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Encyclopedia > Euphonium
Euphonium
Classification
Playing range
Related instruments

The euphonium is a conical-bore, baritone-voiced brass instrument. It derives its name from the Greek word euphonos, meaning "beautiful-sounding" or "woof" (eu means "well" or "good" and phonium means "voice"). The euphonium is a valved instrument; nearly all current models are piston valved, though rotary valved models do exist. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2112x2816, 2869 KB)picture of my Willson 2900 euphonium by Robert McDaniel File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. ... Image of a trumpet, foreground, a piccolo trumpet behind, and a flugelhorn in background. ... An aerophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound. ... The playing range of a musical instrument is the region of pitch in which it can play, i. ... Image File history File links Euphoniumrange. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... Known in the U.S. as alto horn, in Germany as althorn, and in the UK as tenor horn, this brass instrument pitched in Eb has a conical bore (gradually widening), and normally uses a deep, cornet-like mouthpiece. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of brass instruments. ... The bore of a wind instrument is its interior chamber that defines a flow path through which air travels and is set into vibration to produce sounds. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Image of a trumpet, foreground, a piccolo trumpet behind, and a flugelhorn in background. ... Piston valve in a brass instrument A piston valve is a device used to control the motion of a fluid along a tube or pipe by means of the linear motion of a piston within a chamber or cylinder. ... See also rotary feeder airflow of rotary valve in two positions A rotary valve is a type of valve in which the rotation of a passage or passages in a transverse plug regulates the flow of liquid or gas through the attached pipes. ...


A person who plays euphonium is sometimes called a euphoniumist or a euphonist, while British players often colloquially refer to themselves as euphists. Similarly, the instrument itself is sometimes referred to as eupho or euph.

Contents

Construction and general characteristics

The euphonium is pitched in concert B, meaning that when no valves are depressed the instrument will produce partials of the B-flat harmonic series. In the United States, music for the instrument is usually written in the bass clef at concert pitch (that is, without transposition), though treble clef euphonium parts, transposing down a major ninth, are included in much concert band music¹. In the brass band tradition, especially in the United Kingdom, euphonium music is always written this way. In continental European music, parts for the euphonium are sometimes written in the bass clef but a major second higher than sounding. These water valves are operated by handles. ... See Harmonic series (music) Harmonic series (mathematics) These two concepts are related. ... A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ... A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ... A concert band, also called wind band, symphonic band, symphonic winds, wind orchestra, wind symphony, or wind ensemble, is a performing ensemble consisting of several members of the woodwind instrument family, brass instrument family and percussion instrument family. ... A brass band a musical group consisting mostly or entirely of brass instruments, often with a percussion section. ... A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ...


Professional models have three top-action valves, played with the first three fingers of the right hand, plus a "compensating" fourth valve, generally found midway down the right side of the instrument, played with the left index finger; such an instrument is shown in the above picture. Beginner models often have only the three top-action valves, while some intermediate "student" models may have a fourth top-action valve, played with the fourth finger of the right hand. Compensating systems are expensive to build, and there is in general a wide discrepancy in price between compensating and non-compensating models. For a thorough discussion of the valves and the compensation system, see the article on brass instruments. A brass instrument is a musical instrument whose tone is produced by vibration of the lips as a player blows into a tubular resonator. ...

A euphonium (L) and tuba (R), the two lowest conical-bore instruments

The euphonium has an extensive range, potentially from far below the bass clef to F six ledger lines above or even higher in professional hands, though B four ledger lines above the staff is an average cutoff for intermediate players. The lowest notes obtainable depend on the valve set-up of the instrument. All instruments are chromatic down to first ledger-line E below the bass clef, but 4-valved instruments can reach at least down to C below the staff. Non-compensating four-valved instruments suffer from intonation problems from E down to C, and cannot produce the low B-natural; compensating instruments do not have such intonation problems and can play the low B-natural.² From B below the bass clef down lies the "pedal range," i.e. the fundamentals of the instrument's harmonic series. They are easily produced on euphonium as compared to other brass instruments, and the extent of the range depends on the make of the instrument in exactly the same as just described. Thus, on a compensating four-valved instrument, the lowest note possible is BBB, six ledger lines below the bass clef. Euphonium and Tuba brass instruments Taken by Elf | Talk in London, July 04 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Euphonium and Tuba brass instruments Taken by Elf | Talk in London, July 04 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...


