Trombone With Various Other Ensembles, 1450-1650


A group of musicians presumably preparing for a performance is depicted in Lionello Spada's painting, "Concert" (c. 1610, Rome).

A group of musicians presumably preparing for a performance is depicted in Lionello Spada’s painting, “Concert” (c. 1610, Rome).

c. 1480—Ferrara, Italy: The Casanatense manuscript, a collection of secular polyphony “identified with the repertories used by the wind bands of Italian courts and cities” is likely prepared specifically for the Ferrara court’s wind players, including trombones (quote from Brown and Polk, Instrumental Music 128; see also Lockwood, Music in Renaissance Ferrara 299; and Polk, Patronage and Innovation). As Keith Polk says, “In any case, at the very minimum, the repertory contained in the Casanatense manuscript would have been played by the court shawms and trombones, and would have formed a part of the repertory of wind players in general” (Polk, Patronage and Innovation; see also Lockwood, Music in Renaissance Ferrara 299).

1494—Venice, Italy: In a letter written by Giovanni Alvise, a city musician of Venice, Alvise discusses arrangements of motets by Obrecht and Busnois for wind band, specifically mentioning the trombone by name, and other parts by range only: “In these past days we have made instrumental arrangements of certain motets, of which I am sending two to your Lordship. One of these is a work of Obrecht, i.e. for four voices, two sopranos, a tenor and a ‘contra alto.’ And because we are six, I have added two bass parts to be played by trombones” (Polk, German 73, 85).

c. 1502-1506—Bologna, Italy: A collection of music later called Bologna Q 18 is compiled, probably for the use of Bologna’s civic wind band (Concerto Palatino), which includes 2 trombones at the time of this collection, or for a group of aristocratic amateurs in Bologna capable of reading and playing the music. The original manuscript itself shows physical evidence of being well used. The collection contains more than 70 textless pieces, most of which are for 4 parts (although there are also 19 for 3 parts and 1 for 5 parts). Individual pieces have been attributed to Isaac, Josquin, Compere, and Tromboncino (Weiss, Introduction to Bologna Q 18, 5-12).

1530-57—A series of works published by Pierre Attaignant, beginning with the Six Galliardes et six Pavanes, is probably intended for a wind band of trombones and shawms (Whitwell, Renaissance 70).

1539—Florence, Italy: “On the entrance of the most illustrious Duchess” at the wedding procession of Duke Cosimo I and Leonora of Toledo, Corteccia’s motet, a 8, Ingredere felicissimis auspiciis urbem tuam Helionora, is “sung over the archway of the great door of the Porta al Prato with 24 voices on one side and on the other 4 trombones and 4 cornetti” (Brown Sixteenth-Century Instrumentation, 88; Reese 366). The wedding festivities also include a madrigal performed by a female vocalist and 4 trombones; a contemporary account records, “This last act was closed by Night, dressed in a black silk veil with a blue-starred headdress, the moon above her forehead….She sang sweetly Ventien ’ almo riposo: ecco ch ’ io torno to the accompaniment of 4 trombones (Bowles, Musical Ensembles 25).

1541—Paul Kugelmann, court trumpeter in Königsberg, writes “Laudate Dominum,” a vocal canon accompanied by 4 trombones and 4 cornetts (Whitwell, Catalog Before 1500 78).

1545—In his description of Le dixiesme livre, a collection of music, Susato reviews the contents: “…containing various chansons for your practice, in which you use instruments that we most often use in the noble and excellent art of music: in war, one uses trumpets, sackbuts [bucines], and German pipes…” (Forney, New Insights 16).

1547—France: King Henry II visits Lyons. One of the pieces composed to celebrate the visit is Piero Manucci’s “Io che del Bronzo fui,” an intermedio sung by 4 voices and accompanied by 3 crumhorns and a sackbut (Whitwell, Renaissance 76).

1548—In a description of the intermedio La Calandvia for Bernardo Dovizi, mention is made of a work by Piero Manucci. The piece, L’eta mi Chiamo Aarato e venga a 5, calls for 5 voices, 2 cornetts, and 3 trombones (Collver 188).

1558—In Germany, Krüger publishes a volume of vocal chorales with accompaniments of organ and 4 to 6 trombones (Daubeny 95).

1565—Florence, Italy: Wedding festivities for Prince Francesco de’ Medici and Johanna of Austria include performance of the comedy La Cofanaria by Francesco d’Ambra, with interludes (intermedii) between the acts. The trombone is used in several different settings. The 1st intermedio, for example, calls for 2 trombones (Westrup, Monteverdi and the Orchestra), and the 5th intermedio features Striggio’s madrigal Fuggi mia speme, fuggi, accompanied by 4 violins and 4 offstage trombones (Bowles, Musical Ensembles 53).

1567—Florence, Italy: Alessandro Striggio writes 6 intermedi for performance with Lotto del Mazzo’s I Fabii. The intermedii make extensive use of trombone. For example, the second intermedio features music sung by a bass and soprano voice, accompanied behind the scenes by 4 trombones, 3 harpsichords, 3 lutes, 4 viols, 2 recorders, and a transverse flute. The third intermedio makes use of trombone in a pastoral scene. The fifth intermedio features 12 female voices representing heaven in a 5-part madrigal, supported by 2 trombones, 4 viols, 1 lyra, 1 lute, and 1 muted cornett, while earth is represented by 2 trombones and 3 flutes. The sixth intermedio features a 6-part canzona sung by 12 voices and accompanied by 4 trombones, 2 cornetts, 6 lutes, 1 bass viol, 1 soprano viol, 2 recorders, and 1 transverse flute (Weaver, Sixteenth-Century Instrumentation).

1567—Florence, Italy: Three weeks of festivities celebrating the birth of a Leonora to Grand Duke Francesco de’ Medici and Princess Johanna of Austria begin with a hunt, followed by an evening pageant of hunters; a contemporary account says, “Afterwards they had sixteen musicians, some of whom sang and others who played [instruments]….The song was written on order of the Illustrious Duke by a young gentleman from our city, in the manner of our forefathers, accustomed to composing dance music….[There were] huge and amazing triumph-wagons, with all sorts of inventions….There were sixteen musicians, as I’ve said, divided as follows: the music was in six parts, composed by that excellent Francesco Corteccia: that is, all the voices doubled by the tenor out-of-doors, and accompanied and doubled by two trombones, two crumhorns and two cornetts, all of which together produced a sweet harmony” (Bowles, Musical Ensembles 57). Later there is another dramatic procession: “On the next Thursday, the twelfth of the present [month], Signor Triano Boba…continuing the entertainment with excellent musicians, ordered an outdoor masquerade [featuring] a carriage of widows, which proceeded first to His Highness and then to the noblest houses in the city, entering them to sing and play the song [Hor che vedove, e sole] written by Domenico Mellini to music composed by that excellent Alessandro Striggio, in six parts, and accompanied by two viols, two trombones, two flutes and two lutes, which produced a harmonious and most sweet harmony (Bowles, Musical Ensembles 57). The following Sunday the cardinal hosts a festival in front of the old Medici palace that includes, according to a contemporary account, “excellent musicians, some vocal and some with instruments, singing and playing the following canzona [Per questi duo guerrier famosi] with words by Scipione dale Palle, an excellent Sienese musician, and music by Stefano Rossetto, for six [voices] accompanied by two trombones, two lutes, a lira [viol], a gravecembalo, a cornett and a flute (Bowles, Music Ensembles 57). Another masquerade on the following Monday features a madrigal, Scorte dal chiaro lune, by Alessandro Striggio, “in four parts, accompanied by trombones and cornetts: that is, the first time with voices alone, unaccompanied; and the second time with instruments and voices together…the voices were doubled on [each] part; and between the singers and instrumentalists were a large number [of performers]” (Bowles, Music Ensembles 58). On the final day of the festivities, an allegorical pageant, The Triumph of Fortune, again features trombones; a contemporary account states: “[The pageant] was replete with musicians who sang and played the song [Donne poscia ch’a voi non fatte ancelle le grazie]. The [pageant-] ship symbolized the triumph of Fortune….[The song] was written by a young gentleman from Siena, with music by Steffano Rossetto, in six parts, accompanied by three trombones, two cornetts, a flute and a lira [da braccio]” (Bowles, Music Ensembles 58).

1568—Munich, Germany: During a banquet celebrating the marriage of Wilhelm V of Bavaria to Renata (Reneé) of Lorraine, trombone participates in numerous pieces: Musicians play Battaglia a 8 of Annibale Padovano on trombones and cornetts, then a 7-voice motet by Lassus with 5 cornetts and 2 trombones, followed by a madrigal by Alessandro Striggio for 6 bass trombones (one of which plays an octave lower than usual). During another course, 5 trombones and a cornett participate in works by organist Annibale Padovano and “other masters” (Haar, Munich 251, 253; Bowles, Musical Ensembles 60). At least 3 other banquet performances include trombone. One of them features, according to eyewitness Massimo Troiano, “the wind instruments, now with cornamuse, now with recorders, now with flutes, and now with trombones [tromboni] and cornetts” (Boydell, Crumhorn 295). In another banquet, “…here there played sweetly a harpsichord, a trombone [trombone], a recorder, a lute, a cornamusa, a mute cornett, a viola da Gamba, and a flute, which music certainly pleased me greatly” (Boydell, Crumhorn 295). During the “fruit course” of the final banquet of the celebrations, a 24-part work is performed that includes “Eight viole, eight viole da braccio, and eight different instruments, namely a curtal, a cornamusa, a mute cornett, an alto cornett, a large twisted cornett, a fiffaro, a dolzaina, and a large trombone [un Trombone, Grosso]” (Boydell, Crumhorn 296). The performance is followed by a vocal version of the same piece by the members of the ducal chapel (Haar, Munich 254). According to Reese, Alessandro Striggio’s 40-part motet, Ecce beatam lucem, is performed at the celebrations, utilizing a mixed consort of 8 trombones, 8 viols, 8 recorders, 2 choirs of 8 voices, a bass lute, and a harpsichord (Reese, 487).

1568—Florence, Italy: Wedding celebrations for the marriage of Virginia de’ Medici to Cesare d’Este include intermedii for the comedy L’Amico fide, by Giovanni Bardi. Music for the intermedii is by Bardi and Alessandro Striggio. In the 2nd intermedio, a “horrible old man with a scraggly beard, naked and covered with flames,” sings to the accompaniment of trombones and bass viols. In the 3rd intermedio, birds signaling the arrival of spring are accompanied by lutes, harps, muted cornets, trombones, and dulcians. In the 4th intermedio, an angry Neptune sings to the accompaniment of trombones, lutes, harps, and transverse flutes (Nagler, Theatre Festivals of the Medici 58-65).

1569—Orlando di Lasso’s “Motette,” which is performed by 5 cornetts and 2 trombones, is contained in M. Troiano, Dialoghi, Venice (Whitwell, Catalog Before 1500 79).

c. 1575—Orlando di Lasso instrumental works that feature trombone include Concupiscendo concupiscit a 6 (2 cornetts, 4 trombones); Domine quid multiplicati sunt a 6 (2 cornetts, 2 “Pumart,” 2 trombones); Cantate Domino canticum novum (2 cornetts, “Pumart,” 3 trombones); Deus in adiutorium meum indende (2 cornetts, 3 “Pumart,” trombone); Laudate pueri a 7 (2 cornetts, 2 “Pumart,” 3 trombones); Decantabat populus a 7 (6 cornetts, trombone); Laudate Hierusalem dominum a 6 (2 cornetts, 2 “Pumart,” 2 trombones); Omnia tempus habent a 8 (cornett, “Pumart,” 4 trombones); Surge propera a 6 (2 cornetts, 4 trombones); Angelus Domini descendit de coelo a 6 (2 cornetts, “Pumart,” 3 trombones) (Collver 57).

