Instrumentation notes – Trombones

  • Tenor of the brass choir
  • Family:
    Tenor trombone
    Bass trombone
    Alto trombone
    Contrabass trombone
    Valve trombone
    (All at concert pitch so sound as written)
  • Written range of family:
    Trombone range
    * Pedal tones possible (E to B-flat 2 octaves below middle c)
  • Sound: heroic and majestic in upper registers. Dynamics hold key to it’s effectiveness. pp; horn-like, ff; assertive, massive & powerful
  • Character: good dexterity but lower portion of each range the agility is limited. Tongued legato is characteristic. Used for long sustained notes/chords. Balances well with trumpets and woodwind
  • Technique: Avoid glissandos when changing slide positions. Good at fast tonguing, including double/triple/flutter. Voicing in any combination good. Use bass and tenor clefs for all trombone parts.

Blatter, A (1997). Instrumentation & Orchestration. 2nd ed. USA: Schirmer. Pgs 169-173


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