As with the other conical-bore instruments, the cornet, flugelhorn, French horn, and tuba, the euphonium's tubing gradually increases in diameter throughout its length, resulting in a softer, gentler tone compared to cylindrical-bore instruments such as the trumpet and trombone. While a truly characteristic euphonium sound is rather hard to define precisely, most players would agree that an ideal sound is dark, rich, warm, and velvety, with virtually no hardness to it. On the other hand, the desired sound varies geographically; European players, especially British ones, generally use a faster, more constant vibrato and a more veiled tone, while Americans tend to prefer a more straightforward, open sound with slower and less frequent vibrato. This also has to do with the different models preferred by British and American players. Bâ™­ cornet The cornet is a brass instrument that closely resembles the trumpet. ... A standard 3-valved Bb flugelhorn. ... The horn is a brass instrument consisting of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of brass instruments. ... The trumpet is the highest brass instrument in register, above the French horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, and tuba. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ...


Though the euphonium's fingerings are no different from those of the trumpet or tuba, beginning euphoniumists will likely experience significant problems with intonation, response, and range compared to other beginning brass players. In addition, it is very difficult for students, even of high-school age, to develop the rich sound characteristic of the euphonium, due partly to the instrument models used in schools and partly to the lack of awareness of good euphonium sound models. The trumpet is the highest brass instrument in register, above the French horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, and tuba. ... The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of brass instruments. ...


¹These may be included for the sake of students who have recently switched from the trumpet, or who play trumpet and are doubling on euphonium. The trumpet is the highest brass instrument in register, above the French horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, and tuba. ...


²Thus, only on 4-valved, compensating instruments is a full chromatic scale from the pedal range up possible.


Popular models of euphonium

Very generally speaking, the most popular professional models of euphonium in the United Kingdom are Besson Prestige and Sovereign models, and the most popular in the United States is the Willson 2900, shown in the picture at the top of this article. In both cases, these models have become the standard largely through the use and sponsorship of extremely highly-respected players and teachers; in Britain, by Steven Mead, and in America, by Dr. Brian Bowman. Besson is an established manufacturer of brass instruments, part of The Music Group. ...


Other highly-regarded professional models found around the world are the Yamaha 642 and 842, the Hirsbrunner Standard and Exclusive, the Sterling Virtuoso, and the Meinl-Weston 451 and 551. Yamaha may refer to: Yamaha Corporation – A manufacturer of a diverse range of musical instruments and electronics. ... Meinl-Weston is a leading manufacturer of brass instruments, based in Geretsried in Germany and formerly based in Graslitz. ...


An extremely popular intermediate-model horn for use in middle and high schools in the United States is the Yamaha 321, which has four valves and is non-compensating.


Name recognition and misconceptions

The euphonium is possibly the least popularly-known Western instrument of all, probably due to its scarcity of performance venues (see below). Most non-musician members of the general public in the United States do not recognize the name "euphonium", and so it must be described as a small tuba or compared to a baritone horn. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Alto horn, Baritone horn and Euphonium laid side by side for comparison

