When looking at a sackbut, the first thing that someone will probably think is that it appears to closely resemble the trombone. The sackbut is, in fact, the ancestor of the trombone and was often used in music during the Baroque and Renaissance periods. It is a member of the brass family, which is obvious to most people, and was very popular in the past. As time went on and music changed, the sackbut started to lose its popularity as newer instruments took its place. Many might not think that the sackbut is used today, but it is starting to become an interest for many musicians in modern music.
The original name of this particular instrument is interesting and there is some speculation as to where it came from. Regardless of where its original name came from, the instrument is now usually referred to as a trombone, which is a name that is thought to have originated from Italy. The predecessor to this instrument is the trumpet, a simpler instrument that is also a member of the brass instrument family. The change to the sackbut is believed to have happened during the late 14th century. It was also during this time that the instrument was altered to include bends, curves and eventually loops that make the instrument recognizable as the modern trombone.
After the major changes were made to the instrument, some minor alterations occurred later on to perfect the instrument. There were four different sizes of the instrument in order to hit different pitches, including the alto, tenor, bass and double bass.
As mentioned before, the popularity of the sackbut declined as trombones and other instruments were favored over them in the newer music; However, the instrument did not completely die away. It continues to be played, even today as more musicians decide to go for it instead of the more modern instruments. It has been around for a long time and is an instrument that is still a rewarding one to play for anyone who may have an interest in it, but it still lacks in popularity.
Finding the opportunity to learn how to play the instrument in class might not be as easy as it is to try out another, more modern brass instrument. It can be a little more difficult to learn how to play as well, because one has to have good control over their breathing and the instrument. It is far easier to make the wrong sounds than it is to make the right notes.
If chosen to play, the instrument can take much practice and time to master, much like the trombone. Really, they are both fairly similar in so many ways, so finding a teacher might not be as difficult as some might believe. It all really depends on whether someone is really interested in it enough to put in the effort to learn how to play it.
The sackbut is an older instrument that has been around for a very long time, but it is still around and some continue to play it. There are even some musicians who have chosen to give it a try over the trombone they typically play.