1579—Florence, Italy: 4 trombones participate in a performance by a large mixed consort: “On the preceding evening there was a concert in honor of the Venetian noblemen who had come to Florence with the father of Grand Duchess Bianca, Bartolomeo Cappello, and other relatives of hers. Twelve harpsichords [clavicordi], an organ, four trombones, two cornetts, thirty viols, a violin, a piffaro, a double-bass, and twelve lutes took part in the concert and made a lovely sound. The words, in praise of the Grand duchess, were set to music by Signor Striggio” (Newcomb 33).

c. 1580—Italy: Alessandro Striggio (c. 1540-1592) writes Ecco ch’io lass’il core a 6, which is scored for 3 trombones, 2 cornetts, and Pumart (Collver 70).

1587—Mantua, Italy: Trombones perform with numerous other musicians at the coronation of Vincenzo Gonzaga as Duke of Mantua. As recorded in the festival book, “The music for the coronation Mass was sheer perfection, written for this specific event by that most excellent musician and maestro di cappella of His Highness, Signor Giaches de Wert, known for the superiority of his compositions [and] world famous; and following the ensemble pieces were [concerti] for organ, voices, cornets and trombones…” (Bowles, Music in Court Festivals; Sanders, Gonzaga 99).

1587—Venice, Italy: Existing vocal partbooks for Andrei ’s motet Judica me include handwritten suggestions for instrumental performance, including 2 parts for trombone (Kurtzman Monteverdi Vespers 140).

1589—Florence, Italy: Trombones are used to accompany voices singing of the horrors of Avernus in Giovanni Bardi’s “Miseri habitator,” one of the pieces performed at Florence festivities (Westrup, Monteverdi and the Orchestra).

1589—Pisa, Italy: At celebrations surrounding the visit of Christine [Madama Christierna de l’Oreno Gran duchessa di Toscana], a mock battle on the Arno River between Christians and Turks concludes with a performance of music by Antonio Buonavita in which the “Arabi” sing 3 ottave:the 1st is a solo aria; the 2nd is a work in 10 parts, performed by 52 people with 6 trombones, 4 cornetts, and organ; and the 3rd is a work in 20 parts, performed by the same forces as the 2nd ottava (Fenlon, Music and Culture in Late Renaissance Italy, 225).

1591—Italy: Luca Marenzio calls for trombone in the “Combatimento di Apolline col Serpente” of his Intermedii et Concerti (Collver 135).

1597—In Venice, Giovanni Gabrieli writes his first volume of Sacrae symphoniae, which utilizes trombone extensively. Included in the volume is Sonata pian e forte, one of the earliest large-ensemble works to indicate specific instrumentation and dynamics. It is an 8-part canzona for two choirs; the first choir calls for 3 trombones and a cornett, the second for 3 trombones and a violin. Another work from the collection, Canzon quarti toni a 15, calls for 12 trombones, 2 cornettos, and 1 violin. Canzon in Ecco duodecimi toni a 10 and Canzon sudetta accomodate per concertar both call for 2 trombones (Collver 51). According to musicologist David Schulenberg, “the most important instruments in this music [Venetian polychoral works]—after the organ, which furnished the basso continuo—were the cornetto and the sackbut.” (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1599—London, England: Antony Holborne composes Pavans, Galliards, Almains, and other short Airs both grave, and light, in five parts, for Viols, Violins, or other Musicall Winde Instruments. Based on the title, which specifies Musicall Winde Instruments, the pieces are presumably performed in various combinations that likely include trombone (Boyd 163).

Early 1600s—Kassel, Germany: A five-part pavan by Landgrave Moritz of Hesse-Kassel specifies four parts: FiffaroCornettoTrombone, and dolzano. Landgrave Moritz, incidentally, is the same man credited with the discovery and sponsorship of the young Heinrich Schütz (Boydell, Crumhorn 402).

1602—Cremona, Italy: Lodovico Viadana specifies trombone in a collection of canzoni, Cento concerti ecclesiastici. For example, Canzon Francese in risposta calls for violin, cornett, 2 trombones, and organ (Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation; Collver 72).

1607—Mantua, Italy: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, considered by many the first true opera, uses 5 trombones (2 altos, 2 tenors, and a bass). Trombones are particularly prominent in the underworld scenes (Daubeny 95). An ensemble of trombones and cornettos plays in acts III and IV.

1607—Italy: Giulio Radino publishes a Magnificat which, though texted in all 16 parts, specifies Choro de Tromboni in 4 of the parts (Kurtzman, Monteverdi Vespers, 124).

1607—Italy: A posthumous print of Giulio Radino Padavano’s Concerti per sonare et cantare includes works by several composers. Amadio Freddi’s O Domine Iesu, which is included in the collection, is texted in all voices, but has a rubric calling for trombone in every part except the cantus. The Padavano collection also contains Media nocte, a 12-part motet by Orindio Bartolini that calls for trombone in the texted part-book (Kurtzman, Monteverdi Vespers, 121).

1608—Venice, Italy: Raverii’s 1608 collection, Canzoni per Sonare con ogni sorte di stromenti, includes Claudio Merulo’s Canzon vigesimaterza a 5 and Canzon decimaottava a 5.

