Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Larry B. Campbell

Second Advisor

Jennifer Williams Brown


For bass trombonists today, as with other instrumentalists, the preparation of orchestral excerpts for auditions forms a vital part of training for a professional career. While there is ample information available on tenor trombone orchestral excerpts, little detailed study has been devoted specifically to excerpts for the bass trombone. Although research on the bass trombone has increased since the 1940s, there is a great need for concentrated study in the area of orchestral preparation strategies and performance. The purpose of this monograph is to provide a tutorial for undergraduate bass trombonists in the preparation of three orchestral works, developing practice suggestions and guidelines that will facilitate mastery needed for successful performance. The excerpts to be studied are Haydn's Die Schopfung (1797), Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1824), and Brahms's Symphony No. 4 in E minor (1884-1885). These compositions were chosen because they have significant melodic material and make considerable demands on the performer in terms of technique, range, and expression. The chapters on individual excerpts will each begin with a section on the historical background of the work. This section will survey when and where each piece was written, and describe the genre of the work and the compositional styles of the time period. A comparison of available scores and individual parts will also be conducted to check for misprints and discrepancies. This section will also determine, as precisely as possible, what type of instrument the work was originally written for. The next section of each chapter will focus on performing the excerpts. The aspects of performance to be discussed include tone quality and color, phrasing, articulation, technique, intonation, and dynamics. This section will also offer exercises for practice.