The shape of archaic trumpets – serpentine and large – is associated with magic and rituals on the one hand and military might on the other. The sound comes from the deep.
An examination of the use of the bass trumpet in musical literature leads one to the conclusion that the composers’ motives for choosing this particular instrument were not dissimilar. The task of the bass trumpet and its powerful sound is to evoke those ancient instruments and their world, to conjure up the aura of magic that listeners at that time may have felt. The effect is intended to be mysterious and terrifying.