperor Louis XIV gave a present to the Thailand King: a natural trumpet. This was a very high standard present in that time because European monarchs were proud to have trumpets in their treasury as well as to have trumpet players in their palace. These players had to play representative music at official dates and feasts. The trumpet sometimes itself represented the monarch’s presence for example at the Court of Justice.

The history of the natural trumpet reaches down to prehistoric times. The oldest known one is found in an Egyptian pyramid, 3000 years old, from solid silver, now presented in the Louvre Museum in Paris. This instrument has a straight shape. When the instruments became a longer length, which produced more partial tones, the length was brought in S-shape and later in 15th century it was brought in the traditional bugle form. Up to today this shape of the natural trumpet remained and is called the fanfare form. This trumpet type in fanfare form was very popular in renaissance and baroque time in European history. It was wonderful decorated in baroque time.

Description of the historic trumpet from Thailand

The shape in general of this historic trumpet signs it out as an natural trumpet. The pitch is in D, (á = 440 Hz.)
Some important points have to be described and researched.

  • The bell has a flat shap.
  • the garland is doubled up.
  • the garland inside is engraved with fine floral decorations.
  • the bellshape is special: the bell is hyperbolic shaped, but the end is narrowed again, so that it becomes a shape like an pastoral oboe.


  • The boss in the middle of the bellsection covers a break in the conicity of he bell measurement. There is a step covered by the boss.
  • There are braces which hold the lower tube and the mouthpipe together.
  • A wooden block covered with textile, which holds the bellpart and the mouthpipe together.
  • Original mouthpiece in brass.
  • The surface of the trumpet is covered with silvercolored lotion.
  • The mouthpiece shows yellowcolor from brass.
  • The measure of the pipes is comparable to European instruments of 16th/17th century(inside 11,0 mm).
  • The mouthpiece is very different from European style. The cupdiameter is more comparable with a cornetto (Zink) mouthpiece.
The sound of the instrument is a very delicate singing sound, which is perfectly produced by the original mouthpiece. The sound is between traditional German baroque-trumpet sound and the fine cornetto sound.

The shape of the bell-end, which is flat, is very uncommon. It remembers on the one side to Scandinavian prehistoric lur instruments.

The flat bell of these lurs was understood as a mirror, faced to the sun.

The flat bell-end also refers to Turkish and Tibetian influences. Some pastoral oboes also have a flat bell.

The special shape of the bell of the Thailand trumpet may be influenced by Asian culture in general.
In Europe there were two types of trumpets: In general the one is totally decorated with engravings, sculptures and floral elements. Wonderful in playing as well as for representation. The instruments with a more simple decoration with cut rings in the tubes are wonderful in playing. The view is more concentrated on the decorated garland.

The belldiameter from baroque instruments was less big then later models, because the bell was hammered out and so the metal became very thin. It had to be doubled with a garland. The flat bell has not this difficulty, so it can be made bigger. By the development of building- technique of this trumpet type the bell became bigger and bigger, so that a fanfare trumpet of last century shows a larger belldiameter.

From our point of view the trumpet from Thailand has antique parts a well as additions from later centuries. The original instrument was played and reconstructed permanently, so that we have an European type of instrument with Asiatic-influences, which became an individual type of trumpet. This type is not yet described in the literature about trumpets.

Thein brothers are well known for their researches and capacity in building historic brass instruments. According to historical techniques of 16th to 19th century of instrument making, as well as metallurgic analyses of historic brass material and it’s fabrication after historic methods. The company is well known for it’s skilled crafts and it’s capacity for individual realisation of specialities to build trumpets. (*6)

This company got the order to build 22 copies of the original Thailand trumpet.

2. Documentation


First step of building is to make a technical description and technical drawing of the original instrument.


Technical drawing of the Thailand trumpet.
Drawing from three views, so that every dimension can be showed.
After the technical drawing followed a list of parts, from which the total instrument is resembled.

3. Tools

The tools for manufacturing these parts have been manufactured in our workshop.

Steel mandrel and cylinders are produced on a lathe.

A steel mandrel for the bellsection is produced after the measurements.


The steel mandrel for the bellsection is formed.

4. Building


Bellsection from yellowbrass.

The end of the bell is edged so that the garland can be soldered afterwards.
A special tool is produced to edge up the bell-end.


5. Garland

The garland is from two sheets of brass which are fixed together.

Rings from yellowbrass cut out of big sheet of yellowbrass, 0,5 mm wall thickness.

From a steelbloc the decoration of the inner garland is cut out by handwork.

Cutting in the decoration of the inner garland.

A steelbloc is the mandrel to press the decoration in a sheet of brass.

