Launy Grøndahl

Trombone Concerto

        The trombone has been characterized as a “donkey” among horses, owing to the inherent difficulty of operating the slide with the facility that comes easily to all other instruments.  And, the general demise of bands--both “big bands” and “military bands”--as important elements in American musical life has had a deleterious influence upon the instrument’s popularity.  You just don’t see as many of them as you used to--even in combo jazz.  Nevertheless, the trombone has long been an important part of serious music--it has been there from the late Middle Ages in the church when the trumpet was still only a military signal instrument and the French horn was still out hunting foxes.  Today, it is a versatile member of the modern symphonic orchestra; the master of orchestration Hector