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Electric device to trumpet a silent age

Tony Fisher (with trumpet) expects never to be asked to pipe down again, writes Charles Arthur. Pictured in St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Charing Cross, London, the leader of the Bert Kampfaert orchestra yesterday demonstrated an electronic trumpet mute that makes the instrument inaudible to those nearby - such as John and Diana Wyatt, in front - while amplifying it to normal levels in the player's headphones.

The Silent Brass Mute, made by Yamaha, took two years to develop. Mr Fisher, who has been playing the trumpet for more than 40 years, said: "The trouble is that normal practice mutes deaden it too much."Mr Fisher has the only one in Britain, but versions costing about pounds 200 will be available from November.

Photograph: Nicholas Turpin