The steelmendral for the inner garland.
A ring of yellowbrass after the pressure-work for the decoration.
The outer and the inner garland are ready to be fixed together by copper nails.

6. Boss

Two parts of the boss are soldered together.

Short tubes are prepared and soldered together.

Up: the boss
Down: the boss and the tubeparts.


7. Cylindrical tubes

The cylindrical tubes from yellowbrass are calibrated exactly after measurement.

Calibration of cylindrical tubes.
Cylindrical tubes are prepared for the „Zwingen“.

„Zwingen“ are short cylindrical tubes, which hold cylindrical parts together. In these „Zwingen“ are cut decoration-lines in a special rhythm. These decoration lines are parallel, the rhythm of „two one two“ at the end of the tube and two lines in the middle. These lines in total give a number of 72 lines on the total instrument. This is a reference to King Bhumibols 72th Birthday.

Cylindrical tubes are also needed to produce the bows.

8. Bows

Before bowing, the tubes have to be we weakened by fire and filled up with bowing-material. In former times it was filled with lead. Today we take a non-toxic/ hotwater melting metal.

Straight tubes are weakened by fire.
Preparation to be filled with bowing material.
Straight tubes filled with bowing material are bowed by hand in traditional method.
The bow and „Zwingen“ are soldered together in a construction-form,
which guaranties an exact copy for all the set of 22 instruments.
Bows with „Zwingen“ and mouthpipes in preparation.
Part by part is soldered together.

9. Braces

The braces are produced from three parts. The cylinder tube in the middle allows to make a distance like a telescope.

Part by part is soldered together with low melting tin material.
Mouthpipe and lower tube are soldered together with two bows.
One brace in the middle is holding the distance.

The parts of the bell section are prepared and soldered together.

Bell section (left) and cylindrical bellpart (right) with a step inside are covered by the boss.
All parts of the trumpets are prepared for the final assembling work.
Special fixing-tool holds the bell-section together with the garland for soldering work.
Final assembling work.

10. Assembling work

After soldering the parts and cleaning up the soldering-points the instruments is buffed.

Buffing the instrument at a Buffing-machine.
Handbuffing of the instrument.

After buffing the instrument is lacquered by epoxy crystal clear lacquer.

11. Wooden block

A wooden block between bell-section and mouthpipe is cut from light wood (Limba) and covered with dark blue textile. After fixing between bell-section and mouthpipe it is covered with a rope in gold and blue colour.

The wooden block and the rope fix the bellsection and mouthpipe.

12. King’s badge

The final work is to fix up the King’s badge on the bellpart of the instrument.

King’s badge.

13. Case

A special Case is prepared for protecting, transporting and climatisation of the trumpets.

Case made from wood with dark blue protection material, decorated with the King’s badge.
King’s badge on the trumpet case.


The inside of the case is covered with „Langflor Plüsch“.
This protects the instruments as well as it climatisates the instrument.

14. Musical experiences

After finishing 22 copies of the original Thailand trumpet, we had the chance to compare the instruments. The outer shape is the same. Musical experiences showed that the musical aspect of the original is conservated, the sound of the copies is a bit more fresh like an new instrument should be.

up: baroque trumpet, 17th century THEIN, copy after Haas down: fanfare trumpet, middle 20th century (Thein collection)

Down: the first Thein copy of the Thailand trumpet

15. Inscription

Engraving by handcraft on the side of the bell. The words mean: King Bhumibol celebration of sixth cycle 199


16. The Beautiful result

22 Copies of the Thai-Trumpets

22 Thein-copies of the Thailand trumpet with cases.


Happy about the work on the Thailand trumpets.
Max and Heinrich Thein with people from the Thein-company:
Sylvia Kairis, Urs Lauinger, Günther Poppe, Michael Köster, Daniel Kunst.



  1. Page 26, Catalogue 1,European Aerophones, Hamamatsu Museum of musical instruments (1995), No. A-0181 R
  2. Andreas Oldeberg, A Contribution to the history of the Scandinavian Bronze Lur in the Bronze and Iron ages, 1948, page 65
  3. Page 26, Catalogue 1, European Aerophones, Hamamatsu Museum of musical instruments 1995, No. A-0182 R
  4. Filippo Bonanni, Gabinetto Armonico, S. 15 Antique musical instruments and their players
  5. Gisela Csiba und Jozsef Csiba, Die Blechblasinstrumente in J.S. Bachs Werken, 1994
  6. Zur Geschichte der Renaissance-Posaune von Jörg Neuschel (1557) und zu ihrer Nachschöpfung, Heinrich Thein, 1981, Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis, 1981



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