George Grove.

A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) online

. (page 41 of 194)
Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 41 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

parent of the German ' Geige,' whence the viol
and violin are derived. [See Violin.] [E.J.P.]

TROMBONCINO, Bartholoii.ecs, a fertile
composer of Fkottole — the popular songs of
that day — belonged to Verona, and was probably
bom in the latter half of the 15th century, since
his works are contained in pubhcations dating
from 1504 to 1 510. The lists given in Eitner's
* Bibliographic,' pp. S79-SS2, contain 107 of these
compositions to secular, and 2 to sacred words,
all for 4 voices, as well as 9 Lamentations and
one Benedictus for 3 voices. [G.]

TROMBONE (Eng., Fr., Ttal. ; Germ. Po-
naane). The name, originally Italian, given
to the graver forms of the Tromba or Trumpet,
exactly corresponding with that of Violone as
the bass of tlie Viola. Its other name, Sacbut
or Sackbut, though English in sound, seems
really to come from a Spanish or Moorish root
Sacabuche. which is the name of a pump. In
the Spanish dietionaiy of Velasquez de la
Cadena this word has three meanings assigned
to it ; two as above, and the thii-d a term of
reproach for a contemptible person. The Ita-
lians also name this instrument the Tromba
Spezzata or Broken Trumpet, under which title
it is figured in Bonanni, The Trumpet in its
many forms is one of the oldest of existing instru-
ments ; certainly the least changed, as will be
shown under that heading. But the special in-
dividuality of the two instruments, and the pe-
culiar character of the Trombone in particular,
is derived from the method by which a com-
plete chromatic scale has been evolved from the
open notes of a simple tube ; naniel}^ by means
of what is teimed the slide. There is much
reason to believe that this contrivance is also
very ancient, having far greater antiquity than


crooks, stoppers, or valves. In the preface ti|
Neumann's Tutor for the Trombone its
vention is claimed for Tyrtreus, 6S5 B.C. Other
award the merit of its discovery to Osiris. Ii]
paintings and sculptui-es it is difficult to idenl
tify the distinguishing slide. But the writei
has from several sources a circumstantial ac-|
count of the finding of one or even two siicl)
instruments at Pompeii in the year 1738. NeiiJ
mann states that the mouthpieces were of goldJ
and the other parts of bronze. ' The king b^
Naples,' he continues, ' gave this instrument
king George III. of England,' who was presenti
at the digging. Mr. William Chappell, in a note
made by hira more than fifty years ago, confirmsl
this statement, and adds that the instrument so|
found is in the collection at Windsor. The pre-
sent librarian, however, denies all knowledge of|
it. Nor is it in the British Museum. Dr. C. T.
Newton has, however, fm-nished the writer with I
an unexpected reference, which is singularly to
the point. It occurs in a work on Greek Accents,
by a writer named Arcadius, who, according to
Dr. Scott, may be attributed to about A.D. 2CO,
when the familiar use of spoken Greek was dyin^
out, and prosodiacal rules, like the accents, be-
came necessary. It is as a prosodiacal simile
that the reference occurs : ' Just as those who on.
flutes (avXois) feeling for the holes, to stop and
open them when they may wish, have contrived
subsidiary projections and bombyxes {vtpopiciois
lege v<poKKiois), moving them up and down {avoi
Koi KOLTu), as well as backwards and forwards.'
It is difficult to refuse a belief that the framer
of this figure, which is meant to explain the use
of accents as aids to modulation, had not seen
some sort of Trombone in use.

Mersenne gives a passage, which he attributes
to Apuleius, to the effect that 'dextera exten-
dente vel retraliente tubre canales, uiusicales
soni ab ea edebantur.'

