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trombone


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(from It., large trumpet).

1 Non‐transposing brass instr., derived from sackbut, of semi‐cylindrical bore and cup‐mouthpiece, generally equipped with slide which serves to extend length of the tube. In any one of the 7 recognized slide positions, the 7 fundamental notes of harmonic series can be prod. a semitone apart. A few pedal notes can also be prod.: the first tones of the harmonic series in various positions. Tbs. make a noble sound and have been used by composers for dramatic effect, e.g. by Mozart in Don Giovanni and by Beethoven in his 5th sym. (their first use in sym.). Many tb. concs. have been written. In baroque times they were confined to church mus. but are now standard in military and brass bands, and have been effectively used in jazz (several brilliant solo players incl. Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller). Members of the tb. family are: treble: required in scores by Purcell and Bach; alto: much used in baroque mus. but later replaced by ten. Britten uses one in The Burning Fiery Furnace; tenor: the most generally used, notated in either ten. or bass clef, with chromatic range from E below bass stave upwards for about 2½ octaves; bass: compass is a 4th below that of ten.; tenor‐bass: ten. with a mechanism which allows for extra length of tubing for conversion to bass; double‐bass or contrabass: octave in pitch below ten., sometimes required by Wagner; valve: with valves in place of a slide. made in ten. and bass sizes.

2 Org. stop, type of tuba or tromba, 16′ pitch, generally on pedal.

Subjects: Music.


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