Trombone Partial/Position Indication

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Yinyue
Posts: 22
Joined: 30 Sep 2019, 17:16

Trombone Partial/Position Indication

Post by Yinyue »

Hi Forum,

No doubt any professional trombonist knows exactly on what partial/position to play a certain note for best legato connections. For recording sessions that live by the budget, though, time/money can be saved when things can be clarified fully in advance.

This in mind, could somebody show me how indications on partial/position would look like for a trombonist in a score?

Thank you.

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David Ward
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Re: Trombone Partial/Position Indication

Post by David Ward »

Are you referring to the sharp positions, such as :s 2 or officially more idiomatically :s II to play the G above middle C as an alternative to playing it in IV or even in VI? It's seldom necessary to mark these positions, but if there is a G you quite specifically want played in a sharp second position (or equivalent note in another position) just mark it 2 or II with or without the :s . Of course with an F attachment (not to say further options with a two valve bass trombone) all sorts of further possibilities arise; but in general most trombonists will use the shortest position practical in the context.

BTW I always used to enjoy playing harmonic glissandos going up in pitch as the slide went out, like the one in the second bar in the screenshot (from a piece I wrote in 2010 for trombonist Emily White), but that's probably rather off topic… (She knew at once what I meant by this notation.)

If everything else is equal (but it seldom is) the smoothest legato comes when the slide and the pitch are in contrary motion or the notes happen to lie in one position. Moving the slide in the same direction as the pitch may produce an unwanted hint of glissando (of the non-harmonic kind) if one doesn't at least half-tongue: but again it depends.

My advice: leave it to the player unless you want a special effect.
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Last edited by David Ward on 12 Dec 2019, 07:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Yinyue
Posts: 22
Joined: 30 Sep 2019, 17:16

Re: Trombone Partial/Position Indication

Post by Yinyue »

David Ward wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 20:44
Are you referring to the sharp positions, such as :s 2 or officially more idiomatically :s II to play the G above middle C as an alternative to playing it in IV or even in VI? It's seldom necessary to mark these positions, but if there is a G you quite specifically want played in a sharp second position (or equivalent note in another position) just mark it 2 or II with or without the :s . Of course with an F attachment (not to say further options with a two valve bass trombone) all sorts of further possibilities arise; but in general most trombonists will use the shortest position practical in the context.

BTW I always used to enjoy playing harmonic glissandos going up in pitch as the slide went out, like the one in the second bar in the screenshot (from a piece I wrote in 2010 for trombonist Emily White), but that's probably rather off topic… (She knew at once what I meant by this notation.)

If everything else is equal (but it seldom is) the smoothest legato comes when the slide and the pitch are in contrary motion or the notes happend to lie in one position. Moving the slide in the same direction as the pitch may produce an unwanted hint of glissando (of the non-harmonic kind) if one doesn't at least half-tongue: but again it depends.

My advice: leave it to the player unless you want a special effect.
Exactly what I was looking for, much appreciated, David.
Also thanks for the nudge about the upward-gliss/slide-out - I'll chew on that.

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