bugle, brass wind musical instrument consisting of a conical tube coiled once upon itself, capable of producing five or six harmonics. It is usually in G or B flat. Its principal use is for military and naval bugle calls, such as taps and reveille, and, in earlier times, for hunting calls. In the early 19th cent., keyed bugles were made in order to obtain a complete scale.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.