An old oddity: the contrabass trombone

Trombones come in several sizes. Tenor and bass trombone are the most common. Orchestral trombonists frequently use alto trombones. Soprano and contrabass trombones remain novelties. The latter is by far the older of the two. Someone described a performance on a contrabass trombone (probably) in 1568. Michael Praetorius provided the first really comprehensive description of the trombone in the second volume of his Syntagma musicum (1619). He described and illustrated sizes from the alto trombone to the contrabass. The contrabass must have been an oddity in his own lifetime, because his description is rather vague. The one pictured here is … Continue reading