A History of the Trombone, the first title in the new series American Wind Band, is a comprehensive account of the development of the trombone from its initial form as a 14th-century Medieval trumpet to its alterations in the 15th century; from its marginalized use in a particular Renaissance ensemble to its acceptance in various kinds of artistic and popular music in the 19th and 20th centuries. David M. Guion accesses new and important primary source materials to present the full sweep of the instrument's history, placing particular emphasis on the people who played the instrument, the music they performed, and the relevant cultural contexts.
After a general overview, the material is presented in two main sections: the first traces the development of the trombone itself and examines the literature written about it, and the second investigates the history of performance on the instrument—the ensembles it participated in, the occasions in which it took part, the people who played it, and the social, intellectual, political, economic, and technological forces that impinged on that history. Guion analyzes the trombone's place in countries all over the world and in many styles of music, such as art, opera, popular, and world music. An appendix of transcriptions of selected primary source documents, including translations, and a comprehensive bibliography round out this important reference. Fully illustrated with more than 80 images, A History of the Trombone appeals not just to trombonists but to students, scholars, and fans of all musical instruments.