Sound charakter of the Trombone - Philipp Dangas

Bass trombone register table

Bass trombone register table graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Sheet music for the trombone register table

Since the reed of the tenor bass trombone has a slightly wider bore than the reed of the tenor trombone, the sound of the tenor bass trombone is fuller and darker than the sound of the tenor trombone and softer in the high notes, and the bass also responds a little more powerfully. The tenor bass trombone has the widest scale of any wind instrument. Of the bass trombone pedal tones, the first 4 can be played by everyone, the others only by very good players.

As part of the „symphonic world music“

The bass trombone can be a main instrument in the realization of the sound. In any case, the bass trombone contributes to the "impact" of the sound character.

The audio document contains an example of the trombone sound
[Music by Shostakovich]
Download size: 135 kilobytes
The registers and timbres of the bass trombone
Register Sound character Range (from – to)
high register Very strong and penetrating b 1 [eingestrichene octave] —
b [minor octave]
middle register Strong and solid a [minor octave] —
Gis (As) [major octave]
low register Heavy, strong and resonant G [major octave] —
H1 [contra octave]
lowest register Very massive, very dark B1 [contra octave] —
C1 [contra octave]

Dynamic effect of the trombone

Trumpet dynamic table graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Sheet music for the dynamic table of the trombone

The dynamic table indicates the strength levels of the musical dynamics. In addition to the sound pressure scale measured in decibels [dB], the degrees of strength of musical dynamics are given on the left, which can be understood as "objective" degrees.

The graph drawn to the right of the dB scale should be noted. It shows the estimated dynamic effect over the entire tonal range of the instrument. The dynamic effect (volume) as judged (perceived) by the listener.

Here is an example: In the low register of the trumpet, the dynamic range between pianissimo [pp] 46 decibels [dB] and fortissimo [ff] 82 decibels [dB] = 36 decibels [dB]. In the high register, the range is 8 decibels [dB]. The estimated values can deviate more or less from the "objective" ones.

In principle, the deviations differ from instrument to instrument. The "objective" degrees of intensity piano pianissimo [ppp]= 40 decibels [dB], p=60 decibels [dB] etc. enable the composer to predict the dynamic effects of different instruments that are sounding simultaneously.

The achievable dynamic range of the trombone 32-40 decibels [dB]
Degree of intensity High position Low position
Fortissimo [ ff ] 106 82
Pianissimo [ pp ] 74 42