As in his books on the violin, the flute, and the clarinet and saxophone, Berger reviews the trumpet's origin and history, how it works and how it's made, a few famous players (mostly jazz, for good reason, but without much sense of the music), and some classical compositions with trumpet parts. Would-be musicians are told how to care for a trumpet and what to expect at their first few lessons, as well as how to listen to others: ""First and foremost, you should listen for the overall musical effect. . . . Finally, listen to the quality of the trumpet playing. How is the tone? . . . Does the player hide his or her breathing?"" As a writer Berger hides his breathing, but his playing is mechanical, more concerned with getting through a routine exercise than with conveying anything in particular.