It is certain that in A.D, 1520 there was a
well-known Posaunenntucher named Hans Men-
schel, who made slide Trombones as good as, or
perhaps better, than those of the present time.
More than 200 years later, Dr. Bumey says of
the Sackbut that neither instruments nor players
of it could be found for the Handel commemo-
ration ! There is an excellent representation of
an angel playing a slide Trombone in a cieling-
picture given in the appendix to Lacroix (Arts
de la Renaissance), and in one replica of Paolo
Veronese's great Man iage of Cana in Galilee (not
that in the Salon Carre in the Louvre) a negro is
performing on the same instrument. Michael
Prretorius, in the 'Theatrum seu Sciagraphia
instrumentorum,' dated 1620, gives excellent
figures of the Octav-Posaun. the Quart-Posaun,
the Rechtgemeine Po.'^aun, and the Alt-posaun.

It is not therefore surprising to find the

instrument freely used in Bach's cantatas ;

though it is probably less known that the

familiar air of the Messiah, ' The Trumpet shall

i sound,' was formerly played on a small Alto

I Trombone, and that its German title was Sie

1 tont die Posaune,


The Trombone is a very simple but perfect

instrument. It consists of a tube bent twice

,[ upon itself, ending in a bell, and in the middle

' section double, so that the two outer portions

can slide upon the inner ones.



The mouthpiece is held steadily to the player's
lips by the left hand, while the right controls the
lower segment by more or less extension of the
sirm. As the usual length of a man's arm is not
sufficient for the intervals required by the larger
bass instruments, it is, in their case, increased by
means of a jointed handle. The same result has
also been obtained by doubling the slides, but at
a great loss of simplicity in construction. It is
therefore obvious that the Trombone alone of all
the wind-family has the accuracy and modulative
power of stringed instruments. Its notes are
not fixed, but made by ear and judgment. It
is competent to produce at will a major or minor
tone, or any one of the three different semitones.
The three Trombones, therefore, with the Trumpet,
their natural treble, form the only complete
enharmonic wind quartet in the orchestra. And
yet no instrument has been so misused and neg-
lected by modern composers and conductors.

The parallel between the Trombone and the
Violin family may be carried even farther without
loss of coiTectness ; for whereas they base seven
'shifts,' the Trombone has seven 'positions.'
These may be easily described as successive
elongations of the sounding tube, each of which
produces its own harmonic series. The seven
positions may be said in a general way to be
each a semitone lower than the last. The first
.is with the slide entirely undrawn. But in the
hands of a good player, the length of slide used
for each successive position is not the same.
By means of a proportional scale, the writer has
found that the 2nd, 5th, and 6th shifts are repre-
sented by twice 26, or 52 ; the 3rd and 7th by
twice 15, or 30 ; and the 4th shift by twice 20,
or 40. The reason for thus doubling the indi-
cations of the scale is the duplicity of the sliding
tube, and the doubled length of vibration. The
reasons for the variable length of the positions
lie too deep in the theory of the scale for our
present purpose. They are also, to a certain
extent, due to unavoidable imperfections of
manufacture, which cause it, for constructive
reasons, to vary considerably from a true mathe-
matical figure. But a judicious player, with a
sensitive ear, has the remedy in his own power ;
and the mechanism as well as the mental sensa-

VOL. IV. FT. 2.

tion of Trombone-playing, when thoroughly
learned, more nearly approaches that of good
voice production than does that of any other
instrument. Unfortunately, the quiet smooth
legato method of using it is almost a lost art ;
having been nearly discarded for the coarse
blare of the military player. For liis use also
modem instruments are made of too large a bore.

Like so many other instruments, the Trombone
has been made in every key, from A to Btl; and
in every octave, from the two-foot to the sixteen-
foot. But whereas the former kind has been
very properly distanced by the brighter tone of
the long smaU-bored Trumpet, playing in its
higher registers; the latter has also been much
encroached on by Tubas, Euphoniums, and Ophi-
cleides, which often, though really in the eight-
foot octave, are made to produce a spurious
effect of depth by largeness of bore and loosenesfe
of embouchure.

