Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Aaron Tindall

Second Committee Member

Timothy Conner

Third Committee Member

John Olah

Fourth Committee Member

Gary Wood


The cimbasso is an Italian low brass instrument created during the nineteenth century for the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. Although Verdi’s earlier scores utilized different versions of the cimbasso, Verdi’s last operas Aida and Falstaff employed an updated cimbasso similar to the model used today. The presence of the cimbasso within Italian opera literature undoubtedly advanced throughout the twentieth century because of opera musicians who stayed historically correct to Verdi’s writing. As the cimbasso has gained popularity among opera musicians throughout the world, more specifically, Los Angeles, freelance musicians ultimately motivated film composers to write for the cimbasso in film soundtracks. With the current demand for cimbasso in opera and film music, there is certainly a need for an applied cimbasso pedagogy. This research focuses on applicable concepts from trombone and tuba pedagogy and how each concept applies to a cimbasso pedagogy; it also provides musical examples with detailed explanations about how to play the cimbasso, which will be supported with a reference to both standard and modern literature that pertain to the cimbasso. Ultimately, the research gathered offers musicians a better understanding of the history, the pedagogy, and the performance practice of the cimbasso repertoire.


Cimbasso; Dissertation; Pedagogy; History; Verdi; Method