Trombone Literature (II) – Structure of Trombone


Trombone is a very old instrument.  It has cylindrical bore and it is has a mouthpiece.  There are six different types of trombone. Slide trombone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, alto and soprano trombones, valve trombone. At instrument’s sliding bar, it has 7 positions and it has more than two octaves and it sounds gorgeously. In 16. century, trombone was used in early operas and in L. V. Beethoven’s (1770-1827) c minor op.87 Fifth symphony, it was the first time that trombones used in orchestra.

In early middle age,  people used slide trumpets at wars. In addition to that, it was used at fanfares for kings and leader’s entrance. In that times, they used that instrument only for intercommunication and welcome cerromonies because of that, firstly people did not give an importance to slide trumpet. However in 14. century, people started to use that instrument with other instruments for making music.Hereat, trombone started to progress.

Slide Trumpet:



In 16. century, three kind of trombones developed.

1)      Discant posaune (alto trombone)

2)      Gemeine posaune (tenor trombone)

3)      Grosse posaune (bass trombone)

And in 17. century, contrabass trombone was added to that group.

Old Contrabass trombone:



In 18. century, people accepted trombone as solo instrument. Before that period, Leopold Mozart, Michael Haydn and Johann Georg Albrechtsberger composed solo pieces for alto trombone and these pieces contributed for trombone repertoire. Addition to that, in 1780 composers started to use trombone in operas. For example;  Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Magic Flute.

In 19. century, composers used three trombones in their pieces.  To exemplify: beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphony.

Finally in 20. century, trombone was progressed with it’s slide positions and controls. Now musicians use these trombones.

In my research paper, I will mention about trombones repertoire and the importance of the trombones in orchestra


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