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Trombone, musical instrument: photo, description

Like other instruments of the symphony orchestra, the trombone is a musical instrument with a unique sound and an interesting story. He is a full member of the symphony orchestra and jazz bands, but such a broad purpose was not always - it was preceded by centuries of narrow application and technical improvement.


In translation from the Italian and French "trombone" - trumpets or a large pipe. The name "trombone" begins to be used in the Renaissance, in the 15th century. They designate a brass instrument with a curtain, which allows making the sound of the instrument lower and hollow.

The precursor of the trombone musical instrument in the references to the Renaissance and the Baroque period was the sitbut. Both terms have long been used as synonyms, but after the XVII century the term "trombone" is fixed and supersedes all the others.

Timbre and description

What does the trombone look like? The musical instrument, the description of which can be found already in the XV century, has changed from this time not very much. It is a double-bent pipe with a movable curtain. The end of it goes into a cone. The length of the tube is three meters, the diameter is 1.5 cm. Mandatory for all wind instruments is the mouthpiece - the trombone is large, in the form of a rounded bowl.

In the photo, the musical instrument of the trombone stands out prominently. Unlike other copper tools, the trombone is more technical, allows you to smoothly move from note to note, perform chromatic, and glissando.

There are soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and double-bass versions of the instrument. The tenor trombone is most often used.

The range of the instrument is from G (salt) of the control to the F (fa) of the second octave.

His timbre is low, sonorous and lingering, sounding differently in high and lower case. At the top has a brilliant and bright timbre, below - gloomy and menacing. Due to its timbre qualities, the trombone became a musical instrument, which is trusted by solo parts and whole works.

The mechanism of sound extraction

The bright, invoking sound of the trombone and its technical capabilities are due to its structure. Unlike other brass trombones, the trombone has a curtain - an elongated U-shaped piece that is part of the musical instrument. The trombone, thanks to her, acquires additional technical capabilities - extends the range of sound, allows you to easily slide from note to note (glissando).

Transition to the quart and fifth is carried out with the help of quartventile and quintventil, in the historical forms of the trombone such possibilities were absent.

Like other brass instruments, when playing on a trombone, a mute can be used (muting the sound).

Biblical Echoes

Mention of large pipes are very diverse and are found even in ancient texts. Terrible trumpeted voices accompanied significant events and were published by angels and archangels. Researchers of biblical texts and music of that period believe that this instrument - hatsotsra - is an ancient brass, remotely resembling a modern trumpet and trombone, but not having a curtain. Nevertheless, it is the sound of the trombone in many works that means the voice of God, the signal of the beginning of the Last Judgment.

Historical predecessors

Documentary references to the rock musical instrument are found already in Antiquity. Isidore and Virgil point to a special sliding tube (tuba ductills), the sound of which varies depending on the position of the moving part. It is also known that during the excavations of Roman Pompeii in the XVIII century, two trombones were found, but the traces of these finds are more like a legend than a fait accompli.

Most researchers believe that the ancient trombones were not fiction, but their appearance and sound can only be guessed.

The first official references and images of the trombone date back to the 15th century. At that time, there was no single name for the instrument: sackbut (French "sacquer" - to drag and "bouter" to push), posaunen (English), tuba ductili (ital.) Was mentioned along with trombone. All of them are equally common in various sources. The popularity of the trombone in the 15th century is quite high - it is used in church services, becoming part of secular ensembles and a solo instrument. He is allowed to be used in ceremonial civil ceremonies and on the battlefield.

Fastening in musical culture

Homeland musical instrument trombone is considered to be Germany or Italy. Here lived the first masters, who made silver trombones for the royal courts.

In the XVII-XVIII centuries. The trombone became associated with the music of the past. Remaining an ensemble and solo instrument, he stands apart and does not belong to the orchestras. This does not prevent many composers from creating works for this instrument.

In most cases, the main use of the trombone's timbre was church music: he accompanied or duplicated singing voices, a high register was used for this.

The classical symphony orchestra, created in the 18th century by Haydn, did not include a trombone. Apparently, this instrument was realized as old-fashioned and too prominent in the harmonious sound of tutti. In addition, it is not yet time for his technical improvement.

With a special position, the trombone, however, was used in the musical theater. His sound acquired a dramatic tone in the operas of KV Gluck, and Mozart gives him a tragic and formidable role in the opera "Don Giovanni" and "Requiem".

Trombone in symphonic orchestra

The introduction of the trombone as a musical instrument into a symphony orchestra occurred only at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the case of L. V. Beethoven. G. Berlioz first entrusted him with an expanded solo part in symphonic music, denoting him as a noble and majestic timbre. In the modern composition of the orchestra, as a rule, two or three trombones (two tenor and bass) are used. The orchestras of R. Wagner, P. I. Tchaikovsky, G. Mahler, J. Brahms are inconceivable without the sonorous and recruiting timbre of the trombone, where his voice is associated with fatal and formidable forces.

In the symphonic music of PI Tchaikovsky, the sound of a trombone symbolizes the images of Doom, Providence. In R. Wagner, the trombone, along with other brass winds, symbolizes power and unapproachable force, images of the Rock. Upper registers R. Wagner used to express love lyrics ("Tristan and Isolde"). This unusual semantic move was continued in the music of the twentieth century.

With the increased interest in the trombone in the XIX century, the use of glissando was practically banned, which became applicable only to the classics of the twentieth century - A. Schoenberg and I. Glazunov.

Trombone in Jazz

Jazz trombone is a new role for a musical instrument. It begins with the era of Dixieland - one of the first movements of jazz music. Here, this tool is first realized as a solo improviser, creating a counter-melody and skillfully overplaying it. The most famous jazz trombonists - Glen Miller, Myth Mole, Edward Kid Ori, created their own style of play. One of the main techniques is the combination of separate accented notes and a characteristic glissando on a trombone. He creates a unique sound Dixieland 20-ies. XX century. Thanks to jazz trombones, jazz style is associated with wind instruments.

The trombone also sounds in Latin American music - this was facilitated by touring jazz ensembles, where the trombone was a solo instrument.

The modern possibilities of the trombone are multifaceted - from the performance of classical music to sounding in jazz, rock and other styles. The use of this tool is becoming more and more creative and interesting, and the place of the trombonist in the orchestra or ensemble is increasingly outstanding.

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