Trombones in Orchestra vs. in Band

By: Tara Capers and Megan Lis

We are the two trombonists in HB’s Orchestra. Orchestra is different from the average high school band, and it’s quite evident in our music. Here’s how:

Music Style:

In an orchestra, music is more classical. The music tends to be heavily focused on the string and woodwind parts, and those instruments usually have the melody. For the trombone part, we typically are the bass of the orchestra, and we tend to keep the beat along with the percussion. In a band, music is more modern or unique. There are lots of marches. Band music tends to be heavily focused on brass and percussion and often times brass has the melody.

Playing Importance:

For a trombone in an orchestra, music tends to be similar, with lots of base-line rhythms. In a band, trombones join other brass instruments in major melodies and moving parts, as they help add to the piece. They also play parts of the baseline. There tend to be more resting measures in an orchestral trombone part than a band trombone part.

Sharps vs. Flats:

In a band, often times the music tends to be played more in flats. While, in orchestra, the music tends to be played for in sharps. But both can play in either sharps or flats. For trombones, it is more common to play flats. So, in our orchestra, we always seem to struggle when playing sharps.

In both orchestra and band, trombones get to be a part of great musical pieces.