Working with One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust 2013

Playing traditional musical instruments, such as those used within orchestras, re-quires the full use of both hands and arms. This requirement hinders the participation of physically disabled people. The trumpet is an instrument which can be recommended in this scenario as it is possible to play one-handed. However, many notes require pitch correction through the used of valve slide, normally controlled by the second hand.

This project designed and implemented an electromechanical control system for the third valve slide of a trumpet to allow its position and usage to be controlled by a foot pedal. The prototype developed does not require any major modification to the trumpet to be installed, is self-contained and runs off a 12 Volt 3 Amp DC power supply.

In play testing the system allowed for a trumpet and the third valve slide to be played with one-hand. However, mechanical vibrations and issues of a vacuum forming in the valve slide, mean that further refinement is required. Even with these findings the play test results and technical measurements support that a refined system can aid in the development of a fully playable one-handed trumpet.