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Introductions to the Trombone

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Introductions to the Trombone

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Introductions to the Trombone

 

During Lockdown, as many others were, I was put on the spot by doing a live stream, a very short concert, just solo trombone and whatever resources I could muster to try to cover me up! I wanted to start straight in with music, not a verbal introduction, something that would show the trombone off, but that was very short, a quick burst of ‘here we are, welcome, and this is my trombone!’ idea.

 

So these Introductions were born. There are five of them. Each, in the space of just over a minute, shows off some characteristics of this characterful instrument. Then after playing whichever Introduction you’ve chosen for that performance, you can say hello, and describe the moods you’ve just portrayed. Below are the moods as I see them, but feel free to interpret differently, with different descriptions.

 

  1. The First Introduction expresses the trombone’s characters of Bombast, Martial music, Ethereal and Jazz.
  2. The Second Introduction shows the instrument’s flair for Warmth, Demonstrative, even Wild music, and Big Band
  3. The Third Introduction displays the aspects of Jazz, Heroic music and the Delicate, Comic, Circus-like
  4. The Fourth Introduction introduces the trombone by showing off some Proclamatory Fanfare music, then Sinister, then Sweet.
  5. I got a bit more expansive for the final and Fifth Introduction, and this simply reads Noble, orchestral/Star Wars/Brass Band March/Aggressive, powerful/ Medieval, prayer-like/Frivolous. It is slightly longer than the others, but still well under 2 minutes.

 

The live stream situation is of course very similar to many solo features: from short demos of the instrument to full-blown recitals. These Introductions serve as a musical ‘Hello’ in any of these places, just choose whichever most suits what you want to say about the instrument, or what pieces are in the rest of the programme.

 

Another angle, for younger people really, in a school demo, perhaps, would be to dive in with any of these, then ask them to think of moods/descriptive words that the music made them think of while you play it again, then compare their ideas to what’s on the page. There is, of course, no right or wrong.

May 2020.

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