Say Ahmet, Müzik Tarihi, Müzik Ansiklopedisi Yayınları, 1997

Guinon David M., The Trombone (Its history and music), Overseas Publishers Association, 1988

In the performing part;

Vernon Charles G., The Singing Trombone, Atlanta Brass Society Press, 1983

Lewis Michael, Solo Trombone Performances at the Gewandhaus in the Eighteenth Century, Journal of the International Trombone Association, 1992

Addition to that, I will talk with;

Professor Armin Bachmann

Bryce Pawlowski  ( trombone player from Niedersächsischen Staatstheater)


R. Wagner – Walküre (trombone solo) (XII)

Richard Wagner – Walküre

In this opera, trombone solos symbolizes that horses gallop. This solo seems really easy for musicians but in all orchestra exams, walküre’s solo is the first and most important solo that wanted. While musicians play that solo, they must be careful at tempo, articulation and accents. Before play the solo, it must be listened for true rhythm. For this solo, at the beginning of the studying this opera certainly must be practicing with metronome in half beat and divided in eighth note. Thus, sixteenth notes and accents will be easy for the musician.

There are some general mistakes while musicians play this solo;

  1. Auftakt eighth notes always playing early
  2. Accents are played in wrong places
  3. Sixteenth notes are inaudible because of insufficient articulation

For these mistakes there are some general practicing examples;

  1. Without playing sixteenth notes for prepare true accent and fluency
  2. Playing all notes like directly with eighth notes for opera’s fluency
  3. Without playing the first eighth note

As I said at the beginning, this solo makes feel that horses running. For that reason, it must be magnificent and gorgeous and music must always play onward.

wahner 1


wahber 2



Berlioz composed Hungarian March when he was in Central Europe Tour and especially for Budapest for performing. He showed trombones very glorious with hard technical passages. This solo is proper to orchestra exams because musicians can show themselves with this strong, characteristic, tonality solo and addition to that, piece is going fast and rhythmical at the middle octave.

While playing this solo, musicians must pay attention to the slide because this solo’s tempo is important and hard to slide passing. Therefore, musicians must study be careful and slowly for right notes and positions. Right slide positions can just save this piece. At the beginning of the study, it is important to make intonation exercises. In this solo, must be careful to differences between whole notes and semitones because in nine and ten measures, tempo is fast. And consequently, sometimes d could be sharp and e could be flat because c#-d-e-f notes are played only with one move by pulling the slide. So, musicians must be careful to intonation.

While playing orchestra pieces, it is important to be patient. Before playing in the right tempo and make nuances, musicians have to make exercises to catch for the right tempo.

This piece’s trombone solos composed for three trombones and in the first trombone’s part, there is no octave jumps. For a good control, musicians can study second trombone’s part because second trombone has the most important part for intonation and tempo. While playing the solo, eight notes can play longer for this piece not to be coarse. It mustn’t be played harsh (especially octave jumps).

hungar 1


hungar 2

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem – Tuba Mirum (X)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem – Tuba Mirum

Most people know that, Mozart could not finish and his student Franz Xavier Süssmayer finished that Requiem. Mozart just composed trombone solo until measure 18 and Süssmayer finished this solo in measure 24.

If we look Mozart’s religious chorus pieces which he composed in early classic and baroque period, we can understand why Mozart used trombone as a solo instrument. This piece is really important in orchestra exams because legato style and musical expression is really hard in that piece.

At the beginning of the solo, the most important think is breathing. Prof. Armin Bachmann who is worldwide known and professional trombone player, recommended that the beginning of this solo’s first phrase must played with one breathe. However if performer has to breathe, performer must breathe at the end of first measure or between third and fourth beat which is in second measure or before third measure. Breathe must be slip out of.

Most performers aware of that rest’s rhythmical importance which is in measure 4. While playing first, second and third movement if performer thinks of eighth notes, his/her playing get easy in measure 5. At the continuation of solo, it must be played as far as possible beautiful and musical expression. In this expression, nuances and accents are very important. It mustn’t be forgotten that, trombone part depends on vocal part. Briefly, solo must be played with expressive and roll a log for vocal part.

