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According to Michael Praetorius , these were:. The pitch of the trombones has notionally moved up a semi-tone since the 17th century, and this is explained in the section on pitch. Because the tenor instrument is described as "Gemeine" common or ordinary , this is probably the most widely used trombone.

The basses, due to their longer slides, have a hinged handle on the slide stay, which is used to reach the long positions. Modern reproductions of sackbuts sacrifice some authenticity to harness manufacturing techniques and inventions that make them more comfortable for modern players, while retaining much of the original character of the old instruments. Some original instruments could be disassembled into the constituent straight tubes, bowed tubes, bell flare, and stays, with ferrules at the joints.

Band - Scores and Parts

Mersenne has a diagram. Little imagination is needed to see how it could be reassembled—with an extra tube—into something approaching a natural trumpet. There is a debate as to whether they used tight fittings, wax or another joining substance. Modern sackbut reproductions are usually soldered together. Some modern sackbut reproductions use glue as a compromise to give a loose fitting for high resonance without risk of falling apart. Tuning slides came in during the very late 18th century.

Early trombonists adjusted pitch with the slide, and by adding variously shaped and sized crooks. Modern reproductions often have a bell bow tuning slide or telescopic slide between the slide and bell sections. Crooks are still used, as are variously sized bell bow sections for larger changes. The stays on period sackbuts are flat. While the bell stay remained flat, from about the slide stays became tubular. On many modern reproductions round slide stays are much more comfortable to play and easier to make.

Leonard B. Smith

A loose connection between the bell stay and the bell is thought key to a resonant bell, and thus a better sackbut sound. Original instruments have a hinge joint.

Modern copies with a tuning slide in the bell can need more support for operation of the slide, so either an extra stay by the tuning slide is provided or a joint without play in only one axis is employed. The original way to make the slide tubes was to roll a flat piece of metal around a solid cylinder mandrel, and the joining edges soldered together. Modern manufacturers now draw the tubes.

They also tend to have stockings, which were only invented around In addition, modern made slides are usually made of nickel silver with chrome plating, giving a smoother finish and quieter action than simply the brass that would have originally been used. The water key was added in the 19th century, but modern reproductions often have them.

This change did not require a change in the instrument, merely a new set of slide positions for each note. But it does mean that the baroque and renaissance repertoire was intended to be played at the higher pitch. There are many examples of evidence for this:. The sackbut was described as suitable for playing with the 'loud' ensembles in the outdoors, as well as the 'soft' ensembles inside.


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The alta capella bands are seen in drawings as entertaining outside with ensembles including shawms, trumpets and trombones. When pushed, sackbuts can easily make a loud and brassy sound. The sackbut also responds very well to rather soft playing—more so than a modern trombone. The sound is characterized by a more delicate, vocal timbre. The flat rims and shallow cups of the older mouthpieces are instrumental in providing the player with a much wider palette of articulations and tonal colours.

This flexibility lends itself to a vocal style of playing and facilitates very characterful phrasing. Mersenne wrote in , "It should be blown by a skillful musician so that it may not imitate the sounds of the trumpet, but rather assimilate itself to the sweetness of the human voice, lest it should emit a warlike rather than a peaceful sound. The Lorenzo da Lucca was said to have had "in his playing a certain grace and lightness with a manner so pleasing".

Musicians of the 16th and 17th centuries benefited from a broader base of skills than the average performer today. The suggestions for producing effective ornaments without disrupting the line and harmony are discussed alongside countless examples in the 16th and early 17th century Italian division tutors. Graces such as the accento, portar della voce, tremolo, groppo, trillo, esclamationo and intonatio are all to be considered by performers of any music in this period.

Along with the improvisation , many of these tutors discuss articulation. Another integral part of the early music sound-world is the musical temperament.

You raise me up (cornet solo)

Music in the middle-ages favours intervals of the fourth and fifth, which is why Pythagorean tuning was used. The interval of a third was used as a clash until the Renaissance, when it became consonant in compositions, which went hand-in-hand with the widespread use of meantone temperament. Temperament affects the colour of a composition , and therefore modern performances, typically employing equal temperament , may not be true representations of the composers' intentions.

