This is the first comprehensive study of the trombone in English. It covers the instrument, its repertoire, the way it has been played, and the social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts within which it has developed. The book explores the origins of the instrument, its invention in the fifteenth century, and its story up to modern times, also revealing hidden aspects of the trombone in different eras and countries. The book looks not only at the trombone within classical music but also at its place in jazz, popular music, popular religion, and light music. Trevor Herbert examines each century of the trombone's development and details the fundamental impact of jazz on the modern trombone. By the late twentieth century, he shows, jazz techniques had filtered into the performance idioms of almost all styles of music and transformed ideas about virtuosity and lyricism in trombone playing.