If performers want good intonation and tone value, they must avoid from changing of positions. However there are two exceptional parts. F note which is in measure 6’s third beat must play with trombone’s fourth position because it must be same with G flat note before that F note. Other exceptional part is, b flat note which is in measure 13, must play with trombone’s fifth position because it is useful for glissando problem. Tuba Mirum is really important piece for trombones because lots of orchestra pieces’ composer just use trombone as an accompaniment instrument and in this piece, Mozart showed how trombone can make good and soft music in orchestra.



Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 1, 4th movement – Trombone chorale (IX)

Brahms started to compose his first symphony in 1860 but finished only after 16 years, in 1876. Some music historians thought that Brahms’s first symphony is Beethoven’s tenth symphony. In this symphony, Brahms composed an important chorale for trombones and performers must play this solo with professionalism and integrity. There are dots under the slurred notes and these spots always confuse performers. These dots mean that the notes should be separated from each other a little bit (slightly non-legato) but may not turn out to be dry (secco) staccatos. It should not be forgotten that every conductor wants a different interpretation. For this reason, performers must firstly listen the records.

The biggest difficulty in this work is that performers must start the choral with good intonation and timber without kicks, because before the passage they have to wait for a long time. Usage of air is the most important issue regarding this problem. Breathing in is more important than to exhale. Second trombone and bass trombone are substantial in that solo’s timbre. Especially second trombone must play in right intonation because it carries the harmony as the middle part. It must be played with a big and full sound. If performers play it with hot air, this solo will be soft and spacious. In addition to that, in orchestra exams bass trombone players must play that solo because it shows bass trombone player’s timbral qualities.

This solo must be practiced with a trombone group because performers can only catch the timbre, harmony, balance and intonation through collective practice.


Gioacchino Rossini – William Tell (trombone solo) (VIII)

Gioacchino Rossini – William Tell

            This opera was the last opera which was composed by Rossini and in 1829 it was performed in Paris for the first time. William Tell became a very popular opera in a short time. Actually, this opera lasts 6 hour. For that reason, generally William Tell was performed just one fret because performers and also audiences were tired.

Rossini composed long and fast melodies for trombone in this opera. This solo is really fast and performers must be careful at their timber in that fast and technical passage. Sometimes, performers forget the sound value and intonation because they just focus on the notes and the tempo. While practicing this solo, performers must breathe shortly, fast and without spoiling the sound. Also, maybe eighth notes could be play longer. This situation provides time to performers for a good timber. While playing William Tell’s important trombone solo tongue mustn’t push the air, air must goes on with tongue. Eighth notes are very important. Other attached notes are important too but performers must give attention to these notes because generally performers play these eighth notes early or late. While practicing this solo, if performers divide it and practice with different tempos, it will be beneficial to them and also performers can play in the right tempo without mistakes. Afterwards, they must put together these little melodies. Then they can see that, this solo can played without rhythmical and intonation mistakes also, can played with excellent timber.


Richard Wagner – Tannhauser (trombone solo) (VII)

Richard Wagner – Tannhäuser

Wagner composed this opera in 1843 – 1844. While playing this opera, performers must pay attention to rhythm, intonation and sound. In this piece, there are two parts which are the most important to perform. In score these parts are defined according to the rehearsal marks “A” and “M”. These two parts seem like the same but there are some differences to be careful about while performers are exercising. Performers must practice hard on these two parts for orchestra exams.


“A” part’s meter is 3/4 and performers must play this part in consistent tempo. While playing triplets, it may not get slower. In addition to that punctuated eighth notes, which are in the third beats, should be equally performed and sixteenth notes should be just on time, without being late or too early. For a good sound, without mistakes in notes and rhythms, performers also have a good mouth condition.

In part “M”, main theme’s note values were augmented. Because of that, performer must play this part, brighter and with a softer sound. Triplets must be played without getting slower and in the same articulation. Performers must be careful at the end of the solo, because there is a high “g” which is hard to play at the end. The reason is that, generally performers will get tired. It should not be played ff, e.g. not be forced, for good intonation and timbral quality. In spite of the fact that it reads ff for that part, which could force performers and tires the lips a lot, if performers play just f, audience can hear other instruments too.

While practicing that important solo, it should be performed in a singing manner and long lines should be preferred. Thus, it can be played more than once without being tired.