Trombone ranges

• Dec 26, 2017 - 12:30
S5 - Suggestion

I'm reporting a tessitura problem for the Trombones / Bass Trombones (which I currently play as student)

The default ones are way too short : Here are the real tessituras for theses instruments

Trombone :
Student : from Bb1 to Bb4
Pro : from G1 to D5

Bass Trombone (which I study)
Student : from E1 to Bb4
Pro : from Bb0 (It's possible) to D5.

Thank you for understanding this issues
I hope this will be fixed as soon as possible ;)

Have a nice day


Do you have references for these ranges? The ranges for trombones have been changed for 2.2 to

Student: B1-Bb4
Pro: B1-D5

Bass Bone:
Student: B1-Bb4
Pro: G1-D5

In the mean time you can change the ranges yourself if you want so the notes are colored the way you like using the staff properties dialog.

First : wow what a quick response xD

My references are my abilities and my Bass bone teacher. He says that a beginner in this instrument can easily get down to the E1 and get up to the Bb4.

I know the ranges changed with this update, but apart from the Tbn student range, which is right, the others are not correct.
By the way, I know someone in my Trombone band who can play a Bb0. That was awesome anyway 😃 !

I know I can change them with the line properties dialog, but what I want is that composers will no longer stop to red notes that are actually easily reachable for a Bass bone student. I played so much scores which don’t use the real BB range, and sometimes even get the notes to the upper octavia …
I think that showing the right tessitura to the composers on their score creating software would help them to use all the capability of this beautiful instrument.

(sorry for my bad English, I’m french)

Thank you for your quick answer

In reply to by TimePasteque

It's possible there is some confusion over that octave numbers these mean. Different systems use the numbers differently. Some systems list middle C as C4, others as C5, etc. It's also possible there are different models of bass trombone with different standard ranges (because they employ different extensions and triggers), and perhaps one model is more common in France than other countries.

Anyhow, in my experience - which is also backed up by pretty much every reference I can find on the subject, for example - a bass trombone can only easily go down to the Bb that is just over two octaves below middle C - the note that is listed as Bb1 in the system used by MuseScore. Notes below the standard range on most brass instruments are so-called "pedal tones" that might be produced with some effort - indeed, even by beginners - but cannot be played in succession the way normal notes can. Hence it is still appropriate to flag them so beginners don't make the mistake of writing a passage of pedal tones that is unplayable. MuseScore has no way to indicate that a note would be playable only as a long note with a breath before it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That's a really nice explanation, however ''France bass trombones '' are the same as the others in the world... My bass bone is a Yamaha xeno, so I think it is not really specific in its ranges.

About that : it's exactly what you said. Notes under Bb1 are pedal notes, and the famous Bb0 is the ''contrapedal '' note. Surely, they are not ''as playable'' as the upper notes, especially when we get under the D1, even if pros make them sound really nice. However, these notes are useful for effects, tonics or simply the bass line. For sure, excluding theses notes from the MS default ranges would avoid ugly themes written too low, but as we can ear in Romeo and Juliet by Prokoviev, sometimes theses ranges in particular can be important in the main music theme. Tomorrow I will snap a pic to show you what I mean.

Thanks for your response !

Useful as effects, sure. But as I said, you can't write for them as if they are easy to produce as other notes. See practically any published or online reference - they are virtually all in agreement on this.

Sure, if you know what you are doing, you are welcome to ignore the warning and exceed this range to achieve the special effects you want. But the average composer should stick to the range recommended by virtually every reference on the subject. And that is why the warning exists.

Here are some exemples :
The first pic shows notes as low as Eb1, doable in 8ts
In the second one, you will probably be able to recognize the famous Romeo and Juliet theme, in the bottom red circle.

Theses music parts can be found in Matriochka, a music that you will soon be able to ear in the website or the YT channel TromboneAlsace. It was performed in July 2017, at the ''Festival de trombone d'alsace' in Mulhouse.

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In reply to by TimePasteque

I believe the typical user of MuseScore is an amateur who is not familiar with the ranges of all instruments, but rely on MuseScore to give them an idea of the range of the instruments. We get enough questions on the forums and issue tracker to indicate that many users actually use MuseScore as a tool to learn about music. I believe this is a good thing for the future of music. Having said this, I also believe it is best to indicate the usable range of an instrument according to the normal range and not include pedal tones or advanced techniques to play (more applicable to non-brass instruments).

The professional who knows what musicians are capable of can write music as he see's fit. If he wants to be rid of the colored notes, it is a quick fix to change all of the notes black. For example, I do this on the majority of Contra Bass music I write/transcribe because a large number of them have a low C string rather than an E string. Guitar players and composers do a bit more work to change the tuning on guitars to allow them to write tablature correctly rather than having 13 guitars defined.