Trombone

The trombone (German: Posaune, Italian, French: trombone) is a musical instrument in the brass family. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player's vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Most brass instruments use valves to alter the pitch, but trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism instead. Many modern trombone models also have a valve attachment which lowers the pitch of the instrument. Variants such as the valve trombone and superbone have three valves similar to those on the trumpet.

Trombone
A tenor trombone
Brass instrument
Classification
Hornbostel–Sachs classification423.22
(Sliding aerophone sounded by lip vibration)
DevelopedOriginated mid 15th century, sackbut in English until the early 18th century.
Playing range

Range of the tenor trombone. Ranges marked "F" are only possible with an F attachment; low B is only possible with the valve pulled to E. For other trombones, see § Types.
Related instruments
Musicians

The word "trombone" derives from Italian tromba (trumpet) and -one (a suffix meaning "large"), so the name means "large trumpet". The trombone has a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet, in contrast to the more conical brass instruments like the cornet, the euphonium, and the French horn. The most frequently encountered trombones are the tenor trombone and bass trombone. These are treated as non-transposing instruments and are pitched in B♭, an octave below the B♭ trumpet and an octave above the pedal B♭ tuba. The once common E♭ alto trombone became less widely used as improvements in technique extended the upper range of the tenor, but it is now resurging due to its lighter sonority which is appreciated in many classical and early romantic works. Trombone music is usually written in concert pitch in either bass or tenor clef, although exceptions do occur, notably in British brass-band music where the tenor trombone is presented as a B♭ transposing instrument, written in treble clef; and the alto trombone is written at concert pitch usually in alto clef.

A person who plays the trombone is called a trombonist or trombone player.


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