Despite great confusion (especially in the United States), the euphonium and the baritone are two different instruments. Some believe that the four-valved instrument is the euphonium, and that the three-valved instrument is the baritone horn, but this is not the case. Though they play in the same register, the baritone is significantly smaller in appearance, has a more masked tone, and most importantly, is cylindrical-bore, like trumpets and trombones. See David Werden's website for an excellent and thorough discussion of the differences between a baritone and a euphonium. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 545 pixelsFull resolution (858 × 584 pixel, file size: 253 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 545 pixelsFull resolution (858 × 584 pixel, file size: 253 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Known in the U.S. as alto horn, in Germany as althorn, and in the UK as tenor horn, this brass instrument pitched in Eb has a conical bore (gradually widening), and normally uses a deep, cornet-like mouthpiece. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The so-called American baritone, featuring three valves on the front of the instrument and a curved forward-pointing bell, was predominant in American school bands throughout most of the twentieth century. While this instrument is in reality a conical-cylindrical bore hybrid, neither truly euphonium nor baritone, it was almost universally labeled a "baritone" by both band directors and composers; this is probably responsible for much of the confusion.


History and development

The serpent, the oldest ancestor of all low brass instruments
The serpent, the oldest ancestor of all low brass instruments

As a tenor/baritone-voiced brass instrument, the euphonium traces its ancestry to the ophicleide and ultimately back to the serpent. The search for a satisfactory foundational wind instrument that could support masses of sound above it took some time; while the serpent was used for over two centuries dating back to the late Renaissance, it was notoriously difficult to control its pitch and tone quality due to its disproportionately small open finger holes. The ophicleide, which was used in bands and orchestras for a few decades in the early- to mid-nineteenth century, used a system of keys and was an improvement over the serpent but was still unreliable, especially in the high register. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 311 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (760 × 1464 pixel, file size: 75 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1883. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 311 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (760 × 1464 pixel, file size: 75 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1883. ... The ophicleide () is a family of conical bore, brass keyed bugles. ... A serpent is a bass wind instrument with a mouthpiece like a brass instrument but side holes like a woodwind instrument. ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ...


With the invention of the piston valve system c. 1818, the construction of brass instruments with an even sound and facility of playing in all registers became possible. The euphonium is alleged to have been invented, as a "wide-bore, valved bugle of baritone range," by Ferdinand Sommer of Weimar in 1843, though Carl Moritz in 1838 and Adolphe Sax in 1843 have also been credited. While Sax's family of saxhorns were invented at almost the same time and the bass saxhorn looks very similar to a euphonium, they are constructed differently. Saxhorns have a nearly cylidrical bore and do not allow the fundamental to be produced; thus, the bass saxhorn is more closely related to the baritone than the euphonium. The saxhorn is a valved brass instrument with a tapered bore and deep cup-shaped mouthpiece. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The "British-style" compensating euphonium was developed by David Blaikley in 1874, and has been in use in Britain ever since; since this time, the basic construction of the euphonium in Britain has changed little.


The double-belled euphonium

A creation unique to the United States was the double-bell euphonium, featuring a second smaller bell in addition to the main one; the player could switch bells for certain passages or even for individual notes by use of an additional valve, operated with the left hand. Ostensibly, the smaller bell was intended to emulate the sound of a trombone (it was cylindrical-bore) and was possibly intended for performance situations in which trombones were not available. The extent to which the difference in sound and timbre was apparent to the listener, however, is up for debate. Harry Whittier of the Patrick S. Gilmore band introduced the instrument in 1888, and it was used widely in both school and service bands for several decades. Harold Brasch (see "List of important players" below) brought the British-style compensating euphonium to the United States c. 1939, but the double-belled euphonium may have remained in common use even into the 1950's and 60's. In any case, they have become rare (they were last in instrumental catalogues in the late 1960's), and are generally unknown to younger euphonium players. They are chiefly known now through their mention in the song "Seventy-Six Trombones" from the musical The Music Man by Meredith Willson. Double bell euphonium was created to give the traditional euphonium more versatility, so that the instrument could better match other brass instruments, such as trombones or French horns, or to give a lighter sound when playing with bassoons and other woodwinds. ... Seventy-Six Trombones is the signature song from the 1957 musical play The Music Man, written by Meredith Willson. ... This article is about the stage musical. ... Robert Meredith Willson (18 May 1902 – 15 June 1984) was an American composer and playwright, best known as the writer of The Music Man. ...


