3. February 2010 18:54
The trombone is a brass-wind instrument that is most typically used as the tenor voice in a brass section. It has a cup-shaped mouthpiece, a slide mechanism, and a nine foot tube that is folded to overlap in the center. Most trombones are made out of brass though some are sometimes nickel-plated. With the slide closed, the trombone produces the third B-flat below middle C as its fundamental note. Some orchestras also use bass trombones which have a lower fundamental note.
The early trombone, called a sackbut, was almost exactly identical to the modern trombone with a few exceptions. In the early trombone, the metal that was used to create the instrument was thicker and the bell of the instrument was narrower. This produced a softer, mellower tone which was favored in church and chamber music. The use of the trombone declined in the early 1700s except in town bands where they remained prevalent. However, toward the end of the 18th century, the trombone began to be used in the expanding military. It was during this period that the widely flared bell was added to the trombone. Early orchestral compositions with the trombone included Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni and Ludvig von Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. However, it wasn't until 1850 when the trombone was firmly established in the orchestra.