1608—The earliest extant work by Heinrich Schütz, Ach wie sol lich doch in Freuden leben (Ah how shall I still live in joy), calls for 3 “choruses”: soprano voice with 3 lutes, soprano voice with 3 violas, and soprano voice with 3 trombones (Smallman 12).

1608—Venice, Italy: Il primo libro de’ concerti ecclesiastici…, a collection of vocal music by Arcangelo Crotti, includes numerous works that specify trombone. Among them are Sonata sopra Sancta Maria (soprano, 2 violins or cornetts, trombone, organ), O sacrum convivium (soprano, cornett, trombone, organ), Congratulamini (soprano, cornett, trombone, bass instrument, organ), and Pater peccavi (soprano, cornett, 3 trombones, organ) (Collver 101).

1609—Italy: A number of Girolamo Giacobbi’s psalms are scored for coro ordinario (SATB) and coro grave (alto voice with 3 trombones) (Roche, North Italian 120).

1609—Italy: A motet titled Cantate Domino contains the following rubric at the beginning of the piece: “To be concerted with two violins and two trombones” (Kurtzman, Monteverdi Vespers, 123).

1610—Italy: Giovanni Paolo Cima publishes Concerti ecclesiastici. One of the works in the collection, Capriccio d’Andrea Cima a 4, calls for violin, cornett, violone, trombone, and organ (Collver 47).

1610—Bologna, Italy: Adriano Banchieri writes a collection of 21 motets. Following the last page of music, the composer gives a table of several ways the motets may be performed; among the ways are “Trombone & Violino Stromenti” and “Basso Trombone & Soprano voce” (Collver 42).

1610—In Italy, Claudo Monteverdi composes Vespers, which uses trombones prominently. In 3 of the collection’s compositions, Domine ad Adjuvandum, Sonata Sopra Sancta Maria Ora Pro Nobis, and Magnificat a Sette Voci, Monteverdi calls for specific obbligato instruments, including trombone, multiple times (Kurtzman, Monteverdi Vespers, 412). In Sonata sopra Sancta Maria, not only does Monteverdi call for trombone, but he suggests the instrument as a substitute for the vivola da brazzo part (Bonta Violone 69). (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1610—Giovanni Paolo Cima specifies trombone in works from his collection Concerti ecclesiastici, including Sonata (trombone or violone) and Cappriccio d’Andrea Cima a 4 (1 trombone) (Collver 47).

1610—Italy: Lodovico Viadana, Sinfonia “La Bergamasca” for 8 instruments, from Sinfonie musicali.

1611—Italy: Amante Franzoni writes Canzon francese for 2 trombones, cornetto, and organ. The piece is part of a large collection called Concerti ecclesiastici (Collver 50).

1612—Italy: Lodovico da Viadana’s Salmi a Quattro chori contains instructions for performing his polychoral works for 4 choirs. In the third choir, he instructs, “the tenor is sung by several voices, with trombones.” In the fourth choir, “the [second] part is in a comfortable tenor register, sung by a number of voices with trombones; the third part is a baritone—again, this should have good voices or trombones, with violins. The bass is always low, so it should be sung by deep voices with trombones…” (Roche, North Italian 118).

1612—Bologna, Italy: Adriono Banchieri composes his Moderna armonia di canzoni alla francese. In the foreword, he suggests trombone as one of many options for performing the work (Collver 42). Numbers 11 through 25 are 2-part works (trombone and cornett), and numbers 26 and 27 are 4-part works (2 trombones and 2 cornetts) (Winkler 298).

1613—Italy: Ercole Porta’s Canzona 33, a 2-part work, calls for cornett and trombone. Canzona 34, a 3-part work, calls for 2 cornetts or violins and one trombone (Winkler 299). His La Luchina, canzon in risposta, from Vaga Ghirlanda di soavi, calls for violin, cornett, 2 trombones, and basso continuo (Collver 65). See also the Trombone and Violin(s) category for this entry.

1613—Imola, Italy: Giulio Belli writes Concerti ecclesiastici a due et a tre voci, which calls for trombone. Specifically, Canzona No. 16 is a 2-part work that specifies trombone, cornett (or violin), and continuo, and Canzona No. 29 is a 3-part work calling for 2 cornetts (or violins), trombone, and continuo (Collver 43). See also the Trombone and Violin(s) category for this entry.

1614—Brescia, Italy: Pietro Lappi calls for trombone in his vocal work, Sacrae melodiae (Collver 129).

c. 1615—Graz, Austria: Giovanni Valentini (c. 1582-1649) writes Canzon a 2 for trombone, cornett, and continuo; Sonata a 4 for trombone, cornettino, bassoon, and organ; and Sonata a 5 for trombone, 2 cornetts, 2 violins, and continuo (Collver 71).

1615—In Venice, Giovanni Gabrieli’s collection, Canzone e Sonate, is published 3 years after his death. Trombone is featured prominently. For example, Sonata XVIII a 14 calls for 10 trombones, Canzon IV a 6 calls for 2 trombones, and Sonata XX a 22 calls for 2 trombones (Collver 51).

1615—Venice, Italy: Symphoniae sacrae II, a collection of Giovanni Gabrieli’s works, is published 3 years after his death. Trombone is featured prominently. For example, Jubilate Deo is scored for alto voice, tenor voice, 5 trombones, 2 cornetts, and bassoon. Surrexit Christus is scored for alto voice, tenor voice, bass voice, 4 trombones, 2 cornetts, and 2 violins, and features extended instrumental sections (Roche, North Italian 115; Collver 116). Suscipe a 12 calls for 6 voices and 6 trombones (Bartlett, Giovanni Gabrieli: A Guide). Quem vidistis pastores a 14 utilizes 3 trombones (Collver 116).

1615—Italy: Arcangelo Borsaro writes for 2 cornetts (or violins), trombone, and organ in his La Matusaleme a tre from Odarati fiori (Collver 45). See also the Trombone and Violin(s) category for this entry.

