The Microtonal Trumpet


Stephen Altoft, performs on his microtonal trumpet

Microtonal trumpets date back to the early twentieth century and there are surviving examples in the museums in Odessa and Prague.

The Microtonal Trumpet Project, which began in 1998, is a systemically researched and documented project between Donald Bousted, composer and Stephen Altoft, trumpeter.

Since 1998, the project has expanded exponentially both in the development of ideas, modified instruments and in the creation of new music.

You Tube Playlist

Stephen and Donald have presented the project at:

The University of Surrey, The Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, York University, The University of Bristol, Brunel University, The University of Huddersfield, The University of Leeds, Keele University, The University of Aberdeen, UK MicroFest’s 1-4 (all UK), Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg, (Germany), Fondation Royaumont (France), Hochschule für Kunst Bern (Switzerland), Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg (Germany) EUROMicroFest 2013 and Napier University, Scotland.

The Microtonal Trumpet, to date, has been concerned with playing quarter-tones (24-div) and eighth-tones (48-div) on a standard 3-valve trumpet and, using a specially constructed conversion kit, quarter-tone and 19 equal divisions of the octave (19-div).

19-div valve designed for Stephen’s Bb concert trumpet

The project, as documented, is based around 24 microtonal studies which are published in score and CD form. These publications are available from:

The Yasser Collection CD

In order to explore the 19-div tuning on the trumpet, Stephen commissioned 19 solo pieces from 17 international composers. These pieces, called “The Yasser Collection” can be ordered through Tutti. Download the full yasser-programme-notes. We are hoping to release a second ‘Yasser Collection’ CD in the early part of 2018.

A FREE pdf book (covering a full description of the microtonal valve mechanisms) and a number of free resources (including fingering charts in 19-, 24- and 48-div) are available on request.  We will automatically put you on our mailing list unless you ask us not to.