Performance venues and professional job opportunities

The euphonium has historically been and largely still is exclusively a band instrument, whether of the wind or brass variety, where it is frequently featured as a solo instrument. Because of this, the euphonium has been called the "king of band instruments," or the "cello of the band," because of its similarity in timbre and ensemble role to the stringed instrument. Euphoniums typically have extremely important parts in many marches (such as those by John Philip Sousa), and in brass band music of the British tradition. The euphonium may also be found in marching bands, though it is often replaced by its smaller, easier-to-carry cousin, the marching baritone (which has a similar bell and valve configuration to a trumpet). A marching euphonium similar to the marching baritone is also used in many marching groups, primarily drum and bugle corps, two of which (Phantom Regiment and Teal Sound) march all-euphonium sections. The violoncello, usually abbreviated to cello, or cello (the c is pronounced as in the ch of check), is a bowed stringed instrument, a member of the violin family. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Portrait of John Philip Sousa taken in 1900 John Philip Sousa (November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor known particularly for American military marches. ... The Lochgelly Band, a Scottish colliery band, circa 1890 A British-style brass band is a musical ensemble comprising a standardised range of brass and percussion instruments. ... Music from the United Kingdom has achieved great international popularity since the 1960s, when a wave of British musicians helped to popularise rock and roll. ... An American college marching band on the field (University of Texas) A marching band is a group of instrumental musicians who generally perform outdoors, and who incorporate movement â€“ usually some type of marching â€“ with their musical performance. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Drum and bugle corps is a name used to describe two forms of marching units. ... The Phantom Regiment is the name of a drum and bugle corps located in Rockford in the US state of Illinois. ...

King marching euphonium
King marching euphonium

Other performance venues for the euphonium are the tuba-euphonium quartet or larger tuba-euphonium ensemble; the brass quintet, where it can supply the tenor voice, though the trombone is much more common in this role; or in mixed brass ensembles. Though these are legitimate performance venues, paid professional jobs in these areas are almost non-existent; they are much more likely to be semi-professional or amateur in nature. Most of the United States's military service bands include a tuba-euphonium quartet made up of players from the band that occasionally performs in its own right. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x350, 93 KB)Rendering of euphonium, cc held by C.lettinga 23:25, 23 November 2006 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x350, 93 KB)Rendering of euphonium, cc held by C.lettinga 23:25, 23 November 2006 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Look up king in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A brass quintet is a five-piece musical ensemble composed of brass instruments. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... United States Service Bands Each of the branches of the U.S. military, has a headquarters band organization, all but one of which are in the Washington, D.C. area. ...


The euphonium is not traditionally an orchestral instrument and has never been common in symphony orchestras. However, there are a handful of works, mostly from the late Romantic period, in which composers wrote a part for baryton (German) or tenor tuba, and these are universally played on euphonium, frequently by a trombone player. In addition, the euphonium is sometimes used in older orchestral works as a replacement for its predecessors, such as the ophicleide, or, less correctly, the bass trumpet, or the Wagner tuba, both of which are significantly different instruments, and still in use today. At the bottom of the article are some of the well-known orchestral works in which the euphonium is commonly used (whether or not the composer originally specified it). The ophicleide () is a family of conical bore, brass keyed bugles. ... The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the tuba. ...


Finally, while the euphonium was not historically part of the standard jazz big band or combo, the instrument's technical facility and large range make it well-suited to a jazz solo role, and a jazz euphonium niche has been carved out over the last 40 or so years, largely starting with the pioneer Rich Matteson (see "List of important players" below). Jazz euphoniums are most likely to be found in tuba-euphonium groups, though modern funk or rock bands occasionally feature a brass player doubling on euphonium, and this trend is growing. A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. ... Funk is an African American musical style. ... Rock is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars, and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles, however saxophones have been omitted from newer subgenres of rock music since the 90s. ...


