[JPL] Valve trombones and slide trumpets

John Simna jsimna at wclv.com
Tue Dec 20 08:19:44 EST 2011


And as to the slide trumpet as used by Steven Bernstein:  The modern slide
trumpet is also marketed as a soprano trombone, one octave above the tenor.
The mouthpiece is about the same as that of a trumpet.  In between the
soprano and tenor, there's an alto trombone, usually pitched in Eb. The
family also goes up to a sopranino trombone, also usually pitched in Eb.  If
you hear a trombone choir with all of the family, from contrabass on up, the
sound is qualitatively different from a brass ensemble - rather like
listening to a singing group who are all brothers and/or sisters - the
Andrews Sisters, Ames Brothers, Mills Brothers and so on.

John Simna
jsimna at wclv.com


-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Doug Crane
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 4:37 AM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: Re: [JPL] Valve trombones and slide trumpets





The trombone (and its precursor, the sackbut) were the first wind/brass
instruments to be able to play chromatically (all of the individually
occuring notes between a C and the C an octave above for instance) by virtue
of their slides.  We're talking Renaissance and Baroque eras.  The sackbuts
were voiced as alto, tenor and bass horns, just as today's trombones are as
well as double bass.  The only modern equivalent I can think of to the
latter is Phil Teele's contra-bass trombone work on a couple of the old
Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin big band sides for RCA from the 1970's.  



Even though trumpet-like horns go back to around 1500 BC, t he valve itself
is a pretty recent development  from the early 1800's.  Up until the
utilization of valves, trumpets were largely left to playing only notes
appearing in the natural harmonic series which would be something like
this:  If your fundamental or root note is a C, the next occuring note is
the C an octave above, the G a fifth above that is next, the C a fourth
above then follows, then the E a third above the C, next is a G, etc.  This
harmonic series occurs on any brass instrument, whether there's a slide,
valve or neither a slide or valve.  If you were to use the 2nd valve on the
trumpet or 2nd position on the trombone, the harmonic series intervals would
be identical.  All of the notes you'd hear would be a half step lower. 



So much for the valve/slide thing. 



Other than that, there's the length of the tubing of the trumpet or trombone
and most significantly, the bore size.  Trumpets have a bore size of around
.450 to .472 and typically around .459 or so.  Bass trumpets have a bore
size of around .486 which is invading on the bore size of a trombone. 



Tenor t rombones have a bore size of around .484 (a very small tenor like my
Conn 4H circa 1955) all the way up to around .562 (a typical true bass
trombone).  Most of the typical small tenors today have a bore size of
around .500 to .525. 



Both trumpets and trombones are cylindrical designs.  The cornet, which was
favored by Nat Adderley for example, has a conical design. 



Hopefully you find the info above at least slightly helpful/useful.  It's
not meant to be definitive either.  Just quick. 



Doug Crane 

KUVO Denver 89.3FM 

dcrane at comcast.net 

----- Original Message -----


From: "Nou Dadoun" <nou.dadoun at gmail.com> 
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com, "Miles Davis listserv - new"
<mileslist at googlegroups.com> 
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1:07:52 AM 
Subject: [JPL] Valve trombones and slide trumpets 


Last week on the show I had occasion to play a valve trombonist (Bob 
Brookmeyer) and a slide trumpeter (Steven Bernstein with Sex Mob and the 
MTO), no surprises there but it made me wonder since it so conveniently 
reversed what I've always considered to be the defining attributes of the 
two instruments. 

I know the difference between the clarinet family and the saxophone family 
(cylindrical vs conical bores) but what are the true distinguishing 
characteristics of the trumpet and trombone, anybody know? 

N. 

-- 
==== 
Nou Dadoun 
The A-Trane on the air since 1986 | CFRO 102.7 FM, Vancouver BC 
Fri 2:30-5:30 pm PST | http://coopradio.org/content/trane 


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