The trombone is a brass horn musical instrument. It is similar to a trumpet, except the player pushes and pulls on slide to change the length of the tube. Together with vibrations from the player's lips, the trombone can play a wide range of notes. It sounds deeper than a trumpet and is usually said to be one of the bass clef instruments. Music is normally written in the bass clef, but some high parts maybe written in tenor clef. Some players have the music transposed into the treble clef. A person who plays the trombone is called a trombonist. Some trombones have a valve which increases the range of available notes. The name trombone comes from the Italian language and means large trumpet.
The forerunner to today's trombone was called the sackbut. It was first used in the 16th century during the Renaissance era of music. In the centuries that followed, the sackbut was gradually improved into today's trombone. Beethoven was the first composer to add trombones to the standard symphony orchestra. Many different types of music use the unique sound of the trombone to add colour and depth. Trombones are used in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, brass bands, big bands, swing bands, jazz bands and jazz ensembles. In the hands of a skilled trombonist, the trombone is a very versatile instrument and can play many styles, from smooth, sweet jazz ballads and peaceful slow melodies, to rousing, raucous and sometimes very loud marches.
There are a lot of types of trombones, each one is for different playing ranges (how high or low you play). There are contrabass trombones, bass trombones, tenor trombones, alto trombones, soprano trombones, and piccolo trombones. These trombone types are arranged in order from the lowest (contrabass) to the highest (piccolo) sounding trombones. The soprano trombone is also called the slide trumpet.
Some famous trombonists include:
- Edward ‘Kid’ Ory
- Jim Robinson
- Jack Teagarden
- Al Gray
- Glenn Miller
- Tommy Dorsey
- Lawrence Brown
- Curtis Fuller
- Slide Hampton
- Fred Wesley
- "Trombone". The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2008. http://www.credoreference.com/topic/trombone. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Trombone". Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Performance and Production. 2003. http://www.credoreference.com/entry/contpmwpp/trombone. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
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- International Trombone Association
- Trombone Page of the World
- TrombonesOnline - Trombone Portal and Trombonist Directory
- British Trombone Society
- Finnish Trombone and Tuba Association
- Online Trombone Journal