Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
The presence of the trombone in sacred music can be traced back to the early 17th century where it was used in connection to the voice. As orchestral music progressed so did the way composers began to write for the trombone. This included utilizing the instrument in solo passages, as well as moments that showcase the instrument’s delicate and technical capabilities. This new form of trombone writing began to influence how the instrument was utilized in requiem masses; however, in addition to these newly-developed uses of the trombone, composers continued to remain true to the instrument’s historical roots. The result was parts written for the trombone in requiem masses that included brass fanfares, moments independent from the voice, chorale passages in support of the chorus or soloist, and moments where the trombones doubled or supported the voice. The purpose of this document is to explore the requiem masses written by some of the 19th century’s most prolific composers. It will highlight how they utilized the trombones specifically and as part of the low brass section in these works. Each work is examined through the lens of who the composer was, what occurred in their lives around the time of composition and what led to, or inspired, each respective requiem. Additionally, the writing for the trombone has been extracted to highlight its various functions as well as provide pedagogical commentary and preparation tips to aid in the performance of these works.