1616—Munich, Germany: Bernardino Borlasca, newly-appointed Hofkapellmeister of the Bavarian court, publishes Scala Iacob, a collection of motets. The preface to the collection says the following about instrumentation of polychoral works: “The first choir is to consist of four principal parts with a soprano and a castrato or a pleasant falsetto, accompanied by a body of diverse stringed instruments such as viole da braccia or da gamba, a large harp, a lirone, or other similar instruments as are common today, especially at the Bavarian court; indeed His Serene Highness has examples of every kind of instrument of this sort, as well as men of exquisite excellence. Moreover, where the letter V. is found, the voice should sing; at the word Sinfonia the instruments should play, and at the letter T. the voices and instruments should play together. The second choir should, like the first, also consist of the same voices, but of different instruments. For, if in the first are found plucked instruments or strings, in the second should be placed wind instruments, such as cornetts and trombones, and pleasingly tempered by a violin playing the contralto part an octave above. In this same way in the first choir a cornett playing the same part, if it is a choir of viols, is such a different instrument that by following these instructions one will be assured of obtaining lovely and delightful harmony.” Borlasca’s collection contains at least a dozen works that utilize 2 or 3 trombones in such a manner (Collver 93).

1616—Stuttgart, Germany: Festivities celebrating the baptism of Prince Friedrich von Württemberg feature trombone extensively. First, at the service itself, the “Assum Version” festival book records, “The charming piece by Gregor Aichinger, Laudate Dominum &c. for eight voices, with two cornetts, four trombones and two bassoons was executed by the most select vocalists, ending most appropriately.” Following the baptism, a Te Deum by Salomon is sung, utilizing 3 ensembles: “The first, with a positive organ, four fiddles, two lutes, a small pipe and large contrabass viols, besides four singers. The other, with regal, one cornett, two trombones, a bassoon and four vocal soloists. The third also with a regal, three trombones, a serpent, in addition to four musicians. Whenever the three ensembles played together [there was added] the great organ, a cornett and a contra bassoon [Pommerten Vagoten]” (Bowles 199-200, 207).

1617—Dresden, Germany: A 3-day celebration is held to mark the centenary of the start of the Reformation. For the occasion, Heinrich Schütz writes several richly scored Psalm settings that include cornetts, trumpets, trombones, and timpani (Smallman 29).

1617—Venice, Italy: Biagio Marini’s Affetti musicali, a collection of instrumental music, includes several works that specify trombone, including La Foscarina (2 cornetts or violins, trombone or bassoon, continuo) (Winkler 299, Collver 45). For other works from the collection, see the category Trombone and Violin(s). 

1617-1626—Bologna, Italy: Camillo Cortellini, leader of the Concerto Palatino, publishes numerous concerted masses that include trombone. For example, his Messe a otto voce (1617) includes 3 trombones (Schnoebelen, Bologna 1580, 113; Guion, Missing Link).

1618—Venice, Italy: Biagio Marini’s Madrigali et symfonie a una, 2, 3, 4, 5 utilizes trombone in “La Rizza,” which calls for violin, cornett, trombone, bassoon, and basso continuo (Collver 60).

1618—Italy: Bastiano Miseroca writes Canzon a 3 for 2 cornetts, trombone, and continuo. The work is part of a larger collection called I pietosi affetti (Collver 62).

1618—Leipzig, Germany: Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) utilizes trombones in Concert mit 11 StimmenHaus und Güter erbet man von Eltern, which he composes for the wedding of Michael Thomes and Anna Schules (Collver 167).

1618—Leipzig, Germany: Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) writes Das Te Deum Laudamus, a polychoral vocal work that calls for 2 trombones in one choir and 1 trombone in another (Collver 163).

1618/19—Giovanni Priuli, Canzon terza a 6 (due cornetti e viola, due tromboni e fagotto).

1618/19—Giovanni Priuli, Canzon quarta a 6 (3 violini, 3 tromboni).

1619—Wolfenbüttel, Germany: Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica, a collection by Michael Praetorius of compositions based on Lutheran hymns, includes vater unser im Himmelreich, a hymn accompanied by contrasting groups of 4-part strings and 4-part trombones (Leaver 281). Many others call for trombone, including Das alte Jahr ist nun vergahn, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, Wachet auf, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam (3 trombones), Jubiliret frölich, In dich hab ich gehoffet Her (4 trombones), Als der gütige Gotte, Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott, Erhalt uns Herr bei deinen Wort (4 trombones), In dulci jubiloWenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein (3 trombones), and Herr Christ der einzig Gottes Sohn (Collver 151).

1619—In Dresden, Germany, Heinrich Schütz publishes Psalmen Davids, his first major collection of German church works. Many of the works include prominent trombone parts and obbligato roles (Smallman 35, 37, 42). Herr unser Herrscher and Zion spricht, der Herr hat mich Verlassen both call for 4 trombones, for example, while Ist nicht Ephraim mein theurer Sohn and Wol dem, der den Herren fürchtet call for 3 trombones (Collver 168). (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1619—Venice, Italy: Francesco Usper writes Compositioni armoniche. It includes Sonata a 8, which calls for 4 trombones, 2 cornetts, 2 violins, and continuo; Beatus qui intelligit, which utilizes 3 trombones (including “Trombone Grosso”); and Ego dormio a 8, which utilizes 4 trombones (Collver 71, 179).

1619—Modena, Italy: Motetti spirituali by Sulpitia Cesis calls for 2 trombones (Collver 99).

1619-20—Giovanni Priuli’s Canzon prima a 12 is published as part of a collection that includes a number of canzoni featuring trombone.

c. 1620—Giovanni Valentini calls for 2 cornetts and 2 trombones in Canzon a 4.

