Construction and function of the trombone - Philipp Dangas

Construction and function of the trombone

Graphic showing the construction and function of the trombone can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Components of the trombone in small representation

The trombone consists of a cylindrical tube bent into an S-shape, into which a mouthpiece is inserted at one end and opens into a bell at the other end. The parallel pipe sections of the main pipe and the two open ends of the train are connected to each other by crossbars (“bridges”). This gives the instrument the necessary stability. When the trombone is pulled out, a distinction is made between 7 different positions.

In the 1st position, the cable is fully retracted, resulting in the shortest tube length. The natural scale that can be produced in this position is the basic scale of the trumpet. This is followed by 6 further positions at an increasing distance until the train is pulled out as far as possible. All trombone designs are played with a cup mouthpiece. The material used is brass, gold brass or German silver. Qualified players use different mouthpieces with a narrow or wide bore, depending on whether they have to play high or low notes.

The original tube length of the tenor trombone (with the slide pulled in) is 2.90 m. Tenor trombone players can convert it into a tenor bass trombone by attaching a fourth or fifth valve. When playing, d is held with the left hand, the right hand operates the slide.

This sound file is a example of the trombone sound [Music by Dmitri Shostakovich] Download size: 135 kilobytes
Key data on the functional principle of the brass instruments
Component/Technology Function
1. Mouthpiece The most important factor in determining the timbre. The sound is created by the lips of the wind instrument and formed in the mouthpiece.
2. Tube The pitch as well as the timbre and the length of the tube determines this.
3. Valves In brass instruments, the valves are used to change the tube length in order to enable chromatic play.
4.  Bell This helps determine the timbre. Longer and narrower bells produce a bright sound. Shorter and wider produce a soft sound.
5. Overblowing technique Overblowing is the technique that makes the instrument sound in a higher register by increasing the blowing pressure.