A tenor trombone is considered a non-transposing instrument. It has a B flat basic note, and is considered the simplest trombone type without any valve, crook, or key. The air column length is increased by a chromatic slide position to lower the pitch at a given interval. The pitch is lowered by a semitone when the slide position is extended to the next position. It produces the E2 note as its lowest and the D5 note as its highest. Some tenor trombones can produce B flat6 as their highest note.
A tenorbass trombone is essentially a tenor trombone with the bell and bell dimensions of a bass trombone. It is also called an ‘F-attachment trombone’ or a ‘trigger trombone.’ Its bore usually measures 0.525 to 05.47 inches in diameter. It can have an additional tubing three feet to a meter long for lowering the pitch from Bb to F. It has a key range of C2 to D5 and E1 to B flat2. Tenorbass trombones are used for playing the bass and tenor trombone parts of a musical piece, allowing musicians to produce the full low range of a bass trombone and the extended chromatic range of a tenor trombone.
A bass trombone typically measures nine feet long and resembles the tenor trombone with a B flat pitch. It evolved from the tenorbass trombone in the 19th century, but it has a wider bore that produces a fuller and lower register tone. Its bore measures 0.562 to 0.580 inches in diameter. Its bell measures nine to 10.5 inches in diameter. Bass trombones can have one or two valves. The second valve is called a dependent or an independent valve, depending on how it is used. It has a fully chromatic range with the lowest note being B flat1 or C1.
A contrabass trombone has a 12’F pitch, which is a fourth lower than the pitch of a bass or a tenor trombone. It was preceded by the 24’F Renaissance contrabass trombone, which was an octave below the modern trombone. Its bore measures 0.567 to 0.580 inches in diameter. Its bell measures 10 to 11 inches in diameter. Some contrabass trombones can produce notes as low as G flat1 and B flat0.
An alto trombone has an F or an E flat pitch, which is more than a fourth higher than the pitch of a tenor trombone. It produces a more brilliant tone than a bass or a tenor trombone and has a key range of A2 to B flat5. Its bore diameter is the same as that of a compact tenor trombone. Its bell measures 6.5 to seven inches in diameter. Alto trombones are commonly played in operas, chorales, and orchestras.
A soprano trombone has a B flat pitch. Its bore measures 0.450 to 0.470 inches in diameter. Its bell diameter is similar to that of a trumpet. It has a key range of E3 to E6. Soprano trombones have a extremely short slides with six positions.