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Lassus Trombone (ed Foster)

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Henry Fillmore

Henry Fillmore (ed. Robert E Foster)

General Info

Year: 1915 / 2011
Duration: c. 2:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The minstrel show, which emerged as a form of entertainment in the United States in the 1840s, consisted for a time of humorous musical programs based on Northern concepts of Negro entertainment. Fillmore’s trombone smears, beginning with Miss Trombone in 1908, often included subtitles which were in the minstrel-vaudeville idiom of the time. Paul Bierley writes that they were also influenced by his Grandmother McKrell’s former slave, Sarah, a jolly soul who sang catchy old spirituals while she worked and was always treated with respect and kindness in the Fillmore household. In addition to Lassus Trombone— "De Cullud Valet to" Miss Trombone (1915), examples include: Pahson Trombone —Lassus Trombone's “Old Man” (1916); Sally Trombone — Pahson Trombone’s Eldest Gal (1917); Shoutin’ Liza Trombone — Mose Trombone’s Ah-finity (1920); Dusty Trombone — He's de Next Door Neighbor to Bones Trombone (1923); and Boss Trombone —He’s de Head Man (1929). Other smears were written for Slim, Mose, Teddy, Bull, Bones, Ham, of course, Hot Trombone, which undoubtedly called for additional lubricant for the slide.

Lassus Trombone was John Philip Sousa’s favorite smear. He programmed the tune on every concert of one of his final tours. It was also Fillmore’s favorite. Delegates who attended the 1949 Southern Division meeting of the Music Educators' National Conference in Tampa, Florida, may have forgotten most of the other details, but they will never forget "Uncle Henry,” dressed in his customary white suit and wielding a huge baton, conducting a line of trombonists stretched across a football field playing his Lassus Trombone. The sheet music arrangement has sold over two million copes.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

According the author Paul Bierley, "For all practical purposes, Lassus Trombone is a classic. The structure is solid. The melody, harmony and rhythm are combined in a glorious, near perfect manner. It is highly listenable, clever and snappy. Because it literally exudes happiness, it is little wonder that Henry lived to see sales of the sheet music surpass the two million mark. Lassus Trombone quickly took a place among the world's toe-tappers, and it still falls in that category."

When he was asked about the origin of the title, Fillmore responded, "Why molasses, of course ... I thought of molasses on bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. "

-Program Note from score.

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) University Band (Corey Jahlas, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Aragon High School (San Mateo, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) - 8 November 2014
  • California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Ensemble (Andrew McMahan, conductor) - 9 March 2014
  • Nation Ford (Ft. Mill, SC) High School Band - Spring 2012

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Courage (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1919/2003/2012)
  • His Honor March (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1934/2014)

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 204-205.