1620—In Italy, Ercole Porta’s Mass is scored for five-part choir, 3 trombones, and 2 violins (Roche 140).

1620—Leipzig, Germany: Johann Hermann Schein writes Lyrica Davidica, a vocal work that calls for trombone (Collver 163).

1621—Venice, Italy: Dario Castello, a member of the piffaro (wind band), composes numerous chamber compositions with parts for 1 or 2 trombones, particularly in his Quinta Sonata from Book I (Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation; Wigness 9). Referring to the virtuosic technical demands of the trombone parts in these sonatas, the second edition of Book 1 includes the following note: “He says, in short, that they are the consequence of the new style everyone is observing and hopes that the players will not give up on the first try” (Wigness 10). Specific pieces include Quarta Sonata (No. 47), Quinta Sonata (No. 48), and Sesta Sonata (No. 49), all of which are 2-part works scored for soprano and trombone or violetta, as well as Duodecima Sonata (No. 50), which is a 3-part work scored for 2 violins and trombone or violetta (Winkler 300).

1621—Hamburg, Germany: Samuel Scheidt, Ludi Musici.

1621—At the Bavarian court in Munich, cornettist and trombonist Giulio Martino Cesare writes a collection of 28 instrumental and vocal works called Musicali Melodie. It includes “La Augustana,” for cornett and trombone, “La Costanza,” for 2 cornetts (or violins) and trombone, “La Famosa,” for 2 cornetts (or violins) and trombone, “La Gioia,” for 2 cornetts (or violins) and trombone, “La Monachina,” for 3 cornetts and trombone, “La Fenice,” for 2 cornetts and 2 trombones, and “La Vittoria,” for 3 cornetts and 3 trombones (Whitwell Catalog Baroque 122; Collver 47).

1621—Giovanni Valentini writes Sonate a 4 for violin, cornettino, bassoon, trombone, and basso continuo. Performance edition available.

1621—Venice, Italy: Stefano Bernardi, maestro di cappella at the Verona Cathedral, publishes his Madrigaletti a due et a tre voci, which includes 7 canzonas a 3 that are scored for 2 violins or cornetts, theorba or bassoon or trombone, and continuo (Collver 43).

1622—Hamburg, Germany: Samuel Scheidt calls for trombone in his vocal work, Pars prima concertuum sacrorum. For example, both Concertus III and Concertus XII utilize multiple trombones (Collver 163).

1622—Vincenz Jelic [Jelich] writes Parnassia militia, which contains 4 ricercari for cornett, trombone, and continuo (Whitwell, Catalog Baroque 131; Collver 54).

1623—Casalmaggiore, Lombardy: Ignazio Donati’s psalm collection, Salmi boscarecci, features instrumental accompaniment of 3 trombones (or bassoons) and 3 violins (or cornetts). The composer instructs, “If one wishes to use the last six books for both voices and instruments, it should be noted that where it says solo, only the singer should sing, and where it says trombone or violin, only the instrument should play; in passages marked tutti, they both sing and play in unison” (Roche, North Italian 132).

1624—In Italy, a Mass by Giovanni Priuli includes ornate parts for trombone, cornett, and violin (Roche 140).

1624—Stefano Bernardi calls for 4 trombones in Sonata ottava a 12 from Il terzo libro de madrigali (Collver 43).

1624—Brescia, Italy: Pietro Lappi calls for trombone in the ripieno of his Messa secondo libro (Collver 129).

c. 1625—In Padua, Italy, Leandro Gallerano, maestro at the Basilica del Santo, uses 2 violins and a trombone as obbligato instruments in a hymn setting in honor of St. Anthony (Roche 22).

1625—Venice, Italy: Giovanni Picchi calls for trombone frequently in his collection of sonatas and canzoni titled Canzoni da sonar don ogni sorte d’Instrumenti. Specifically, Canzon Decima is scored for 2 flutes and 2 trombones, Canzon Undecima is scored for 2 cornetts and 2 trombones, Canzon Decima Quarta is scored for 2 violins or cornetts and 4 trombones, and Sonata Decima Sesta is scored for 2 violins, 2 flutes, trombone, and bassoon (Winkler 301; Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation; Picchi, Canzoni da sonar). For other works from this collection, see also Trombone and Violin(s).

1625—In Italy, Francesca Caccini’s ballet-opera La liberazione di Ruggiero, is performed to honor a visiting Polish prince (Guion Short History). Caccini uses 4 trombones, 4 viols, a positive organ, and keyboard instruments to depict an infernal scene (Weaver).

1626—In Leipzig, Germany, Johann Hermann Schein, director of music at the Thomaskirche, publishes the collection Opella nova, ander Theil, geistlicher Concerten. The collection features numerous chamber motets in 4 or 5 parts that include trombone: “O Maria, gebenedeiet bist du” (“trombone o fagotto”), “Siehe, das ist mein Knecht” (“fagot o trombone”), “Also heilig ist der Tag” (1 trombone), “Uns ist ein Kind geboren” (1 trombone), “Selig sind, die da geistlich arm sind” (3 trombones), “Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel” (2 trombones), “Mach dich auf, werde Licht,” (3 trombones), and Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (3 trombones) (Hadden 128; Collver 163). (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1626—Leipzig, Germany: Johann Hermann Schein, Ich will schweigen, a funeral lament. Trombone is not specified but is historically very plausible as a replacement for a vocal part.

1626—Bologna, Italy: Camillo Cortellini’s collection of concerted masses, Messe concertante a otto voce, includes specific instructions on how instruments are to be used: “The Mass In Domino confido has the concerted Gloria, and where the text is in capital letters, the singer will sing the solo, and where the text is replaced by lines, the trombones or other similar instruments will play soli for the accompaniment of the parts. This can be done without organ if instruments are present…” (Guion, Missing Link).

