Trombone in Renaissance France

Today I added the below two entries to the Trombone History Timeline (16th century). Both of them involve royal celebrations in Renaissance France. These celebrations are part of what is known as the “Royal Tour of France,” a tour by Charles IX and Catherine de Medici that took place from 1564 to 1566. Notice the terminology of saqueboutte and sacabuche. For more on historical terminology, see Trombone Names Throughout History.

1564—Fontainebleau, France: Celebrations at the residence of Alexander Edward, Duke of Orleans, in connection with a visit by the Pope’s ambassadors, include a performance by 2 shawms and a trombone (“deux hault boys, et une saqueboutte”) (Garcia; Graham and Johnson 152).

1564—France: Celebrations on the Isle of Aiguemeau in the Adour river in honor of the Spanish King and Queen feature various aquatic entertainments. Among these entertainments are 6 trombonists (“seis menestriles con carnamutas sacabuches”) disguised as tritons, riding on the back of an enormous turtle. They perform both to introduce Neptune and, later, while Neptune speaks in verse to the monarchs (Garcia; Graham and Johnson 316).

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