Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The 'Superbone' is a hybrid trombone. It is a cross between the slide trombone and the valve trombone - it has both valves and a slide.
The invention is often credited to Dizzy Gillespie, although similar instruments combining valves and a slide were mass produced in the early 20th century, including by C.G. Conn. Such an instrument was commonly called a "valide trombone". Multi-instrumentalist Brad Gowans was well known for playing one from the 1920s through 1940s. In the 1970's the horn became a staple for musicians like Maynard Ferguson and Don Ellis, playing models built by Holton (TR 395) in collaboration with Maynard Ferguson.
The Superbone gives the player the option of playing the instrument as a slide trombone, a valve trombone, or in combination. For example, a pattern can be played on the slide, then re-played a step lower by depressing the first valve, but using the same slide positions. The converse is also true in that a pattern can be played on the valves and then lowered by extending the slide and repeating the same valve pattern.
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