1629—Nuremberg, Germany: Numerous works from Biagio Marini’s instrumental collection, Sonate, sinfonie, canzoni, passemezzi…, specify trombone: Sinfonia terza (2 cornetts, trombone, basso continuo), Sinfonia quarta (2 cornetts, trombone, basso continuo), Canzone quarta a 4 (2 violins or cornetts, 2 trombones ad lib, basso continuo), Canzone sesta a 4 (2 cornetts, 2 trombones ad lib, basso continuo), Canzon septima (2 cornetts, basso ad lib, 3 trombones), Canzon nona (2 violins, viola, 3 trombones), and Sonata per l’Organo (violin or cornett, trombone ad lib, organ) (Collver 60; Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation; Winkler 301). For additional works from the collection see the following categories, above: “Trombone Quartets,” and “Trombone(s) and Violin.”

1629—Heinrich Schütz’s collection of works, Symphoniae Sacrae, utilizes trombone extensively, drawing on both the German church tower tradition and Italian polychoral methods. “Veni, dilecte mi” calls for 3 solo voices accompanied by 3 trombones (Beulow 274; Whitwell Catalog Baroque 144).

1629—In Bergamo, Italy, Alessandro Grandi’s O beate Benedicte from the Motetti con sinfonie III is scored for soprano voice, tenor voice, trombone, and violin (Roche 86).

1629—Brescia, Italy: Pietro Lappi specifies trombone or cornett or violin in his 8-voice Canzon L’Anconitana (Winkler 301).

1629—Venice, Italy: Carlo Milanuzzi’s Missa primi toni from his Messe a tre voce contrasts a group of 3 vocal soloists with a 4-part vocal choir and another choir of 2 violins and 2 trombones. The trombone lines are independent of the vocal lines (Schnoebelen, The Role of the Violin).

1629—Pallanza, Italy: Gasparo Pietragrua calls for trombone in a collection of sonatas and canzoni. Specifially, Canzone La Nozente is a 2-part work scored for violin and violone or cornett and trombone (Winkler 302; Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation).

1630—In Venice, Alessandro Grandi’s collection of large-scale church works, Raccolta terza, is published posthumously. It contains numerous works that use trombones prominently. For example, Sinfonia avanti il Gloria is written for cornetto, trombone, and continuo (Collver 118). Nisi Dominus is scored for SATT soloists, SATB ripieno, and 3 trombones. The trombones play in both tuttis and solos (Roche 127). In Messa concertata, trombones are featured among several different solo groupings (Roche 143).

1630—Venice, Italy: Giovanni Croce’s Laudate pueri, which would have been written before his death in 1609, is published posthumously. The work features three 4-part choirs, at least one of which includes trombones (Kurtzman Monteverdi Vespers, 124).

1631—Venice, Italy: Monteverdi’s “Mass of Thanksgiving,” a solemn mass for the feast of S. Maria della Salute in thanksgiving for the delivery of Venice from the plague, includes trombones (Mansfield, Some Anomalies).

1634—Italy: A collection of Masses by Chinelli is scored for voices and trombones (Whitwell, Baroque 213).

1635—England: The verse anthem “When the mountains were brought forth” by William Lawes is described in the Chapel Royal Anthem Book as “An Anthem with verses for Cornetts and Sagbutts” (Morehen 141; Woodfill 191).

1636—Giovanni Battista Buonamente uses trombones prominently in his collection, Sonate et canzoni a due, tre, quattro, cinque et a sei voci. Highlights include Canzon a 5 for 2 cornetts or violins, 3 trombones, and continuo; Sonata a 5 for violin, cornett, 3 trombones, and continuo; Sonata a 6 for violin, cornett, 3 trombones, theorbo, and continuo; and Sonata a 6 for 2 cornetts or violins, 4 trombones, and continuo (Collver 46). (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1637—In Leipzig, Germany, Tobias Michael, director of music at the Thomaskirche, publishes Musicalischer Seelen-Lust ander Theil. A collection of works for voice and a variety of instruments, it contains numerous works that include trombone: “Wo der Herr nicht das Haus bauet” (2 trombones), “Wie lieblich sind auff den Bergen” (“trombone grosso”), “Gott schweige doch nicht also” (single trombone) (Hadden 130).

1637—Italy: Francesco Fiamengo scores for 2 violins, viola, and trombone (or tiorba) in his Sonata Pastorale (Winkler 302).

1637—Asolo, Italy: J. Ganassi calls for trombone in a collection of canzoni (Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation). Specifically, he scores for violin and trombone in Canzon Prima, Canzon Seconda, and Canzon Terza (Winkler 302).

c. 1640—Poland: Marcin Mielczewski’s Missa Cerviensiana calls for alto trombone, 2 tenor trombones, and bass trombone (Przybyszewska-Jarminska, Baroque part I, 543).

c. 1640—Poland: Marcin Mielczewski’s Missa Sancta Anna calls for alto trombone and 2 tenor trombones (Przybyszewska-Jarminska, Baroque part I, 543).

c. 1640—Poland: Marcin Mielczewski’s Missa triumphalis calls for alto trombone, 2 tenor trombones, and bass trombone (Przybyszewska-Jarminska, Baroque part I, 543).

c. 1640—Poland: Marcin Mielczewski’s Vesperae Dominicales II calls for alto trombone as a substitute for alto voice, tenor trombone as a substitute for tenor voice, and bass trombone as a substitute for bass voice in 2 of 4 choirs (Przybyszewska-Jarminska, Baroque part I, 544).

c. 1640—England: Henry Loosemore (d. 1670) writes A Verse for y Organ A Sagbot Cornute & Violin (Collver 59).

1640—Italy: Sinfonia La Barbisona by Gregorius Urbanus is scored for 2 cornetts and trombone (Winkler 303).

