trombone



[Eng.]


CLASSIFICATION: 

Aerophone (lip-vibrated), Wind Instrument, Brass Instrument

HISTORY:  

The moden version of the sackbut. It was used for vocal doubling in church music and in small ensembles. The trombone was not used in the orchestra until the 18th century. The first prominent symphonic use was in Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony #5. The modern family includes the Alto Trombone, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, and Contrabass Trombone.

It is also commonly referred to as the "slide trombone" or in some jazz slang as the sliphorn.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 
A family of brass instruments with a cylindrical bore and a slide rather than valves. The slide allows the performer to lengthen or shorten the length of tubing in the instrument, thus allowing the harmonic series to be altered, making the instrument fully chromatic.
SOUND PROPERTIES: 
Sound is produced (as in most brass instruments) by the vibration of the performers lips. As the performer moves the slide out, the length of the tubing is increased which lowers the pitch being sounded. Seven pitches are possible in each harmonic of the trombone that are reflected in the seven positions of the slide.
RANGE:  
The trombone has a normal chromatic range of E below the bass clef to B-flat above middle C. Experienced performers are able to extend the upper range, often to the F above middle C (or higher). A mechanical trigger mechanism (typically in F) can extend the chromatic range to low C, and the bass trombone often has a second trigger mechanism to add the low B-natural which extends the chromatic range into the pedal register, down to a pedal F.


See also Alto Trombone, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone.

Also [Eng.] trombone; [Fr.] trombone; [Ger.] Posaune; [It.] trombone; [Sp.] trombón.


Trombone Range

Tenor Trombone

Tenor Trombone

Photo courtesy of G. Leblanc Corporation

Tenor Trombone (with F Trigger)

Tenor Trombone with F Trigger

Photo courtesy of G. Leblanc Corporation

Bass Trombone (with F and G Triggers)

Bass Trombone with F and G Triggers

Photo courtesy of G. Leblanc Corporation


More about instruments


SUGGESTED LISTENING EXAMPLES:

Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite, "On the Trail" (trombone solo)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 11
Copland: John Henry Suite, "On the Trail" (trombone solo)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 4, Track 28
Traditional Dixieland: When The Saints Go Marchin' In
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 49
Santa Rosa: Que manera de querete
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 4, Track 48
Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale I, "Soldier's March"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 33

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