[Trombone-l] Trombone-l Berlioz, Beethoven

Howard Weiner h.weiner at online.de
Thu Jan 3 08:45:14 CST 2008

At 10:25 02.01.2008 -0800, John Cather wrote:
>Considering alto trombones were used in Europe for some 300+ years
>prior to Beethoven, I'm not so sure nobody knew they existed.

Alto trombones were indeed in use in Europe for a 
long time before Beethoven (although 300+ years 
is pushing it a bit), yet they were never as 
widely used as most people today seem to think.

Nevertheless, I did not say that "nobody" knew 
that alto trombones existed. I said that the alto 
trombone was unknown in Vienna during Beethoven's 
time – it probably fell out of use there ca. 1619 
and was not reintroduced until 1883.

>Without having investigated whether or not Beethoven intended an alto
>for these parts,

Ah! But I have. See my article "When is an Alto 
Trombone an Alto Trombone? When is a Bass 
Trombone a Bass Trombone? – The Makeup of the 
Trombone Section in Eighteenth- and Early 
Nineteenth-Century Orchestras," Historic Brass 
Society Journal 17 (2005), pp. 37-79.


Howard Weiner
h.weiner at online.de

Tosca jumped to a conclusion.  

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