1640—Italy: Gregorio Urbano writes Sacri armonici, which includes a work for trombone, 2 cornetts, and organ (Collver 70).

1640—Claudio Monteverdi, Dixit Dominus.

1640—Venice, Italy: Giovanni Antonio Rigatti calls for up to 4 trombones in various parts of his Messa e salmi, parte concertati. The indication is for viola or trombone, ad libitum.

1641—Johann Vierdanck (c.1605-1646) calls for trombone in several works contained in the collection Erster Theil newer Pavanen, Gagliarden, Balletten und Correnten, including two different sonatas for cornetto and 3 trombones (No. 27 and No. 28) (Collver 72).

1641—Italy: Monteverdi’s “Gloria” that appears in his Selva morale specifies an instrumental ensemble of 4 viole da brazzo or 4 trombones, and 2 violins (Schnoebelen, The Role of the Violin).

1641—In Italy, Monteverdi’s setting of “Beatus vir” (Psalm 111) requires 3 viole da brazzo or trombones (Tim Carter 232). (Royal College of Music sackbut rep list).

1642—Brussels, Belgium: Nicolaus a Kempis writes Symphonia 2. XXI for 3 strings and trombone, Symphonia XXII for 4 strings and trombone, and Symphonia XXIII for 4 strings and 2 trombones (Winkler 303).

1643—Johann Erasmus Kindermann publishes a collection that includes Symphonia in D-flat, Sonata, Sonata in D, Symphonia in D, Symphonia in F, and Rittornello in G, all for trombone, 2 cornetts, and basso continuo. Also included are Symphonia in E for 3 trombones, Intrada in C for 2 trombones and 3 cornetts, and Symphonia for 3 trombones and 2 cornetts (Whitwell Catalog Baroque 132).

1643—Hamburg, Germany: Kantor Thomas Selle composes a St. John Passion that features prominent use of trombone (Buelow, Protestant 191).

1644—Paul Schäffer calls for 2 trombones in his Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt (Collver 162).

1646—Andreas Hammerschmidt (c. 1611-1675) publishes the collection Vierdter Theil, which calls for trombone extensively. For example, Wer waltzet uns den Stein, Herr höre und sey mir gnädig, Laudate servi Domini, Verleih uns Friede genädiglich, and Alleluia lobet den Herren in seinem Heiligthumb all call for 3 trombones (Collver 119).

1647—Vienna, Austria: In his motet, Cantate gentes, Giovanni Valentini calls for 7-part choir, along with an instrumental ensemble of 3 cornetti, violetta, viola, 2 trombones, and organ. The ensemble plays an introductory sonata and interludes between the 4 verses of the motet. Valentini indicates optional substitutions for 3 of the parts: “Piffaro o Cornetto tertio,” “Alto Trombone o Violetta primo,” and “Viola o Trombone secondo” (Saunders, The Hapsburg Court of Ferdinand II).

1647—Antwerp, Belgium: Nicolaus a Kempis scores specifically for trombone in 3 works: Symphonia 1 for cornett, violin, and trombone, Symphonie 1 for trombone and 3 strings, and Symphonie 2 for trombone and 3 strings (Winkler 303).

1648—Stephan Otto writes the collection Kronen Krönlein, several pieces of which call for trombones (Collver 142).

1648—Bergamo, Italy: Cazzati calls for trombone in a collection of sonatas and canzoni (Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation).

1648—Johann Rosenmüller scores for soprano voice, 2 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Lieber Herre Gott (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1648—Johann Rosenmüller scores for alto voices, 3 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in O admirabile commercium (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1649—In Nuremberg, Germany, Johann Andreas Herbst writes the cantata Danket dem Herrn, den er ist freundlich, which calls for 3 choirs: a choir of solo voices, a choir of violins, and a choir of trombones (Samuel 77). The same year, Herbst also writes Danck- und Lobgesang, which uses 4 trombones (Collver 122).

1649—Milan, Italy: Biagio Marini calls for trombone in a collection of his works (Selfridge-Field, Instrumentation).

1649—Emperor Ferdinand III composes Hymnus de Nativitate, a work for chorus and instruments that includes 2 trombones (Whitwell, Catalog Baroque 3).

1649—Antwerp, Belgium: Nicolaus a Kempis writes several symphonias in which he scores specifically for trombone, including Symphonia 2. XIX for horn, violin, and trombone; Symphonia XXII for 2 violins, tenore viola or trombone, and basso viola; Symphonia 2. XXIII for 2 violins, tenore viola or trombone, and bass viola (Winkler 304).

1649—Vienna, Austria: Marco Antonio Ferro, lutenist at the court of Emperor Ferdinand III in Vienna, publishes his Sonata a due, tre, e quatro in Venice. The work, comprising 12 ensemble sonatas for strings, specifies alternative scorings, 3 of which include trombone: Sonata 5 for violin, tenore da gamba, viola da gamba or cornetto, trombone, and tiorba; Sonata 8 for 2 violins, violetta da braccio, viola da gamba or 2 cornetti, trombone, and fagotto; Sonata 11 for 2 violins, violetta da braccio, viola da gamba or 2 cornetti, trombone, and bassoon (Winkler 303; Apel, Italian Violin Music 147; Collver 49).

c. 1650—Poland: Bartlomiej Pekiel’s Missa Concertata La Lombardesca calls for an instrumental accompaniment of 2 violins and 3 trombones (labeled alto, tenore, and grosso) (Przybyszewska-Jarminska, Baroque part I, 261).

c. 1650—Antonio Bertali, Missa Redemptoris:

1650—Nuremberg, Germany: Johann Andreas Herbst writes the cantata, Wenn wir in Höchsten Nöten sein, which calls for 4 trombones in one of 3 choirs (Samuel 93).