Posted by Paul R. Ogushwitz on December 01, 1998 at 09:40:24:
In Reply to: Re: Tuba with a slide (almost like a trombone slide)? posted by Sean Chisham on December 01, 1998 at 08:43:57:
I too have heard that Wagner "invented" the contrabass trombone, also known as a "double slide" trombone. Two slides are one-above-the-other and parallel, and there is a crossover tube at the mouthpiece end of the slides to carry the sound from the top slide to the bottom one. The bell end has a full extra loop of tubing (540 degrees), unlike the regular trombone which has a 180 degree bend to the bell.
Don Butterfield has a double-slide trombone, which I have not played. I did try one at the Brass Conference in NYC in 1984 ... I vaguely recall it was a Miraphone. (But a brass conference is an awful place to try an instrument ... couldn't really hear the horn, what with the French horn players competing over who could do 'Til Eulenspiegel' the loudest and the trumpet players pretending to be Maurice Andre. What a din!)
There is a contrabass trombone (excellent specimen) at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. They have a wonderful exhibit of antique musical instruments of all types.
I am told that one may be permitted to play the instruments by appointment.