These old tunings are the result of the natural harmonic series of a brass instrument such as the sackbut. As the bell is smaller than a modern trombone, the harmonic series is closer to a perfect harmonic series, which is the basis for just tuning. Without adjusting the slide, the first to second harmonic is a perfect octave, second to third harmonic is a fifth slightly wider than equal temperament and fourth to fifth harmonic is a major third slightly narrower than in equal temperament.

These adjusted intervals make chords ring and are the basis of meantone.


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  8. Plenty of musical understanding can be gathered from reading the original music print. To read these it one needs to become familiar with the old clefs , time signatures , ligatures and notational conventions of the era. The sound of sackbuts and trombones has long been thought especially solemn and noble, had an association with death and the afterlife. This association was probably encouraged by the lack of distinction made between natural horns , slide trumpets , and trombones in this Renaissance ; they were used and often named interchangeably.

    Martin Luther's translation of the Bible into German renders the Greek shophar and salpigx to Posaune. Posaune at the time could refer to a natural horn or other brass instrument, but it later came to mean exclusively "trombone" similarly, English translations generally have "trumpet", and only occasionally "horn" or " shofar ". The sackbut replaced the slide trumpet in the 15th century alta capella wind bands that were common in towns throughout Europe playing courtly dance music.

    See Waits. Another key use of the trombone was in ceremonies, in conjunction with the trumpet. In many towns in Germany and Northern Italy, ' piffari ' bands were employed by local governments throughout the 16th century to give regular concerts in public squares and would lead processions for festivals. Piffari usually contained a mix of wind, brass and percussion instruments and sometimes viols. Venice's doge had his own piffari company and they gave an hour-long concert in the Piazza each day, as well as sometimes performing for services in St.

    Each of the six confraternities in Venice also had their own independent piffari groups too, which would all play at a lavish procession on the feast of Corpus Domini. These groups are in addition to the musicians employed by St. Mark's to play in the balconies with the choir the piffari would play on the main level. It also was used in church music both for instrumental service music and as a doubling instrument for choral music. The treble and high alto parts were most often played by cornetts or shawms , with the violin sometimes replacing the cornett in 17th century Italian music.

    The first record of trombones being used in churches was in Innsbruck Seville Cathedral's records show employment of trombonists in , followed by several other Spanish cathedrals during the 16th century, used not only for ceremonial music and processionals, but also for accompaniment of the liturgical texts as well, doubling voices.

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    The sacred use of trombones was brought to a fine art by the Andrea Gabrieli , Giovanni Gabrieli and their contemporaries c. Since ensembles had flexible instrumentation at this time, there is relatively little music before Giovanni Gabrieli 's publication Symphoniae sacrae that specifically mentions trombones. The only example currently known is the music by Francesco Corteccia for the Medici wedding It comes from Cesare's collection Musicali Melodie per voci et instrumenti a una, due, tre, quattro, cinque, e sei published in Munich of 28 pieces for a mixture of violins, cornetts, trombone, vocal soloists and organ continuo.

    The collection also contains La Bavara for four trombones. This anonymous piece is also known as the 'St.

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    It's easy to use because so many of the instruments are playing the exact same lines. Treasury of Scales should be in every band folder as a permanent part of the repertoire and used daily as a warm-up exercise. Related Products. Some of these titles may also be relevant to your search:. You may also be interested in the following titles:. Northwest Music does not guarantee the accuracy of online stock levels. George Lawrence Stone. George Lawrence Stone's Stick Control is the original classic, often called the bible of drumming.

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    John Williams. This instrumental series contains selected themes from the box office sensation Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Playable by any combination of instruments -- large ensembles, small ensembles, or solos -- the arrangements capture the wonderful sounds from the movie.

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    The Art of French Horn Playing. Philip Farkas. The Art of French Horn Playing set the pattern, and other books in the series soon followed, offering help to students in learning to master their instruments and achieve their goals. These instrumental editions are completely compatible with each other and can be played together or as solos.