Recommended Text Books
Below are text books that cover the history and repertoire of low brass instruments. For each book, there is a bibliography-style entry followed by commentary on the book. Bate, Philip. The Trumpet and Trombone. Instruments of the Orchestra. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 1966. CA: This is an older book and has been superseded somewhat by more recent research. Available in a Dover reprint, it is relatively inexpensive compared to some others on this list. Bone, Lloyd, Eric Paull, and R. Winston Morris (supervising), comps. Guide to the Euphonium Repertoire: The Euphonium Source Book. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. CA: A monumental resource for euphonium players, with information on instruments, repertoire and much more. Fischer, Henry George. The Renaissance Sackbut and Its Use Today. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. CA: This monograph published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY) focuses on the early trombone (often referred to as the sackbut even though that name was never universal). While limited by design in its breadth of coverage, it contains many images of early trombones as well as many measurements of period instruments not seen elsewhere. Gregory, Robin. The Trombone. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973. CA: A decent history of the instrument, but not as good as the Guion or Herbert titles. Guion, David M. A History of the Trombone. American Wind Band Series, ed. Raoul F. Camus, no. 1. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc, 2010. CA: The most up-to-date history of the instrument, this second book on the trombone by Guion is comprehensive and well-written: a must-have for serious students of the trombone. Guion, David M. The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697-1811. Musicology: A Book Series, ed. Ralph Locke, vol. 6. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Publishers, 1998. CA: This book covers the history of the instrument during a period of relative decline in many, but not all, parts of Europe. It's a worthwhile read, but much of this info is covered in Guion's other work. Herbert, Trevor and John Wallace, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. CA: A good overview of the history and use of brass instruments, including some nice information on acoustics. Herbert, Trevor. The Trombone. The Yale Musical Instrument Series. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. CA: A wonderful history of the instrument. It's a toss-up as to whether the new Guion book or this one gets top billing. If in doubt, get both... :) Lane, G.B. The Trombone in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. CA: A controversial book due to accusations of plagiarism. Because it was recalled and pulled by the publisher, copies are scarce and expensive. Despite doubts about its originality, it contains some good information. Lane, G.B. The Trombone: An Annotated Bibliography. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc, 1999. CA: Because of concerns over Lane's other work (above), this book has gotten less press than it deserves. It is a monumental reference work that categorizes and cross-references books/articles/etc. about the trombone. Any book of this type quickly becomes out-of-date as new works are published, but it is still a worthwhile book for a large library. Morris, R. Winston, Daniel Perantoni, comp. Guide to the Tuba Repertoire, Second Edition: The New Tuba Source Book. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. CA: Similar in scope to the euphonium book above and something that should be in every serious tuba student's library. Naylor, Tom L. The Trumpet & Trombone In Graphic Arts: 1500-1800. Brass Research Series, ed. Stephen L. Glover, no. 9. Nashville: The Brass Press, 1979. CA: Naylor's book contains black and white line drawings of many images of these instruments from the late 15th century into the 19th century (even though the title says it begins with the 16th century). *Links go to Amazon.com. This site earns a small commission for any items purchased as a result of following these links.