So it’s a flugabone ? Right ?

Always on the lookout for obscure or oppressed instruments, here seems to be another one with an identity crisis – I suspect it was originally listed on ebay (click here) as a flugelhorn – seems reasonable – but a Q&A on the listing states emphatically “This is a flugaBONE, not a flugelHORN, this is a marching trombone

So if marching bands don’t like trombones with slides, what happened to the good ole  valve trombone like the one Bob Brookmeyer used to play with Gerry Mulligan – is this really the modern replacement of the valve trombone ?  Only in America could this exist, I suppose we should be grateful that the bell points to the front…

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4 Responses to So it’s a flugabone ? Right ?

  1. Mal-2 says:

    It’s more like a marching baritone than a marching trombone, but the range and technique are pretty much the same. Marching trombones look a lot like this, but the bell flare is a lot narrower — the bell itself may or may not end up as large as this one.

    I’m so tempted to put in a bid on this… low brass is among the things I simply cannot manage to play (along with drums, just can’t manage the four-things-at-once), but it’s cheap right now (less than 30 minutes left) and I know plenty of people that CAN play it.

  2. Mal-2 says:

    The valve trombone is not dead. It’s alive and thriving in banda music, for example. More interesting is a trombone with both valves AND a slide, as seen here:

    It’s called a “superbone”, and evolved out of Maynard Ferguson’s demand for an instrument with both the expressive power of a trombone, and the rapid-fire ability of a trumpet. Unfortunately, almost everyone who plays one plays it because they would rather not use the slide at all. They might make glisses and scoops with the slide, or adjust what are dodgy notes on valves-only instruments, but for the most part they don’t get past third position. (It is telling that the trumpet version, the “firebird”, has only a four-position slide.)

    As for the flugabone, I’ve now called three trombone-player friends. One declined outright saying “my credit card stopped working yesterday, I guess my wife maxed it out again”, the other two I could not reach. So I bid but got sniped with less than 15 seconds to go. Since I have no idea what I could re-sell it for, I’ll have to let this one go. 😡

  3. lewis Pelham says:

    I remember reading somewhere that Sax was appalled by the “vague & random” action of a slide, & designed a trombone with seven bells!
    At the same time, he was working on a slide trumpet. Surely the very apotheosis of inconsistency & ambivalence.

  4. Ralph says:


    I have some ole videos of “The Nat King Cole show” and the episode featuring Billy Eckstein had him playing what looked like a tenor sax with a trombone mouthpiece!
    It was his valve trombone but I never knew it looked like a sax, (which is really cool!).  Does anyone know the make and model of it. I have wondered about it for years. 

    It looks like a sax but definitely sounds like a trombone!!!

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