The trombone is a member of the brass family of wind instruments. Many composers and writers have preferred the sound of the trombone for many different reasons, but chief among those reasons is that the trombone is the instrument that most closely resembles the range of the human voice making it universally pleasing to hear. The most common types today are tenor trombones and bass trombones – although soprano, alto and valve models are also used. A descendant from many different unique and strange instruments such as the sackbut, the modern trombone has applications as varied as the instrument’s tone and range.
In an orchestral setting the trombone adds power and intensity to both loud and soft passages. This is essential in balancing the bright/crisp trumpet sound with the low booming tuba sound. The bass section of the Chicago Symphony is a good example of this orchestral concept. In jazz music, the trombone is one of the most flexible and versatile instruments with use in both modern and traditional settings.