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A tenor trombone
|Developed||The trombone originates in the mid 15th century. Until the early 18th century it was called a |
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The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. As on all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player's vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Nearly all trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism that varies the length of the instrument to change the pitch. Many modern trombone models also use a valve attachment to lower the pitch of the instrument. Variants such as the
The word "trombone" derives from Italian tromba (trumpet) and -one (a suffix meaning "large"), so the name means "large trumpet". The trombone has a predominantly cylindrical bore like its valved counterpart the
A person who plays the trombone is called a trombonist or trombone player.
The trombone is a predominantly cylindrical tube bent into an elongated "S" shape. Rather than being completely cylindrical from end to end, the tube is a complex series of tapers with the smallest at the mouthpiece receiver and the largest just before the bell flare. The design of these tapers affects the intonation of the instrument. As with other
The detachable cup-shaped
The 'slide', the most distinctive feature of the trombone (cf.
The adjustment of intonation is most often accomplished with a tuning slide that is a short slide between the neckpipe and the bell incorporating the bell bow (U-bend); this device was designed by the French maker François Riedlocker during the early 19th century and applied to French and British designs and later in the century to German and American models, though German trombones were built without tuning slides well into the 20th century. However, trombonists, unlike other instrumentalists, are not subject to the intonation issues resulting from valved or keyed instruments, since they can adjust intonation "on the fly" by subtly altering slide
Like the trumpet, the trombone is considered a cylindrical bore instrument since it has extensive sections of tubing, principally in the slide section, that are of unchanging diameter. Tenor trombones typically have a bore of 0.450 inches (11.4 mm) (small bore) to 0.547 inches (13.9 mm) (large or orchestral bore) after the leadpipe and through the slide. The bore expands through the backbore to the bell, which is typically between 7 and 8 1⁄2 inches (18 and 22 cm). A number of common variations on trombone construction are noted below.