[Trombone-l] What is it? Soprano Trombone or Slide Trumpet?

James L Scott jscot at ucalgary.ca
Fri Mar 20 19:42:01 CST 2020

Essentially, Soprano Trombone and Slide Trumpet are the same thing. It's not the kind of instrument that has tons of options out there to cater to different uses, since there aren't very many uses.

I have two (a Jupiter, and an old antique that takes a cornet shank mouthpiece). Fun things to fool around with, but the only ensembles that I've heard use them as a serious instrument are Moravian-style Trombone Choirs. Check out the recording of some of this music on Crystal Records (maybe on YouTube?) organized by former LA Philharmonic Bass Trombonist Jeff Reynolds. They make the various members of the trombone family blend and sound good, but the soprano playing still has a "trumpet" quality. Pretty much has to because of the register.

The best recent uses of soprano trombone that I've heard is the film score transcriptions of Pittsburgh Trombonist Jim Nova, and a humorous video by the German Brass (including a Piccolo Trombone).

Jim Scott
From: Trombone-l <trombone-l-bounces at trombonelist.org> on behalf of Jon Studer via Trombone-l <trombone-l at trombonelist.org>
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 7:18 PM
To: List Trombone <trombone-l at trombonelist.org>
Subject: [Trombone-l] What is it? Soprano Trombone or Slide Trumpet?

I recently acquired at JP Rath Bb soprano trombone from DFMusic Inc dot com. (Yes, it’s Chinese made, but I’m ok with that as my use is limited.)

I bought this as a novelty, with no current intentions of playing it anywhere but home. Once life gets back to normal, I thought it might be funny to bring it to my jazz band practice, and when we start warming up together, I’ll pull it out instead of my bass and see what reactions I get.

Now, to the subject of this email. As I search around the internet to learn more, I see some sites calling it a slide trumpet and others calling it a soprano trombone. Some call it a trumpet because it’s pitched the same as a trumpet. Others call it a trombone because of the slide. Some use both names together to improve their internet searchability.

Curious what others think? Is it a slide trumpet or a soprano trombone. Any other commentary is appreciated.


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