Melissa introduces the trombone and plays a short excerpt from The Acrobat, a well known solo piece for trombone by J.A. Greenwood.
This shows off the wonderful use of the trombone slide, to not only play notes separately, but also to glide continuously between notes (the technical term is a “glissando”). The slide can be extended outwards to lengthen the instrument, and lower the pitch of the notes played. Other brass instruments do this with valves rather than a slide.
As Melissa says, the trombone is a very versatile instrument and is used in orchestras, brass bands, military bands, jazz, street and pop music.
Melissa is playing a tenor trombone with an “F attachment”. Can you see the extra loop of tubing at the top of the instrument? You can also see a circular (rotary) valve at the bottom of this extra tubing, visible just above and behind the mouthpiece. Melissa is able to operate this valve using her thumb, to open up the extra tubing and play lower notes, or play some notes in alternative slide positions. The F attachment lowers the pitch of the trombone by 5 semi-tones (a “perfect fourth”) from concert Bb to F.
If you would like to find out more about Melissa as a brass teacher and performer, please have a look at her website!
Listen to a very talented young man playing the Acrobat in full, although we have set this up to start 2 minutes when the acrobatics really get underway!
Compare with the Bass Trombone
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