Harmonic Trumpet German
Trompette Harmonique French
Harmonietrompete German
Trompet Harmonique corruption?

These names denote Trumpet stops with harmonic (double) length resonators. The Trompette Harmonique was invented by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and first used in 1841 in his organ at St.-Denis, Paris, France. This instrument featured an 8' Trompette Harmonique on each of its four manuals, plus a 4' Clairon Harmonique on the Recit. Maclean reports that Cavaillé-Coll's Trompettes invariably employed harmonic trebles (presumably after 1841), and sometimes even double-harmonic resonators.

George Willis further expanded on Cavaillé-Coll's invention, creating Harmonic Trumpets that were fuller and richer than the French stops, which (according to Audsley) tended to be somewhat hard and brassy compared to their English counterparts.

The use of harmonic resonators does not, by itself, result in louder tone. On the contrary, harmonic resonators tend to subdue the tone, all other things being equal. They also make the tone purer and less dissonant. The double-length resonators are typically used in the treble part of the compass.


Harmonic Clarion


Osiris contains about thirteen dozen examples of Trompette Harmonique, two dozen examples of Harmonic Trumpet, and five examples of Trompet Harmonique. No examples are known of Harmonietrompete. Contributions welcome.

Sound Clips

Trompette Harmonique 8', Récit Expressive St. Bernhard, Mainz, Germany Cavaillé-Coll, 1872-1892 arpeggio St. Anne


Audsley[1]: Harmonic Trumpet; Trompette Harmonique. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Harmonic Trumpet; Trompette Harmonique. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 457. Irwin[1]: Harmonic Trumpet; Trompette Harmonique. Locher[1]: Harmonic Flute. Maclean[1]: Trompette. Wedgwood[1]: Harmonic Trumpet.
Copyright © 2003 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
HarmonicTrumpet.html - Last updated 3 December 2004.
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