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The “Voice” of the Trombone

jessica d. butler

As trombonists, we often have to tap into repertories of other instruments in search of literature. Don’t get me wrong– I love trombone specific literature– there’s so much wonderful music out there, but I find it fun and challenging to branch out a bit.  Perhaps one of the most extensive repertories available is vocal music.  After all, the human voice may be considered the first music making “instrument.”

Most recently, I have stolen from Johannes Brahms’ Four Serious Songs and adapted them to trombone.  Now this is obviously not a new concept; many adaptations are available for trombone here.  Despite the many adaptations available, I have enjoyed working from the vocal (contralto) score.  One of the advantages of working from the vocal score is viewing the text. Fortunately, the version I am using contains German, English, and French text.

One disadvantage that trombonists will face, as opposed to…

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