The three which chiefly survive are the Alto,
Tenor, and Bass; usually in the keys of F or Eb,
Bb, and G respectively^ A bass in F is far more
suited to the two upper members of the group,
and has been used without break in Germany,
notably by Weber in ' Der Freischtitz.' It will
be sufficient to work out these in detail in a

Table of Teomboxe positions.

First position




F Bass.





Second position





Third position





Fourth position





Fifth position





Sixth position





Seventh position




It is here seen that the player has in use
the equivalent of seven different instruments,
either of which can be converted into any
other by a single movement of the right arm ;
though some sequences involve more change,
and are consequently of greater difficulty thao

The harmonic series is the same as that of the
Horn and other cupped instruments. The lowest
tones or fundamentals are somewhat difficult to
produce, and, owing to the long distance of an
octave which separates them from the first upper
partial tone, are usually termed pedal notes.
The available scale therefore commences with
the first upper partial, runs without break to thu
sixth, omits the dissonant seventh harmonic,
and may be considered to end with the eighth,
though some higher notes are possible, especially
on the longer positions.

There is one case, however, where even the
harmonic seventh may be employed with won-
derful effect, and that is in 3.n unaccompanied
quartet of Trombones (reinforced if neces-
sary in the bass or in the octave below by
an instrument of fixed pitch, such as a Bass
Tuba or Bombardon). This combination, how-
ever, is so rare that the writer knows of no




instance of it, although itis the only way in which
wind instruments can produce perfect harmony
free from the errors of temperament. It is
obvious from theory that the planting of a fixed
or pedal bass, and the building up on it flexible
chords, is far more consistent with the harmonic
law than the ordinary method. The writer of
this article was requested to lead the singing of
hymns and chants in the open air some years
ago, at the laying of the foundation-stone of a
new church ; he used a quartet consisting of
Slide Trumpet, Alto and Tenor Trombones, with
Euphonium and Contrafagotto in octaves for the
positive bass. With good players the result was
•striking, and is perhaps deserving of imitation.
In the older music the Trombones were often
thus used ; and indeed did much of the work
more resently assigned to the French Horn.
The effect survives in Mozart's Requiem, and
the solemn, peculiar tone-colour of that great
work is usually spoiled by transposing the Corni
di bassetto parts, and by employing Tenor Trom-
bones to the exclusion of the Alto and Bass.
Even the fine and characteristic Trombone Solo
of the ' Tuba Mirum ' is often handed over to
the Bassoon, Of the three Trombones, the Tenor,
though the most noisy and self-assertive, is de-
cidedly the least musical, and its present pre-
dominance is much to be regretted.

It is to be noted tliat the Trombone is not
usually played from transposed parts, as the
Clarinet, Horn, and other instruments are, the
real notes being written. The Alto clef is
generally used for the Trombone of that name,
and the Tenor clef for the corresponding instru-
ment : but the practice of different writers
varies somewhat in this respect.

A band composed exclusively of Trombones
has indeed been formed, and is stated to have
been extremely fine. It was attached to the
elder Worabwell's show of wild beasts.

As regards the musical use of this instrument,
there is little more to be added. It flourished un-
der Bach and Handel — whose trondjone parts to
'Israel in Egypt,' not contained in the autograph
score at Buckingham Palace, escaped Mendels-
sohn's attention and were first printed by Chry-
sander in the German Hiindel-Gesellsohaft edition.
It then became forgotten, as Dr. Burney records.
Perhaps it was pushed aside by the improved
French Horn. Gluck however uses it in ' Al-
ceste,' and Mozart, who seems to have known
the capabilities of every instrument better than
any musician that ever lived, fully appreciated
it, as the great chords whi(-h occur in the over-
ture and the opera (between the Priests' March
and Sarastro's solo) and form the only direct
link between the two, amply show. In ' Don
Giovanni ' he reserved them for the statue scene ;
but so little is this reticence imderstood tliat a
favourite modern conductor introduced them even
into the overture. In the Kequiem he has em-
ployed it to represent the Trump of Doom (in
'Tuba Mirum'), and it is a proof of the disuse
of the Trombone just mentioned that until re-
cently the p.assage was given to the Bas-foon. The


passionate and dramatic genius of Weber did fu
justice to the instrument.

