National Trombone Players Day
Also known as
National Trombone Player's Day
annually on April 1st (since 2010)
Hobbies & Activities
Music & Sound
Work & Career
National Trombone Players Day celebrates trombones and trombone players. It takes place during or right before International Trombone Week. Trombones are brass instruments. Sound is produced when a player's vibrating lips vibrate an air column inside the instrument. A slide mechanism alters the pitch, unlike other brass instruments, which use valves. (Although, there is a valve trombone.) Common trombones are the bass trombone and tenor trombone.
A sackbut was a trombone used in Europe during the time of the Renaissance, beginning in the fifteenth century and declining in the mid-to-late seventeenth century. These trombones were used in bands sponsored by towns and courts. They were played during outdoor events, in concerts, and with liturgy. They were used in wind and orchestral ensembles. Trombonists, along with trumpeters, were also hired as officials to go into towers, keep watch, and herald important people into cities.
The instrument became known as the trombone in the early eighteenth century. Italian music was influential at the time, and the name came from that country, where it was already being used. In Italian, tromba means trumpet, and one means big, so the name translates to "big trumpet."
Bach and Handel included the trombone in a few of their compositions, but Beethoven is credited with introducing the instrument to the symphony orchestra. Christoph Willibald Gluck was the first composer of note to use it in an opera overture. It was then used in nineteenth-century operas, symphonies, and other compositions by composers like Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, and Richard Wagner. It was also used in nineteenth-century wind bands, brass bands, town bands, circus bands, and military bands.
By the first part of the twentieth century, there were fewer community and touring concert bands in the United States, but more high school and university concert and marching bands. Concert trombone sections usually are made up of two tenor trombones and one bass trombone, but it's common to have multiple players for each of these parts. During the twentieth century, trombones held a place of importance in orchestras and were used by the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Béla Bartók, George Gershwin, Gustav Holst, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky. Trombones began being used as a solo instrument in jazz during the swing era, in the mid-1920s. J.J. Johnson and Jack Teagarden were noteworthy soloists of the time.
Today, the trombone is found in big bands, concert bands, symphony orchestras, military bands, marching bands, brass bands, and brass choirs. It's used in chamber music, in brass quintets, quartets, and trios, and in trombone choirs, quartets, and trios. It's used in ska, salsa, R&B, New Orleans brass, jazz, swing, and merengue bands. On National Trombone Players Day, trombones and trombone players of all these types of music are celebrated!
How to Observe National Trombone Players Day
Some ways to celebrate include:
- Let trombone players know that you are thinking of them.
- Play your trombone.
- Buy a trombone and sign up for trombone lessons.
- Check out the National Trombone Players Day Facebook page.
- Explore the Online Trombone Journal, the International Trombone Association, and the British Trombone Society.
- Read a trombone history timeline.
- Learn about some famous trombone players and listen to their music and the music of other players.