Celebrate loud and proud on International Trombone Week (ITW), observed annually in the first full week in April! This year, that week falls from April 7 to 13, but we are encouraged to celebrate all month long. It was created by the International Trombone Association (ITA) to expose the world to the wonderful sounds of the trombone. This unique instrument has a long and proud history. Take a look with us at how it changed and developed.
History of International Trombone Week
If you’ve ever been to a jazz bar, an orchestra, or even a grand live band, then you are more than likely to have been graced by the sweet sounds of the trombone. Often confused with the trumpet, the trombone is a brass musical instrument whose shape is likened to that of a trumpet, only bigger. It has an extendable slide which makes the different sounds possible.
The trombone is not the easiest instrument to master. It takes years of patience, willpower, and lungs of steel to become an expert in the craft. Its roots can be traced way back to the 15th Century, during the Renaissance. Sackbut, as it was called in the 1400s, was a hit in sponsored and dance bands all across Europe from its inception to the late 17th Century. Trombone players in Germany were employed as civil officials. After that, they were mostly used in official settings such as the arrival of important guests to the city. There were still a few trombone players that could be found in orchestras or religious settings.
As Italian music became influential in the 18th Century, sackbuts made a comeback, rebranded as ‘trombones’. In the later Baroque period, composers like Bach and Handel used trombones on certain occasions. The classic instrument underwent a few construction changes and popular demand in a variety of genres from the Classical period through the Romantic period to the 20th Century. Trombones are still being used in orchestras, concerts, bands, choirs, and in music genres like jazz, R&B, swing, and salsa. The International Trombone Association (ITA) was established in 1972 and is the creator of International Trombone Week (ITW).
International Trombone Week timeline
The term ‘sackbut’ is used to describe the trombone during the Renaissance period.
The term ‘trombone’ is coined, generated from the Italian translation of ‘big trumpet’.
The International Trombone Association (ITA) is established.
The ITA creates International Trombone Week.
International Trombone Week FAQs
Is there an International Trombone Day?
No there is not.
Can anyone join the International Trombone Association?
You can sign up to become a member of the International Trombone Association (ITA) by visiting their website. The ITA currently has over 4,000 members across 74 countries!
Is there an International Trombone Festival?
Yes, there is. It is an annual event that features trombone players from all across the world in a multi-day event.
International Trombone Week Activities
Feed your ears
Make time each day within the week to listen to a recording, composition, or even attend an orchestra that is trombone-led. We are encouraged to celebrate throughout the month, so don’t try to limit yourself!
Play the trombone
This week, play your trombone whenever you get the chance. You could also make some recordings for memories while you do so.
Attend an ITA event
The International Trombone Association (ITA) organizes several events all across April in honor of International Trombone Week. Visit their site to see their details, and plan out a few events you could go to.
5 Amazing Facts About The Trombone
It’s been called the ‘voice of God’
Beethoven and other composers described the sound of the trombone as the voice of God due to its perfect intonation at all times.
It’s not left-hand friendly
The construction of the trombone is naturally not friendly to left-handed players, forcing a lot of them to be right-hand dominant.
Its first public appearance was a wedding
The first time the trombone was played publicly was at the Duke of Burgundy’s wedding to his Portuguese wife in 1468.
It is different from other brass instruments
What sets the trombone apart from other brass instruments is that it uses a slide rather than a valve to alter pitches, making it the only brass instrument to do so.
It also represents death and Hades
Classical and Baroque composers often considered the trombone an afterlife instrument and used it to depict the depths of hell in operas like Don Giovanni.
Why We Love International Trombone Week
It’s a music holiday
Who doesn't love music? One can’t help but admit the joy, peace, and connection music brings. We value every new opportunity to celebrate something in the music industry, and this week presents such an opportunity.
It’s a chance to learn an instrument
Learning an instrument is one dream a lot of people have but always tend to postpone for one reason or the other. If you’ve always had interest to learn to play an instrument, this week gives you the chance to see if the trombone might be the best fit for you.
Celebration lasts more than a week
We love this holiday because it is packed with activities and events! Music dwells all month long on International Trombone Week.
International Trombone Week dates