While the trumpet isn’t featured in as many famous songs as it should, there are still many well-known songs out there that feature prominent use of the trumpet. Here is a list of 11 famous songs of all genres with great trumpet parts with many songs that you probably know.
All You Need is Love – The Beatles
This Beatles classic features trumpet playing by David Mason and Stanley Woods. The song released in 1967 hit number one on the charts all around the world including in the UK, US, Australia, Sweden and many more. There Beatles 2009 remastered CDs* are a good addition to any record collection.
Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was one of the most iconic musical artists of his time selling over 150 million records globally. Many of his songs were jazz-influenced so it is no wonder that the trumpet was present in many of his songs. One of the more notable records with a trumpet part is the 1954 hit Fly Me to the Moon. The song made great use of the trumpet in its melody which gives it the jazz swing that the song is remembered for.
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong was a prolific trumpeter and one of the most influential figures in jazz music. Upon release in 1967, it charted well in the UK but performed poorly in the US due to a lack of promotion. It was only a little over 20 years later in 1988 that the song appeared in the film Good Morning, Vietnam and became that timeless hit that it is known today.
Cheerleader – OMI
Not a fan of old jazzy classics? While many of the tracks on this list are older songs, the 2014 pop sensation Cheerleader proves that the trumpet is still great in modern music. The catchy tune features prominent use of the trumpet to give the song a fun and bouncy feel.
He’s a Pirate – Klaus Badelt
The beloved song from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl conveys the action and adventure that the film franchise is known for. This epic composition features many orchestral instruments including the trumpet to deliver a pirate sounding hit. If you love epic music and trumpets, film music might be for you!
Freaks – Timmy Trumpet & Savage
While the trumpet is a core instrument in more ‘old-school’ genres like jazz, the trumpet is also heavily used in more recent genres like EDM. One notable example of this is the 2014 dance hit Freaks. The song makes good use of the trumpet when it echoes the iconic riff that permeates the song (see at 1:30 in the below video). It may be a vastly different use of the trumpet than most people are used to, but there is no denying that it sounds great.
Promised Land – Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco has built her reputation as a folk singer, but throughout her career that’s been spanning several decades, she has put out records with an impressive range. In her 12th studio album, Evolve, which came out in 2003, she includes a horn section in all the songs with Ravi Best, Shane Endsley and Todd Horton on trumpet. The whole album is well worth a listen if you like folky music with a good brass section.
On Green Dolphin Street – Miles Davis
Like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis was a tremendous trumpeter and a greatly influential figure in jazz history. One of his more well-known tracks is the 1947 song On Green Dolphin Street. The song was composed for the film Green Dolphin Street which was one of the most popular films of 1947-1948.
Penny Lane – The Beatles
Penny Lane may not be as popular of a song as All You Need is Love, but it does feature a more prominent use of the trumpet. The 1967 chart-topping track features a piccolo trumpet solo by David Mason. This solo was highly revered with record producer George Martin saying “The result was unique, something which had never been done in rock music before”.
A Taste Of Honey – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
This incredibly catchy song originally written by Robert William Scott and Ric Marlow, became a huge hit for Herb Alpert and his band, The Tijuana Brass, in the 1960s. While there are many slow vocal versions of the song, the Herb Alpert instrumental version received lots of accolades, including a Grammy in 1966 – and rightly so. He’s a legend!
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Cantina Band – John Williams
This light-hearted and jazzy Star Wars hit held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1977. The song made an appearance in Star Wars: A New Hope which made it the memorable melody that is known around the world.
We hope you enjoyed this list and recognized a few iconic songs with great trumpet parts from it. If you didn’t recognize some songs, be sure to take a listen as it could give you some inspiration in your trumpet playing journey.
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