The Trombone in A: Repertoire and Performance Techniques in Venice in the Early Seventeenth Century
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Music published in Venice, Italy in the first half of the seventeenth century includes a substantial amount specifying the trombone. The stylistic elements of this repertoire require decisions regarding general pitch, temperament, and performing forces. Within the realm of performing forces lie questions about specific instrument pitch and compositional key centers. Limiting this study to repertoire performed and published in approximately the first half of the seventeenth century allows a focus on specific performance practice decisions that underline the expressive elements of the repertoire. Using the trombone in A allows the performer several advantages over using the trombone in B-flat. Matching the instrument to the music is more than good decorum, it yields a more effective performance of the rhetorical and expressive elements imbedded in the music, satisfying the goal of music in this early seventeenth-century “modern” style.