Beethoven has employed Trombones to pe;
fection. When at Liiiz in 1S12, he wrote thrt
£qmdi for four Trombones, two of which wei
adapted to words from the Miserere by Seyfriec
and performed at Beethoven's funeral. Tli
third (still in MS.) was replaced by a con
position of Seyfried's own. As a later instanci'
we may quote the Benedictus in the Mass i
D, where the eff"ect of the trombone chord!
pianissimo is astonishingly beautiful, and so orii
ginal that the eminent modern conductor jus
mentioned, in the performances by the Sacre
Harmonic Society, is said to have indignant!
erased them from the score. Another instanc
of its use by Beethoven is the high D given bjj
the Bass Trombone ff, at the beginning of th 1'
Trio in the 9th Symphonv. In an interestinjit:
letter signed 2,' in the 'Harmonicon' for Jan
1S24, Beethoven is described as having seized 0:'
a Trombone-player who visited him, and eagerly
enquired as to the upward compass of the instru
ment. The day in question was Sept. 23, 1823
At that time he was finishing the 9th Symphony.;
in the Finale of which Trombones are much used
In vol. ii, p. 3316 of this Dictionary we hav«'
quoted a droll note for Tiombones from a lette:
of the great composer's.

Schubert was attached to the instrument at a
very early period. In his juvenile overture to the
'TeufelsLustschloss' (May 18x4) the three Trom-
bones are used in a very remarkable way. His
early Symphonies all afford interesting examples
of their use, and in his great Symphony in C
(No. 10) there is not a movement which does not
contain some immortal passage for them. His
Masses are full of instances of their masterly
use.^ But on the other hand, in the Fugues,
they accompany the three lower voices in unison
with .an effect which is often very monotonous.

Mendelssohn gives the instrument one of the
grandest phrases he ever wrote, the opening and
closing sentences of the ' Hymn of Praise.' [See
QuEissER, vol. iii. p. 60 6]. Its effect in the over-
ture to ' Ruy Bias,' contrasted with the delicate
tracery of the strings, lingers in every musician's
memory. He had very distinct ideas as to its
use. It is too solemn an instrument, he said
once, to be used except on very special occasions ;
and in a letter written^ during the composition
of ' St. Paul ' he says ' if I proceed slowly it is at
least without Trombones.'

Schumann produces a noble effect with the
three Trombones in the Finale to his first
Symphony, probably suggested by the Intro-
duction to Schubert's Symiihony in C — and an-
other, entirely different, in the overture to
'Manfred; [W.H.S.]

TROMPETTE, LA. A musical institution
in Paris, for the performance of chamber music,

1 P.y the late Edward Schiilz.

- We gladly refer our readers for these to Mr. Prout's admirable
analyses of the Masses in the 'Monthly Musical Record' for ]s70.
'I'lie wind parts are shamefully inaccurate in the score of the Mass
in AW.

■1 To Mr. Horsley, ' Goethe anil Mendelssohn,' Letter &


founded by M, Eiriile Lemolne in Jan. 1861,
and now (1884) holding its meetings at 84 Rue
de Grenelle-St. Germain. In some respects it
diflfers from all other institutions of similar ob-
ject. Having sprung from the strictly private
meetings of its founder and a handful of friends,
then students of the !lfecole Polytechnique, it
retains the traces of its original domestic cha-
racter. M.Lemoine is careful to announce that
he is not a manager or director, but a host ; by
a. pleasant but transparent fiction the audience
axe not subscribers (tliough the amount they
pay is fixed, and they are constantly reminded
of it) ; they are the friends of the host, and are
invited to reunions at his house. The com-
munications between M. Lemoine and his friends,
in the programmes, are all couched in the tone,
•often almost a brusque one, of personal in-
timacy. — As Mr. Ella adopted for the motto
of the late ' Musical Union ' the words ' II piii
^an ommaggio alia musica sta nel silenzio,' so
M. Lemoine's most frequent and earnest in-
junctions are directed towards silence during the
performances. The name of ' Trompette ' arose
from a phrase of the ficole Polytechnique, and
the flavour of that famous school is maintained
in the ' heure militaire ' — military time — which
is observed in the hour of commencement.

