The great excitement that was felt
by trumpet players when the piccolo trumpet was invented
probably was felt by the whole world. Now the Brandenburg
Concerto, one of the highest and most difficult pieces ever
written for trumpet, was a reality for most players instead of
a distant dream. A piccolo trumpet still takes a lot of
maturity and a certain degree of talent to play, but it does
lower the fundamental an octave, making centering pitches
easier. A piccolo trumpet has half the amount of tubing that a regular trumpet does. This causes it to be pitched at an octave above a regular trumpet in the same key. The Bb/A offers players the ability to play in the key of Bb and A on the same trumpet with a handy mouthpiece extension. For this reason, it has become the most popular type of piccolo trumpet used at the present.
The D Trumpet
In the late 19th century, the D trumpet was introduced to the music world. Trumpeters saw that it allowed them to play works by Bach and Handel with more consistency. Music like Handel's Messiah was made easier to play and trumpet players would not have to work as hard to hit all the high notes. Although widely used when it was invented, the D trumpet was destined to be replaced by the Bb/C trumpet. Today it is most often used to play Baroque music.
The Eb Trumpet
The Eb trumpet is not usually used in everyday orchestral playing, but it is used many times solely to play the trumpet concertoes written by Hummel and Haydn. In fact, Haydn's concerto was originally written in the key of Eb and an Eb trumpet lets trumpeters play in the key of C (no sharps or flats) if they choose to use it. Aside from these two concertoes, the Eb trumpet is not really in widespread use, unless a composer calls for it.
The E, F, and G Trumpets
Trumpets tuned to the keys of E, F, and G are hard to find today and their use is even less than an Eb trumpet's. The E trumpet is really only used when trumpet players desire to play the Hummel Concerto in its original key of E instead of Eb. F trumpets were the a shortlived fad. They were created for one purpose only, to make Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto easier to play. While they did do the job, just as the D trumpet was, the F trumpet was replaced by the Bb/C piccolo trumpet. Of the three, F trumpets are probably used the most because its sound reminds many players of the kind needed for Baroque pieces. Its high pitch allows trumpet players to play upper register passages easier and its sound is much like a D trumpet's.