Due to this dearth of performance opportunities, aspiring euphonium players in the United States are in a rather inconvenient position when seeking future employment. Often, college players must either obtain a graduate degree and go on to teach at the college level, or audition for one of the major or regional military service bands. Because these bands are relatively few in number and the number of euphonium positions in the bands is small (2-4 in most service bands), job openings do not occur very often and when they do are highly competitive; before the current slate of openings in four separate bands, the last opening for a euphonium player in an American service band was in May 2004. A career strictly as a solo performer, unaffiliated with any university or performing ensemble, is a very rare sight, but some performers, such as Riki McDonnell have managed to do it. United States Service Bands Each of the branches of the U.S. military, has a headquarters band organization, all but one of which are in the Washington, D.C. area. ...


In Britain the strongest euphonium players are most likely to find a position in a brass band, but ironically, even though they often play at world-class levels, the members of the top brass bands are in most cases unpaid amateurs. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of brass bands in Britain ranging in standard from world class to local bands. Almost all brass bands in Britain perform regularly, particularly during the summer months. A large number of bands also enter contests against other brass bands of a similar standard. Each band requries two euphoniums (principal and 2nd) and consequently there are considerable opportunities for Euponium players. A brass band a musical group consisting mostly or entirely of brass instruments, often with a percussion section. ... The Lochgelly Band, a Scottish colliery band, circa 1890 A brass band is a musical group consisting mostly of brass instruments, often with a percussion section. ...


The euphonium has also long been featured as an integral part and solo instrument in Salvation Army bands. Shield of The Salvation Army The Salvation Army is a non-military evangelical Christian organisation. ...


College climate in the United States

Unlike a generation or two ago, most colleges with music programs now offer students the opportunity to major in euphonium. However, due to the small number of euphonium students at most schools (2-4 is common), it is possible, and even likely, that they will study with a professor whose major instrument is not the euphonium. Often tubas and euphoniums will be combined into a studio taught by one professor, and at small schools they may be grouped with trombones as well, taught by one low brass professor. Dr. Brian Bowman and Demondrae Thurman serve as the only two full time euphonium college professors in the US. Usually, of course, universities will require professors in this situation to have a high level of proficiency on all the instruments they teach, and some of the best college euphonium studios are taught by non-euphonium players.


Below are some of the United States's largest and most successful college euphonium studios listed alphabetically, along with their teachers. These studios are likely to be larger than most, and either have one or more graduate students or have sent alumni on to graduate study elsewhere. Their professors are usually accomplished and widely respected artists in their own right, and students from these schools will have been invited either to amateur competitions such as the Leonard Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Festival or the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, or to the final rounds of recent military band auditions. The Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival (Falcone Festival or simply Falcone for short) is an amateur tuba and euphonium festival and competition, held annually the second week in August at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp at Twin Lake, Michigan. ...

Dr. Brian Bowman
Dr. Brian Bowman

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research institution of higher education and research with campuses located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. ... The Eastman School of Music (also known more simply as The Eastman School, Eastman, or ESM) is a music conservatory located in the United States. ... George Mason University, also known as GMU or simply Mason, is a public university in the United States. ... Indiana University is the principal campus of the Indiana University system. ... Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. ... Northwestern University (officially abbreviated NU; sometimes abbreviated NWU) is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational research university with campuses located in Evanston, Illinois and downtown Chicago, Illinois. ... Tennessee Technological University, popularly known as Tennessee Tech, is an accredited public university located in Cookeville, Tennessee, a small city approximately seventy miles (110 km) east of Nashville. ... The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System. ... The University of Georgia (UGA) is the largest institution of higher learning in the U.S. state of Georgia. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U of M, U-M or simply Michigan) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan, and one of the foremost universities in the United States. ... The University of North Texas (informally UNT or North Texas) is a public university located in Denton, Texas. ...