The meetings began, as already said, in a room
at the Ecole. As the number of invitations
jincreased, the locale was changed, until it arrived
at its present one, where the audience often
reaches 1000. The number of concerts appears
to vary from fifteen to twenty, on alternate
Pridays and Saturdays, from the beginning of
the year onwards. The hour of meeting is 8.30
p.m. The amount of annual contribution invited
from each guest is 35 francs. The ' Quatuor de
la Trompette ' consists of MM, Marsick, Ri^my,
Van Waefelghem, and Delsart, with solo singers
and players. We give one of the programmes
of 1882 as a specimen: —

Quartet, No. "i (A majors Beethoven.

Air and Gavotte for Cello Bach.

a. Polonaise in B Chopin.

h. Gavotte in G minor Handel.

Trio, No. 2, in F Schumann.

'A la bien aim^e,' op. 98 Beethoven.

Piano, M. Eaoul Pugno. Vocalist, M. Lauwera.

But they are not always so severely classical,
and extra concerts are given for the works of
living composers. [G.]

TROPPO, i.e. ' too much '; a term of the same
force as Tanto ; as in the finale of Beethoven's
Sj'mphony no. 4, or the first movement of his
Violin Concerto — 'Allegro ma non troppo' —
'Allegro; but not too much so.' In the second
movement of Mendelssohn's Scotch Symphony
the direction at the head of the movement in
the printed score is ' Vivace non troppo,' which
looks like a caution inserted after trying the
speed named in the preface on the opening
fly-leaf of the same score — ■' Vivace assai.' It is
as if he were saying ' Quick : but mind you don't
go too quick, as you will inevitably be tempted
to do.' [G.]



TROUPENAS, Eugene, French music-pub-
lisher, born in Paris, 1799, died there April it,
1850. As a child he showed decided taste for
music, but his family intended him for an en-
gineer, and put him to study mathematics with
Wronsky, a Polish professor^ who however dis-
suaded himfrom entering the Ecole Polytechnique
and indoctrinated him with his own misty tran-
scendentalism. The results of this early training
came out when, left in easy circumstances by the
death of his parents, he became a music-publisher,
for to the last it was the metaphysical side of the
art which interested him. He never gave his
ideas in full to the world, but a couple of letters
which originally came out in the ' Revue Musi-
cale,' were published in pamphlet form with the
title 'Essai sur la th^orie de la Musique, deduite
du principe Metaphysique sur lequel se fonde la
reality de cette science' (1832). Troupenas took
up the brothers Escudier when they came to
seek their fortune in Paris, and it was with his
assistance that they founded their journal ' La
France Musicale.' A man of the world, a good
musician, and a fascinating talker, his friendship
was sought by many artists of eminence. Ros-
sini, Auber, and de Beriot were sincerely attached
to him, and found him always devoted to their
interests. He also published Halevy's operas,
Donizetti's 'La Favorita,' and all Henri Herz's
pianoforte pieces at the time of his greatest
popularity; indeed it is not too much to say that
from 1825 to 1850 his stock was one of the largest
and best selected of all the publishing houses in
Paris. At his death it was purchased entire by
MM. Brandus, and the larger part still remains
in their hands. [G.C.]

TROUTBECK, the Rev. John, a well-known
translator of librettos into English, was born
Nov. 12, 1833, at Blencowe, Cumberland, and
educated at Rugby and Oxford, where he gra-
duated B.A. 1856, and M.A. 1858. He took
orders in 1855, and has risen through various
dignities to be Precentor of Manchester 1865-9,
and minor canon of Westminster 1869. He has
translated thefoUowing for Novello, Ewer, & Co.'s
8vo scries : —

Bach. St. John Passion ; Christ-
mas Oratorio.

