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Trombone Price List
|Music and Arts
Trombone price list as of 11/22/2023
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In the foreign language notation, it is specified as “trombon,” but the name commonly used in The United States for the instrument is “trombone.” In reality, depending on the intonation, it can be pronounced as “tr’om’bone” or even “tr’am’bone.” The etymology traces back to the Italian word “tromba,” meaning trumpet, with the suffix “~one” indicating largeness.
Translated literally, it could mean ‘big trumpet.’ In the UK, it was known as ‘sackbut’ from the Renaissance era, and some people still refer to it as such instead of trombone. Unlike the trumpet, which underwent significant improvements with the addition of valves or pistons, the trombone has remained relatively unchanged in the world of music.
Ancient brass instruments had limitations in playing chromatic scales freely. Although there were methods like changing crooks to alter the pitch, they were not complete solutions. Attempts were made to overcome this limitation using woodwind-like keys, valves, and slides, leading to the invention of the trombone.
Trombones are renowned for their loud volume among brass instruments and were widely used in religious music. This tradition, possibly originating in the UK or Italy, saw ensembles like the ‘Cornet and Sackbut Ensemble’ established for church music in England. Outside the church, trombones found use in opera and other stage productions, following a tradition that traces back to Claudio Monteverdi. However, their use in secular music, including classical instrumental music, gained prominence later.
In the Baroque era, trombones appeared in some works by composers like Giuseppe Torelli and Antonio Caldara. The introduction of trombones in symphonic music owes much to Beethoven’s influence. Beethoven introduced trombones in his Fifth Symphony in 1808, and their presence continued in his Sixth and Ninth Symphonies. Schubert, a contemporary of Beethoven, also used trombones in his later symphonies. Through composers like Leopold Mozart and Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, trombone concertos started emerging in Austria.
Beethoven played a crucial role in the incorporation of trombones into symphonies. While the Swedish composer Joachim Nicolas Eggert used trombones in a symphony around 1807, it was Beethoven who introduced them significantly in his Fifth Symphony in 1808. Trombones continued to be used in his Sixth and Ninth Symphonies. Schubert, who admired Beethoven, had trombones in both his Eighth (Unfinished) and Ninth (The Great) Symphonies. Subsequently, composers like Mendelssohn and Schumann solidified the trombone’s place in orchestras.
There are five types of trombones based on pitch: soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and contrabass. The most commonly used are the tenor and bass trombones in orchestras, typically arranged with two tenors and one bass. The tenor is notated in alto or tenor clef, while the bass uses the bass clef. Trombones are unique among brass instruments as they don’t rely on crooks for different keys, making them versatile.
The usual range for the tenor trombone is from the low E2 to approximately two octaves above (E5), with skilled players able to reach up to the third octave (C6). The bass trombone covers from the low E1 to about an octave above middle C (C5), with the upper range usually not explored extensively.
Surprisingly, the engine exhaust sounds of Formula 1 racing cars are similar to the trombone’s range, leading to occasional playful performances mimicking supercar exhaust sounds. However, due to the loud volume, imitating trombone sounds in public spaces may result in noise complaints.
Playing Technique [Edit] In the trombone, the role of valves, keys, or pistons in horns, trumpets, and tubas is taken up by the slide. By extending and retracting the slide back and forth with the right arm, players adjust the pitch. This playing technique is classified into seven positions, where each position, from the closest to the body (1st position) to the farthest (7th position), lowers the pitch by approximately a half step. Skilled players can produce around 10 pitches in each position.
Apart from slide manipulation, changes in pitch due to lip tension and breath control through the mouthpiece are crucial aspects of playing. Buzzing techniques with the mouthpiece are often learned before using the slide. In the early stages of education, students may practice without the slide, and like other brass instruments, the mouthpiece is made of solid metal and can be carried in a pocket.
Similar to other brass instruments, breathing with proper breath support is essential. Therefore, training to increase lung capacity or strengthen lip muscles is necessary to avoid developing bad habits during play.
Even though not as agile as the trumpet, the trombone can achieve a certain level of dexterity. However, due to the trombone’s nature of adjusting pitch with the slide, rapid movements between 1st and 7th positions can result in a challenging performance. Beginning a piece with such rapid movements may lead to difficulties, and composers may opt to arrange trombone parts more comfortably to avoid complications. The size of the mouthpiece, larger than that of a trumpet, makes quick playing challenging, and the fastest triple-tonguing techniques are typically reserved for experienced players.
Due to the trombone’s sliding mechanism, it can produce a glissando more extensively than most other instruments. By sliding the slide in and out, players can produce glissandos of approximately a perfect fourth. Lip glissandos, achieved by subtly moving the lips, are also possible but not as effective as slide glissandos. In popular music, trombones are commonly used for expressive effects, depicting fatigue or humor.
Various mutes are used with the trombone, similar to the trumpet. The most common mute is the straight mute, and others include the harmon mute, cup mute, solo-tone mute, plunger, among others. Cup and plunger mutes are often used in jazz, with the unique open sound, mute control, and timbre resembling those of the trumpet. The plunger, in particular, is frequently used in modern jazz. Practice mutes or electronic mutes that allow players to listen to their playing through headphones are also available for reducing volume.
When playing softly in the lower range, the trombone produces a deep and solemn sound. However, when played loudly, the trombone’s volume can overshadow other instruments, including trumpets and horns. Therefore, conductors often caution trombone sections not to play too loudly in orchestral settings.
Composers tend to use eight or more horns in large-scale compositions, while trombones usually stick to the standard three or add one more to maintain a balanced brass section. Trombones are often the first to be cut in the climax of orchestral playing, as they are the quickest to be heard and cut off among the brass instruments. This has led to a somewhat humorous comparison with baseball catchers in amateur orchestras organized in schools.
In marching bands, trombone players often take the lead position at the front. This positioning is not only for showcasing the instrument’s impressive slide movement but also to prevent accidents, as playing in the back row may lead to collisions between the slide and the head of the person in front. In school orchestras or small ensembles
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