Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Brian Lynch

Second Committee Member

Sam Pilafian

Third Committee Member

Dante Luciani

Fourth Committee Member

Brian Russell


Both methodologies and trumpet instructors frequently ignore the utilization of the glottis in trumpet performance. There are many trumpet players who show signs of improper glottal use when attempting to play in the high register by producing a pinched or weak sound. This occurs in both professional and beginning students who have difficulty in playing in a register they perceive to be high and generally may be caused by engaging the Valsalva maneuver. The purpose of this study is to identify problems surrounding the improper use of the glottis and develop practice strategies that promote its proper use in trumpet performance. This research explores medical problems that may be linked to improper use of the glottis as well as both musical problems and extended techniques related to glottal activation; in addition it defines proper glottal tension in trumpet performance. Brass methodologies are consulted to discover material that covers the proper use of the glottis in performance. Trumpet instructors and professional players were also interviewed for their view of addressing these types of problems. This essay serves as a practical guide to identifying and correcting problems caused by the improper use of the glottis.


Glottis; Trumpet Performance; Upper Register; Proper Breathing; Medical Problems; Valsalva Maneuver