|Hey, Kids, It's a Trombone
from the Hey Kid's, Meet the Orchestra Index
The Trombone is a member of the brass family. It plays notes that are lower than the french horn, though not as low as the tuba. The tone of the trombone is rich and brilliant. If you were to unwind the trombone, the total length of the tubing would be about 9 feet!
Trombones have been around for more than 500 years. In fact they were around when Columbus was busy sailing the ocean blue in 1492. Trombones, originally called sackbuts, are very much like the modern instrument. The word sackbut may possibly come from the French word 'sacquer', which means 'to draw out'.
The Trombone Family
The modern symphony orchestra is made up of two or three tenor trombones and one bass trombone. The alto trombone, which plays the highest sounds, completes the trombone family.
How It's Played
While most brass instruments use valves to play different pitches, the trombone uses a slide. The slide may make it look different, though the way it works is basically the same as valved brass instruments. When the trombonist plays, he/she moves the slide back and forth to select one of 7 different lengths of tubing. This is how they change the pitch. The rest of the brass family instruments select a different length of tubing by simply pressing down a different set of valves.
Beethoven was the first composer to write a trombone part for a symphony. He included one in his Fifth Symphony.
Trombones are made of brass, a metal made of copper and zinc. Both of these metals are found in vitamins. This means that during your life you may eat an entire trombone - and it would be good for you!
Trombone Sheet Music | Beginner-Intermediate
"Meet the Orchestra" Scavenger Hunt | Brass Family Worksheet
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