Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2015

Access Restrictions


Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Gier, David

First Committee Member

Jones, William L.

Second Committee Member

Rapson, John

Third Committee Member

Manning, John

Fourth Committee Member

Agrell, Jeffrey


Among the instruments of the Western orchestra, the bass trombone has experienced the most transformation. Such evolution has included an expansion of the bore and bell diameter, inclusion of initially one and now two valves, and experimentation with variable-bore hand and tuning slides. Consequently, composers of orchestral music and solo bass trombone literature have expanded the demands placed upon the bass trombonist. Various methodologies have been developed to address the ever-expanding musical expectations of the bass trombonist, with some pedagogical aspects having been addressed more than others. One particular pedagogical subject that bears more investigation is the proper usage of valves, and that is the subject area that the following document examines and seeks to address. The author will provide the bass trombonist and his or her teachers with a basic understanding of the history of the bass trombone, including a short discussion about the limitations of the technical capabilities of the valve-less and single-valve bass trombone. The realized method will provide the bass trombonist with the tools to make intelligent decisions about which valve and slide combinations to use and why, to the point that the informed bass trombonist will become the master of the instrument.


x, 115 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-115).


Copyright © 2015 Casey Winn Thomas

Included in

Music Commons