The bugle is one of the simplest brass instruments; it is essentially a small horn with no valves or other pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player’s embouchure (use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of brass instruments), since the bugle has no other mechanism for controlling pitch. Consequently, the bugle is limited to notes within the harmonic series.
The bugle is typically shaped in a coil and used mainly in the military and in drum and bugle corps. Historically the bugle was used in the cavalry to relay instructions from officers to soldiers during battle.
The instrument is also mentioned in the Bible, particularly Numbers 10:1-3, wherein God commanded Moses to “make two bugles of hammered silver.” The bugles were used to assemble the leaders and to give marching orders to the camps.
Just like any other musical instruments made from brass, the bugle can sustain damages like dents when not properly handled. When transporting a bugle, it must be packed appropriately to prevent damages caused by impact during transit. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship a bugle to ensure that it arrives in excellent condition.
When shipping bugle in a case, wrap the instrument in bubble wrap first before placing in the case. This will prevent the instrument from moving inside the case and sustaining damage. It should be snug in the case and not too compressed that may dent the brass. Lock the latches so the case won’t pop open. Then, wrap the entire case in bubble wrap.
If shipping without the case, wrap the bugle generously with several layers of large bubble wrap. Use packing tape to secure the wrap. Make sure that all parts are well-padded with bubble wrap.
Use a double wall corrugated shipping box that is large enough to accommodate the instrument and provide extra space for packing materials.
Fill the bottom of the box with at least 2 inches of packing peanuts. Place the case or wrapped horn on top of the peanuts, at the center of the box. Fill the box with more packing peanuts up to the top. Every nook and cranny must be filled with packing materials to prevent the contents from shifting.
Close the box and seal with packaging tape. Address and label the package and take to a shipping company. You might want to consider insuring the package.