A Conversation for Low Brass Instruments

Other Variations

Post 1


I might be wrong, but isn't there also a valve trombone, which only uses the valves and no slide at all? Pretty sure that's generally regarded as a separate instrument...

Also, I'm curious... what designation is the French horn? It can be relatively high or low, depending on the player's ability and the piece.

P.S. If that doesn't make any sense whatsoever just ignore it... I haven't slept much more than 3 hours a night for the past week, so I can't tell anymore. smiley - smiley


Post 2

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

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Other Variations

Post 3

Doc Steve

There is indeed a valve trombone (as there is, incidentally, a slide trumpet), which is like a trumpet, but twice the size and hence an octave lower, i.e. playing in the trombone range. The sound, however, isn't exactly pleasing, so while it may be a good instrument to train your embouchure before you start on the slide trombone, IMHO you'll never touch it again once you get hold of the real thing (which is much sexier, too).

Other Variations

Post 4

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

Are you absolutely sure about that, Doc Steve?

As far as I know the 'slide trumpet' has the same size as the standard trumpet. What you mentioned might be the alto trombone, which has about twice the size of a trumpet.

I may be wrong, but I don't think so. Any corrections welcome!smiley - smiley

Other Variations

Post 5

Doc Steve

Hi Jeremy,

you're right about the slide trumpet being in the same range as the standard trumpet. This would be the subject for a thread (or even an entry) on High Brass Instruments though, wouldn't it.
The valve trombone, as the name says, does not have a slide, but (usually) three valves. The system works like any other valve brass instrument, the first valve lowering the tone one full step, the second one half step, the third one and a half step - but of course any player knows this. The range is the standard trombone range in b flat. I know - I've played it before I got my slide trombone.
And yes, there is an alto trombone. On that, I'm not too sure, but I fancy it is somewhere between the standard trombone range and the trumpet range. It may also be in e flat, but again, let someone write an entry on High Brass Instruments so we can be sure.

Doc Steve

Euphonium vs. Baritone

Post 6


Just a very pedantic correction to your explanation of the difference(s) between the Euphonium (Tenor Tuba) and the Baritone (Piccolo Tuba). The number of valves the instrument is not the main difference, a Euphonium may have 3 valves the same as a Baritone, however, I don't believe you can get a 4-valved Baritone, and this distinction is a fairly modern one as it used to be that both only had 3 valves.

The actual important difference is that the tubing of a Baritone remains at the same or very similar width all the way through the instrument, eventually widining at the bell, while the Euphonium has conical tubing, widining all the way round the instrument. This is also the difference between the Trumpet and Cornet, the Trumpet being similar to the Baritone and the Cornet similar to the Euphonium. Euphoniums are usually but not always the larger of the two instruments as well, but still smaller than the Tuba (Bass Tuba).

I have some more excrutiatingly boring facts about Euphoniums and Baritones but I think I'll save that for a fully-fledged entry, oh goody...

Euphonium vs. Baritone

Post 7

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

Brass instrument families usually get mixed up ...

A flugelhorn might as well be called a soprano tuba, as it has a conical bore (typical for the tuba family).


Euphonium vs. Baritone

Post 8


Thank you for correcting that difference. I wonder, though, what of the Soprano Tuba?

Remember that there is also a difference between Bass and Contrabass tubas (mainly that Bass tubas are pitched in E-Flat or F, and Contrabass in B-Flat or C).

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