The trombone in seventeenth-century France, England, and the Low Countries
Research has been performed on many aspects of baroque music in France, England, and the Low Countries. However, the trombone has been neglected in most of these writings. At the same time, existing research about the history of the trombone usually leaves out these countries and this time period, considering it a part of our history where the trombone was virtually extinct.
The main written source on the trombone in France is Marin Mersenne’s Harmonie Universelle (Paris, 1636). Mersenne describes how the trombone was played in much more detail than for instance Michael Praetorius does in his Syntagma Musicum, which we consider to be one of the most important sources of information about the historical trombone. Furthermore, the archives from Versailles mention the use of trombones abundantly. Combined with the many other mentions of the trombone in France, England, and the Low Countries, it is undeniable that the trombone was commonly used. Now we just have to discover how.