Hydrophobia – A Trombone Smear


A delightful trombone smear, written by Guy E. Holmes in 1909, this tune will provide a hugely entertaining novelty change-of-pace for your next concert.

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With this tune, your band and your audience can take a look back at the halcyon days of band concerts, days when bands like those of John Philip Sousa, Edwin Franko Goldman, and Harold B. Bachman played concerts every week in almost every town.

A century ago, band concerts were some of the best entertainment to be found, because there was no television, there were no movies, even radio had not yet made its appearance.

At that time, the trombone was something of a novelty, seen as a fun and rowdy instrument. Many tunes were written to take advantage of its unique ability to slide smoothly from one note to another. These tunes were called “trombone smears.”

Players and audiences alike had great fun with them.

Arranger David P. Miller has set this delightful trombone smear for modern concert band. Given the name Hydrophobia, it was written by Guy E. Holmes in 1909. (Some sources say 1911.)

This tune should provide a delightful change of pace for your next concert.

The MCSB playing Hydrophobia, March 2017

Here is the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band playing this tune on March 4, 2017.

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