Tenor sackbut after Hanns Geyer, Vienna, 1676
In 2009, on a visit to the Schlossmuseum in Linz, Austria, I had the great fortune to be allowed to play and measure two Viennese tenor trombones, built by Hanns Geyer in Vienna, 1676. I have yet to complete my research on the history of these instruments, but based on some of the engraving, I believe they were likely owned by a church and used primarily in sacred music. The extensive damage and numerous repairs evident on both trombones suggest that they were played frequently and over a long period, and were valued as fine musicmaking tools.
Both instruments are of a remarkably small bore (10.1 / 10.7mm), and are made of extremely thin material (tubing wall thickness ca. 0.3mm). The response is very flexible and light, with a particularly good high register. When paired with a mouthpiece with a large, sharp throat, the sound is warm and delicate, and lends itself particularly well to colla parte playing as well as chamber music.
My trombone based on the Geyer original maintains the original’s proportions, including the extremely thin wall thickness and double-anstoss bell construction. All tubes excepting decorative ferrules are handmade; the bell is hammered and burnished by hand. Tubes and bell surface are finished by scraping and burnishing, with the inside of the bell left blackened from the annealing process; the garland and ferrules are polished. All tubing joints are by friction-fit taper as on the original. The bell rim lies slightly outside 4th position.
Tuning: in A at A=466; a short tuning slide will be furnished in the slide section for fine adjustment. I strongly recommend additional alternate bell bows for A at 440 and Bb at 430, as well as a whole-tone tortil after Praetorius.
Both a basic model with minimal lathe-turned decoration and a fully-decorated model with punched decoration on the ferrules and hand engraving on the garland and bell stay will be available; gold- or silver-plated decorations upon request.
All prices on request.
I will be playing the above-pictured prototype on an upcoming recording “Bläsermusik des Mittelalters in Österreich” with Les Haulz et les Bas for the University of Oxford. Stay tuned for release info and links to samples!
Pictures of the original, taken 2009 at the Schlossmuseum, Linz: