The double bell trumpet is not a new idea, but in the modern era, it has been championed by Marco Blaauw, who has commissioned several works for the instrument. With two bells, the trumpeter is able to move rapidly between timbres. A properly constructed double bell trumpet will allow both bells to sound at once, creating a third, mixed timbre.

In the U.S., a double bell trumpet was constructed by Wayne Tanabe at the Yamaha Atelier in New York City. Wayne’s instrument was constructed for Brandon Ridenour of the Canadian Brass. In 2013, Joseph Drew used Wayne’s double bell trumpet as part of a brass trio in the Iron Composer competition.


Hanna Kulenty, Brass No. 1
Isabel Mundry, Solo auf Schwellen
Rebecca Saunders, Blaauw
Martjin Padding, 23 sentences & autograph
Peter Eötvös, Snatches of a Conversation
Yannis Kyriakides, Dog Song (Cerberus serenades Orpheus)

Some of these works are available on the following recordings by Marco Blaauw:


There is no standard notation for the double bell trumpet. Various composers have solved the issue in different ways.

Hanna Kulenty and Agata Zubel decided to use two staves to control switches between the bells:

Yannis Kyriakides indicates which bell to use with stem direction:

Isabel Mundry uses two control staves to allow for rapid shifts between bells on the same note:

At Iron Composer 2013, finalists were assigned the following notation system in the interests of time:


Marco Blaauw explaining his double bell trumpet:

Bobby Shew & his Shewhorn: