Category Archives: Acoustics

A sliding scale

Trombone 01

It’s not all harp and cor anglais in heaven, you know…


Give ear…

(As well as adjusting my volume which I’m sure you’re now familiar with, you can also now download this file by clicking on the 3 perpendicular dots on the end!)

Trombone positions:

Trombone 02

The harmonic series up to the 16th partial showing the notes available in the 7th position (diamond shaped notes are generally out of the trombone’s range). This series can be repeated a semitone higher for each of the seven positions.



To start at a specific movement just click on its title.

The Swiss composer, Frank Martin, is – to my mind – underrated. This Ballade for trombone is one of six he composed for different instruments and serves as a good introduction to his musical style.

Two pieces of music theatre: Luciano Berio’s Sequenza 5, a tribute to both the great Swiss clown Grock and the question ‘Why?’ And John Cage’s outrageous (well, it was at the time) Solo for Sliding Trombone which covers all known effects for the trombone and then adds a few of its own! Worth watching.

Here’s a rarity – the relatively recently discovered Alto Trombone Concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus’s father, Leopold. It also gives you a chance to hear the smaller alto trombone and judge for yourself whether music suffered a loss when the tenor trombones staged a coup. The opening Adagio is really beautiful…

AdagioMinuet & TrioAllegro

Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 in C. Sibelius’ last symphony’s in one movement and partitioned by three trombone solos marking the different sections of the work. The composer said of it “The entire seventh symphony has very much in common with antiquity, especially Greece. The trombones are handled like the musical instruments of antiquity.”

The three trombone solos: Solo 1Solo 2Solo 3

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