Notable euphoniumists

The euphonium world is and has been more crowded than is commonly thought, and there have been many noteworthy players throughout the instrument's history. Traditionally, three main national schools of euphonium playing have been discernible: American, British, and Japanese. Now, euphoniumists are able to learn this specific art in many other countries around the world today. The following is a list of notable euphonium players around the world, along with a brief biographical sketch. ...


Below are a select few of the players most famous and influential in their respective countries, and whose contributions to the euphonium world are undeniable, in terms of recordings, commissions, pedagogy, and increased recognition of the instrument. A much more complete list featuring euphoniumists from many other countries as well as younger, lesser-known players can be found at List of euphonium players. The following is a list of notable euphonium players around the world, along with a brief biographical sketch. ...


United States

Steven Mead
Steven Mead

United Kingdom The United States Navy Band, based at the historic Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., has served since 1925 as the official musical group of the United States Navy. ... George Mason University, also known as GMU or simply Mason, is a public university in the United States. ... The United States Navy Band, based at the historic Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., has served since 1925 as the official musical group of the United States Navy. ... United States Service Bands Each of the branches of the U.S. military, has a headquarters band organization, all but one of which are in the Washington, D.C. area. ... The University of North Texas (informally UNT or North Texas) is a public university located in Denton, Texas. ... United States Service Bands Each of the branches of the U.S. military, has a headquarters band organization, all but one of which are in the Washington, D.C. area. ... The University of Connecticut, commonly known as UConn, is the State of Connecticuts land-grant university. ... Washington Avenue Bridge at night The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, almost always abbreviated U of M, and sometimes referred to as The U by locals, is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Japan The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (Welsh: Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru) is a prestigious conservatoire located in Cardiff. ... The Black Dyke Band, formerly the Black Dyke Mills Band, is one of the oldest and best known brass bands. ... The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (Welsh: Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru) is a prestigious conservatoire located in Cardiff. ... Royal Northern College of Music The Royal Northern College of Music or RNCM is a conservatoire in Manchester, England. ...

Euphonium literature

Main article: Euphonium repertoire

The euphonium repertoire consists of solo literature and orchestral or, more commonly, band parts written for the euphonium. Since its invention in 1843, the euphonium has always had an important role in ensembles, but solo literature was slow to appear, consisting of only a handful of lighter solos until the 1960's. Since then, however, the breadth and depth of the solo euphonium repertoire has increased dramatically. A Willson 2900 euphonium, a professional model commonly used in American service bands The euphonium repertoire consists of solo literature and orchestral or, more commonly, band parts written for the euphonium. ...

The euphonium solo in the first movement of Gustav Holst's Second Suite in F is one the most important solos in the euphonium repertoire.

Upon its invention, it was clear that the euphonium had, compared to its predecessors the serpent and ophicleide, a wide range and had a consistently rich, pleasing sound throughout that range. It was flexible both in tone quality and intonation and could blend well with a variety of ensembles, gaining it immediate popularity with composers and conductors as the principal tenor-voices solo instrument in brass band settings, especially in Britain. It is no surprise, then, that when British composers – some of the same ones who were writing for brass bands – began to write serious, original music for the concert band in the early twentieth century, they used the euphonium in a very similar role. When American composers also began writing for the concert band as its own artistic medium in the 1930's and '40's, they continued the British brass and concert band tradition of using the euphonium as the principal tenor-voiced solo. This is not to say that composers, then and now, valued the euphonium only for its lyrical capabilities. Indeed, examination of a large body of concert band literature reveals that the euphonium functions as a "jack of all trades." Gustav Holst, English composer, 1874-1934 This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Gustav Holst, English composer, 1874-1934 This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Gustav Holst Gustav Holst (September 21, 1874, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - May 25, 1934, London) [1] [2] was an English composer and was a music teacher for over 20 years. ... The Second Suite in F for Military Band (Op. ... A serpent is a bass wind instrument with a mouthpiece like a brass instrument but side holes like a woodwind instrument. ... The ophicleide () is a family of conical bore, brass keyed bugles. ... The Lochgelly Band, a Scottish colliery band, circa 1890 A British-style brass band is a musical ensemble comprising a standardised range of brass and percussion instruments. ... A concert band, also called wind band, symphonic band, symphonic winds, wind orchestra, wind symphony, or wind ensemble, is a performing ensemble consisting of several members of the woodwind instrument family, brass instrument family and percussion instrument family. ...


