History of Trombone

Trombones are one of the most popular instruments available, being able to work within several different musical genres. However, despite their wide use, many people aren’t familiar with their long history. So, let’s take a brief look at the origins of the trombone and some of the most important players.

Origins Of The Trombone

It’s believed that the trombone was invented in the 15th Century. In the early years, it was restricted to use in religious ceremonies. This is because of the wide array of notes and emotions that the trombone was able to create. Because of this, they regarded as a holy instrument. Interestingly, initially, the trombone was called a sackbut or saqueboute. This was similar to the name given to swords at the time and is believed to be linked to the long slide used in trombones.

In the 18th Century, the trombone started to become more widely used, after it was utilized by Beethoven in his fifth symphony. As a result, people started to experiment with the types of sounds that trombones could create. It was at this time that the instrument was renamed to become the trombone. However, until the 20th Century, the trombone was limited to use within orchestras.

As the jazz movement started to become more popular, people wanted to experiment with many new sounds. This led to the trombone’s re-emergence. Players were keen to try out new techniques, leading to many people wanting to explore the trombone and the wide variety of notes that it could achieve. As this instrument became more popular in jazz other musical genres like dance and pop started to try to incorporate it into their songs more frequently. As a result, the trombone can be found in almost every genre today. For example, there are dozens of famous modern concertos, like A Motorbike Odyssey and Folke Rabe All the Lonely People.

Most Significant Trombone Players

There have been many players that have helped grow the popularity of the trombone. For example, Arthur Pryor was a key part of the popular Sousa Band. There he became well-known for his fast playing style and clear notes. Another notable player is Don Lusher, who was able to master the ballad style of play. Also, Christian Lindberg has become a key figure in the evolution of the trombone. He’s been determined to show that the trombone can work as a solo instrument, showing off the versatility of the instrument. The work of JJ Johnson is also noteworthy. He’s played with some of the most popular music artists of all time, including Count Basie and Miles Davis.


As we’ve seen, over the years the trombone has evolved from an obscure instrument primarily used for church performances to a modern instrument, used across several genres. If you want to learn the instrument yourself, there are many different types of trombones available. Because of this, you’ll need to think about the type of songs that you want to play. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re getting a durable instrument that lasts for a long time. If you need more tips, check out this useful information on choosing trombones. So, now you’ll be able to get a trombone and play a part in the continued evolution of this versatile instrument.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.