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Trombone's origins could be a load of hot air
7:00am Monday 11th February 2013 in News
A MUSICAL instrument with a mysterious past that has baffled experts has been added to an Oxford museum’s collection.
The Cavalry Trombone has joined the Bate Collection at Oxford University’s Faculty of Music in St Aldate’s.
The Bate Collection is already home to several musical instruments, and the trombone – valued at £2,300 – was donated by the Friends of the Bate group.
Museum manager and curator Andrew Lamb, has found no evidence the instrument was ever used in the Household Cavalry bands. Mr Lamb, 56, from Eynsham, said: “This was such an exciting looking instrument that we thought we could not let it go.
“But we don’t know if it was designed to be played on horseback.
“There doesn’t seem to be any way of holding it, holding the reins of a horse and playing it as well.
“It is one of those inventions which is a stab in the dark where someone says ‘let’s give it a go and see what happens’.”
It is estimated that the trombone was made between 1878 and 1901.
Mr Lamb added: “I have had a go at playing it and I can’t get a scale out of it yet.
“If anyone has got any thoughts on the subject we would love to hear from them.”
People interested in finding out more about the Bate Collection can call 01865 276139.