Though the euphonium was, as previously noted, embraced from its earliest days by composers and arrangers in band settings, orchestral composers have, by and large, not taken advantage of this capability. There are, nevertheless, several orchestral works, a few of which are standard repertoire, in which composers have called for instruments, such as the Wagner tuba, for which euphonium is commonly substituted today. The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the tuba. ...

Amilcare Ponchielli, composer of the first original euphonium solo
Amilcare Ponchielli, composer of the first original euphonium solo

In contrast to the long-standing practice of extensive euphonium use in wind bands and orchestras, there was until approximately forty years ago literally no a body of solo literature written specifically for the euphonium, and euphoniumists were forced to borrow the literature of other instruments. Fortunately, given the instrument's multifaceted capabilities discussed above, solos for many different instruments are easily adaptable to performance on the euphonium. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Amilcare Ponchielli (August 31, 1834 – January 17, 1886) was an Italian composer, largely of operas. ...


The earliest surviving solo composition written specifically for euphonium or one of its saxhorn cousins is the Concerto per Flicorno Basso (1872) by Amilcare Ponchielli. For almost a century after this, the euphonium solo repertoire consisted of only a dozen or so virtuosic pieces, mostly light in character. However, in the 1960's and '70's, American composers began to write the first of the "new school" of serious, artistic solo works specifically for euphonium. Since then, there has been a virtual explosion of solo repertoire for the euphonium. In a mere four decades, the solo literature has expanded from virtually zero to thousands of pieces. More and more composers have become aware of the tremendous soloistic capabilities of the euphonium, and have constantly "pushed the envelope" with new literature in terms of tessitura, endurance, technical demands, and extended techniques. Amilcare Ponchielli (August 31, 1834 – January 17, 1886) was an Italian composer, largely of operas. ...


Finally, the euphonium has, thanks to a handful of enterprising individuals, begun to make inroads in jazz, pop and other non-concert performance settings.


References

External links

  • Tapmusic, A US-based store with a large range of well-known euphonium CD recordings and sheet music.
  • World of Brass, A UK-based store with a large range of CD recordings from well-known euphonium soloists.
  • Tuba News, a free monthly online publication for tuba and euphonium players.
  • Tuba-Euphonium Press, one of the premier publishing houses for new euphonium and tuba music in all genres.
  • Tuba-Euphonium Forum, a discussion forum specifically for euphonium and tuba.
  • Nikk Nakks Music's Euphonium Page, one of the more informative sites for euphonium literature, history, music, recordings, and more.
  • EuphoniumFi.net Steven Mead's personal website.

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Euphonium (934 words)
The euphonium is a brass instrument, which means that sound is produced by vibrating the air column with the lips.
The first occurence of the unusual double belled euphonium appeared in the late 1880's, but they ceased to be manufactured in the 1960's, mainly because of the impractical nature of the instrument.
One of the earliest occurences of the euphonium in orchestral music was in Richard Strauss' "Don Quixote", in 1896 (this was also the first time that a mute had been asked for) and soon after this, Mahler used a euphonium in his 7th Symphony.
Euphonium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3192 words)
The so-called American-style euphonium, featuring three valves on the front of the instrument and a curved forward-pointing bell, was predominant in American school bands throughout most of the twentieth century and was almost universally labeled a "baritone" by both band directors and composers; this is probably responsible for much of the baritone/euphonium confusion.
In addition, the euphonium is sometimes used in older orchestral works as a replacement of its predecessors, such as the Wagner tuba, the bass trumpet, or the ophicleide.
Benjamin Pierce, professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Arkansas [7]
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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