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Trombone in the Renaissance

A History in Pictures and Documents

Stewart Carter
July 30, 2012

492 pp.

121 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1576472064

Hardback 7X10 Sale Price $45.00

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The trombone is one of the oldest instruments of Western art music in use today, for its modern form differs little from that at its inception in the fifteenth century. With more than 100 illustrations and nearly 400 original documents, many of them not previously available in English translation, this book traces the development of the instrument�s physical form, musical use, and social function during the Renaissance. From its initial appearance with shawms in the alta band, the instrument moved gradually to a more refined position, joining with cornetts and violins and accompanying voices in church music. By the late sixteenth century it was one of the most widely used instruments in Western Europe.


Stewart Carter:

Has published articles in Early Music, Performance Practice Review, Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Historic Brass Society Journal, Baroccao Padano, and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition. He is Editor of The Historic Brass Society Journal and former editor of Historical Performance. Other editorial projects include A Performer's Guide to Seventeenth‐Century Music (Schirmer Books, 1997) and Brass Scholarship in Review: Proceedings of the International Historic Brass Society Symposium, Amherst, 1995 (Pendragon, 1997).

Carter is former president of the American Musical Instrument Society. Currently he is Chair of the Department of Music at Wake Forest University in Winston‐Salem, NC, where he teaches music history and theory and directs the Collegium Musicum.


February 22, 2013

Carter (Wake Forest University ; co-director, Wake Forest's Collegium Musicum) expands on recent comprehensive histories of trombone by Trevor Herbert (The Trombone, CH, Oct'06, 44-0849) and David Guion (A History of the Trombone, CH, Feb'11 , 48-3179). He presents a detailed record of the instrument's development from the earliest known references to it in the early part of the 15th century through the end of the 16th century. He provides excerpts from several hundred documents of various types from many different kinds of sources1-churches, libraries, and museums . Records include letters about performances at celebrations and in churches and courts ; contract , agreements for performers ; and instrument and performance treatises. The more than 100 figures primarily feature the instrument in art works of the period, but the author also includes detailed photographs of the few extant instruments from the era. The documentation is organized by century and geographical area, with the most extensive source material coming from Italy and 16th-century Germany. The research and presentation are meticulous , a model of focused inquiry. Smaller collections are well served by the previously mentioned titles , but larger collections should include th current volume.

Summing Up: Highly recommended for all readers.

K. R. Dietrich, Ripon College
“Current Reviews for Academic Libraries”

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