When Keith is about to duel with the Piper, he's handed a watchman's
trombone. Then he "fiddles with the keys". Now, most (but not all)
trombones I've seen (and I've seen quite a few) have a slide *instead*
of keys. Tenor trombones, in particular, have no keys at all, usually.
Bass trombones often have one or two keys at most to provide access
to a few more notes at the bottom end.
Having said that, I *have* seen valve trombones - mostly on sale
in Crime^wCash Converters. To me, it seems to defeat the purpose -
the range is amply served by F horns or Euphoniums, with the F horn
probably being closest in timbre, but the glissando effect available
to a slide trombone is probably its most distinguishing characteristic.
Comments, anyone? Was Pterry referring to a valve trombone, or
was he just using one because it's a funny-sounding instrument
and got slightly confused? (cf Reaper Man and the castanets/maracas
issue - in a long-gone thread to which I contributed many yonks ago).
Geoff Field, Professional geek, amateur stage-levelling gauge.
Spamtraps: geoff...@hotmail.com, gcf...@bigmailbox.net, or
gcf...@my-deja.com(deprecated) RealEmail: gcfield at optusnet dot com dot au
All statements in my posts are purely my own opinion.
?Possible he meant the spit valve?
Sitting in front of the Brass section of the orchestra was always a moist
Many Tenor Trombones do have valves in addition to the slide - mine
certainly does. It saves you from having to use sixth position so much, and
helps fill in some of the range as you say. Not to sure about the history
of the valve trombone, they have generally been more popular on the
continent than in UK (and its former colonies). Euphoniums are part of the
saxhorn family, they and tubas didn't really come in until the 1830s, so
before then I guess a simple expedient was to make something with a similar
range to a trombone but with valves. The Saxhorn family has a conical bore
(as do French, ie F, Horns, but they are generally narrower), whereas as
trumpets and Trombones have a constant diameter for much of their length,
although the bell of the trombone has got considerably wider over the last
century (compare a modern instrument by Conn or Bach-Strad with a baroque
trombon, aka sackbut). This gives a rather different tone.
Odd, but this article has not turned up on my news server yet, just
the reply from Pterry. I suppose I'll spot it one of these days.
>>Many Tenor Trombones do have valves in addition to the slide - mine
Do they? I've been playing in various-sized ensembles for nigh on
25 years now and I've never spotted more than one or two valves on
any trombone (apart from those that lack slides altogether). Not
that this means anything other than the fact that *I* haven't
spotted them, of course - I'm usually too busy with my own rather
specialised area to notice many details elsewhere.
> Thank you.
I really didn't mean to make you feel defensive, but I do realise
that the post was a tad more attacking than my usual style.
 Numbering from 1 to 500.
 Yes, I've played solo - not quite solo bass drum, but solo
 *The* most boring solo instrument in the world
To pick the nit just bit farther, the valves on an attachment
(whether F-attachment, D- or otherwise) tend not to have
what you might call "keys." They have levers or triggers that
turn the rotors or otherwise engage the attachment's additional
When I hear the words, "keys," in connection with the word,
"trombone," I always picture what is called a "valve trombone"
(which is a tenor trombone with pistons added). Their
mechanisms have little buttons on top of the pistons, just
like on cornets and trumpets (and on many tubas and euphoniums):
In this picture:
the two circular devices are the rotary valves discussed
previously. The little odd-shaped lump on left side of the upper
half is a long, thin metal trigger (one of two triggers). These
attachments give a fuller range to the horn, adding five tones
that are not otherwise achievable by the instrument (E-flat
through B below the bass clef staff).
While the bass trombone might not have the most distinctive voice
in the orchestra, using it in combination with other instruments
provides a composer or arranger with colors they would not have
otherwise--a fuller palette, as it were. As one example of the
bass trombone as a contribution to music, I would point to
Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony (D-minor, No. 5), in which the
bass trombone enters as one of the first few harmony voices of
the "Ein Feste Burg" chorale in movement 4. Similarly, Holst
provides the bass trombone with some short (and melodic!) solos
in "The Planets," as well as using it to add some distinct
articulation to the tuba section.
And, if I recall correctly, its first note in that piece is
the D-flat that would not be achievable on the horn without
> of course - I'm usually too busy with my own rather
>specialised area to notice many details elsewhere.
its the inner drummer in you I take it...
But there is no rule:
"Don't hit the math geek" (he will be your tax inspector one day and
incidentally has a good memory.)
Axel Kielhorn on afp.
And the outer one too, for that matter.
Mine's the one that's been ripped and marked by too much carting of
fings wot I hit.