Kazoo mute for a trumpet employing a mirliton device to change the instrument's timbre. Label reads: BOOSEY & Co. LTD./295 REGENT STREET/LONDON/W1. Conical shape and lacquered in royal blue. Widest part of the cone has a wire mesh held in place by a metal bracket that has an adjustable screw in the centre. The screw can be tightened to adjust the kazoo effect. Bought by the Horniman Museum as part of a set with the Clippertone trumpet.

Until the 20th century, the only brass mute in common use was the straight mute. Many developments in mute design in the 1920s were inspired by the unusual playing techniques of early jazz performers. One influential figure was Joe 'King' Oliver who often played with a kazoo in the bell of his instrument. London instrument makers responded with the Kazoo mute, which was designed to imitate this effect.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: