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MUSE 250: Brass Tech

Michael Palmer, Ph.D.


What are key differences between the two?

Baritones from British/European manufacturers
have narrow bores
Bell flare of the baritone is less than the euphonium
Baritone timbre is lighter in color and weight than
Used in British brass bands and school bands
Video of a baritone soloist playing The Swan

Larger bell flare than baritone
Darker, heavier tone than baritone
Developed to emulate human voice and blend with
other conical instruments in British brass bands
Becoming more standard in American bands
Featured in some orchestral pieces
Solo instrument
Characteristics and

Euphs have intonation issues; what to do?
Alternate fingerings, use of fourth valve, use of
compensating euphonium
Difficult to lip down or up to adjust
To produce a resonant sound, use the proper
mouthpiece (deep cup and back bore)
Euph players should read bass clef (primarily), treble
clef, and tenor clef/treble in Bb
The Tuba
King of the Brass Section
Many Kinds

Sousaphone & Contra

Tuba Characteristics

Types: Eb/F (smaller); BBb and CC (larger)
BBb used in concert bands; CC and Eb/F in orchestra
Great variation in size of tubas, in bore and bell
diameter, overall dimensions and weight
Typical sizing: 3/4 (small tuba), 4/4 and 5/4
Four to five valve tubas are best
Notation mainly written in concert pitch
Tubists learn the correct fingerings based on type of
Tips for Teaching Young

Depending on age/year in school and size, start
students on baritone/euphonium
Talk about the tuba early and often
Have 3/4 size tuba(s) in your inventory
Issue tuba players two instruments: one for home
and one for school
Encourage listening to recordings