Beethoven. Mount of Olives.

Brahms. Song of Destiny.

David. Le Desert.

Gade. Crusaders ; Comala ; Psyche

Glucli. Iphigenia in Aulis ; Iphi-
genia in Tauris; Orphee.

Goetz. Taming of the Shrew.

Gounod. Eedemption.

Graun, Der Tod Jesu.
Hiller. Song of Victory.
Jensen. Feast of Adonis.
Mozart. Seraglio.
Reinecke. Little Snowdrop.
Romberg. Lay of the Bell.
Schumann. Advent Song; I

King's Son.
Wagner. Flying Dutchman.
Weber. Jubilee Cantata.

besides many minor works. Mr. Troutbeck has
also published 'A Music Primer for Schools,' and
' A Primer for Church Choir Training,' and has
compiled the ' Hymnbook in use at Westminster
Abbey.' [G.]

TROVATORE, IL (the Troubadour). Opera
in 4 acts ; libretto by Cammarano, music by Verdi.
Produced at the Teatro Apollo, Rome, Jan. 19,

1853 ; at the Theatre des Italiens, Paris, Dec. 23,

1854 ; at the Grand Opera, Paris, as ' Le Trou-
vere,' Jan. 1 2, 1857 ; at Covent Garden, London,

N 2



May 17, 185s ; in English, 'The Gipsy's Ven-
geance,' Drury Lane, March 24. 1856. [G.]
TEOYENS, LES. A 'lyric poem,' words
and music by Berlioz ; originally forming one
long opera, but afterwards divided into two —
ii) 'La prise de Troie '; (2) ' Les Troyens a
Carthage.' No. i was never performed, and is
still in MS. No. 2 was produced at the Theatre
Lyrique, Nov. 4, iS6.^, and published in PE.
score by Choudeus. See Berlioz's 'Memoires,'
Postface (Transl. vol. ii. Supplement). [G.]

TEOYERS, Ferdinand, Count von, Imperial
councillor, and chief officer of the household to
the Cardinal Archduke Rudolph (^Beethoven's
pupil), was an amateur clarinet player, and dis-
tinguished pupil of Friedlowsky (Professor at the
Conservatorium from 1S21 to 47). He is men-
tioned as one of the executants at a Gesellschaft
concert in 1816. Troyers is stated, on the autho-
rity of Doppler (manager for Diabelli & Co.) to
have given Schubert the commission for his well-
known Octet, op. 166, composed in 1S24. [See
vol. iii. p. 339 6.1] [C.F.P.]

TROYTE, Aethdk Henry Dyke, second son
of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart., of Killerton,
Devon, born May 3, 181 1, graduated at Christ-
church, Oxford, i832,assu2ned the name of Troyte
in 1S52, and died June 19, 1857,- was the author
of two favourite Chants, known as Troyte No. i
and Troyte No. 2, much used as hymn tunes.
The latter however is a mere modification of a
chant by Dr. W. Hayes. [G.]

TRUHN, Friedrich Hieronymus, born at
Elbing, Oct. 14, iSii, became scholar of Klein
.■ind Dehn, and also had a few lessons from
Mendelssohn. Has lived chiefly in Berlin and
Dantzig, but with many intervals of travelling.
One of his tour.s was made with Biilow. His
opera 'Trilby' w-as produced in Berlin, 1835;
but he is chiefly known by his songs — amongst
them ' The Three Chafers.' He also contributes
to the ' Neue Zeitscbrift flir Musik,' and the
' Neue Berliner Musikzeitung.' [G.]

TRUMPET (Fr. Trompctte; Ger. Trompete,
Trummet, Tarantara ; Ital. Tromha, Tr. dojipia,

Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 41 of 194)