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Encyclopedia > Wagner tuba
Wagner Tuba
en: Wagner tuba, de: Wagnertuba
Playing range

{{{range}}} The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... Image File history File links Wagner_tuba. ... 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. ...

Related instruments

The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the tuba. It was originally created for Richard Wagner's operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Since then, other composers have written for it, including Anton Bruckner, Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Edgard Varèse, Felix Draeseke, Ragnar Søderlind, Elisabeth Lutyens, Michael Nyman, and Stephen Caudel. The euphonium is sometimes used as a substitute when a Wagner tuba cannot be obtained. A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... The horn (popularly known also as the French horn) is a brass instrument decended from the natural horn that consists of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of brass instruments. ... Image of a trumpet, foreground, a piccolo trumpet behind, and a flugelhorn in background. ... The horn (popularly known also as the French horn) is a brass instrument decended from the natural horn that consists of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of brass instruments. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... This article is about the series of operas; for the film, see Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King. ... “Bruckner” redirects here. ... Schoenberg redirects here. ... This article is about the German composer of tone-poems and operas. ... Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, Igor Fëdorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian composer, considered by many in both the West and his native land to be the most influential composer of 20th-century music. ... Béla Bartók in 1927 Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. ... Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965) was a French-born composer. ... Felix Draeseke, oil portrait by Robert Sterl (1907) Felix August Bernhard Draeseke (October 7, 1835 – February 26, 1913) was a composer of the New German School admiring Liszt and Wagner. ... Ragnar Søderlind (born June 27, 1945) is a Norwegian composer. ... (Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens, CBE (July 9, 1906–April 14, 1983) was an English composer, one of the five children of architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. ... Michael Nyman (born March 23, 1944) is a British minimalist composer, pianist, librettist and musicologist, perhaps best known for the many scores he wrote during his lengthy collaboration with the British filmmaker Peter Greenaway. ... Stephen Caudel Stephen Caudel was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. ... The euphonium is a conical-bore, baritone-voiced brass instrument. ...

Wagner was inspired to invent this instrument after a brief visit to Paris in 1853, when he visited the shop of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Wagner wanted an instrument that could intone the Valhalla motif somberly like a trombone but with a less incisive tone like that of a horn. That effect was obtained by a conical bore (like a horn) and the use of the horn mouthpiece (tapered as opposed to a cup mouthpiece such as on a trombone). The instrument is built with rotary valves which, like those on the horn, are played with the left hand. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Life-size statue of Adolphe Sax outside his birthplace in Dinant, Belgium. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family, usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece like the clarinet. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... 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. ...

The Wagner tuba nominally exists in two sizes, tenor in B-flat and bass in F, with ranges comparable to those of horns in the same pitches while being less adept at the highest notes. Several 20th-century and later manufacturers have, however, combined the two instruments into a double Wagner tuba in B-flat and F. Wagner tubas are normally written as transposing instruments, but the notation used varies considerably and is a common source of confusion—Wagner himself used three different and incompatible notations in the course of the Ring, and all three of these systems (plus some others) have been used by subsequent composers. An additional source of confusion is the fact that the instruments are invariably designated in orchestral scores simply as "tubas", leaving it sometimes unclear as to whether true tubas or Wagner tubas are intended (for example, the two tenor tubas in Janáček's Sinfonietta are sometimes wrongly assumed to be Wagner tubas). It has been suggested that Survey of the twentieth century, The 20th century in review be merged into this article or section. ... A transposing instrument is a musical instrument whose music is written at a pitch different from concert pitch. ... LeoÅ¡ Janáček in 1928 LeoÅ¡ Janáček ( ; July 3, 1854 in Hukvaldy, Moravia, then Austrian empire – August 12, 1928 in Ostrava, then Czechoslovakia) was a Czech composer. ...

The sound of the Wagner tuba is mellower than that of the horn and sounds more distant, yet also more focused. Bruckner generally uses them for pensive melodic passages at piano to pianissimo dynamics. They can hold their own in a forte tutti, of course, but Bruckner generally gives them sustained tones rather than melodic motifs in such passages. In Bruckner's Eighth and Ninth Symphonies, the four Wagner tubas are played by four players who alternate between playing horn and Wagner tuba, which is the same procedure Wagner used in the Ring. This change is simplified by the fact that the horn and Wagner tuba use the same mouthpiece. Anton Bruckners Symphony No. ... Anton Bruckners Symphony No. ...

Where on the orchestral score the Wagner tubas are placed depend on who plays them. If they are played by players who are also playing horn, the staves for the Wagner tubas logically go below those of the horns and above the trumpets. If they are played by players who are not also playing horn, they are placed below the trombones, above the regular tuba, which is then called a "contrabass tuba."

The name "Wagner tuba" is considered problematic, possibly incorrect, by many theorists. Kent Kennan Wheeler says they could go by just about any other name since "they are really modified horns." But since they have been called "Wagner tubas" for so long, changing to a more sensible name is unlikely.


  • Raymond Bryant, Anthony C. Baines, John Webb, "Wagner tuba" The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 26, ed. Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2001
  • Kent Kennan Wheeler, The Technique of Orchestration

External links

  Results from FactBites:
History of the Wagner Tuba by W.Melton - Wagner Tuba Revival (639 words)
The general impression of the Wagner tuba that is still current is of an outdated museum piece, and it is often the butt of caricature.
The Wagner tuba has a negative reputation of being hard to play and having intonational difficulties, but this stems purely from unfamiliarity with the instrument which can be the result of infrequent usage.
If the Wagner tuba is still often limited to the role of guest in the orchestra, then, equally, the instrument simply will not go away.
Tuba - LoveToKnow 1911 (598 words)
The tubas are often confounded with the baritone and bass of the saxhorns, being like them the outcome of the application of valves to the bugle family.
The tenor tuba corresponds to the tenor horn, which it outwardly resembles, having its tube bent in rectangular outline and being played by means of a funnelshaped mouthpiece.
During the middle ages the tuba was as great a favourite as the busine (see Buccina and Trumpet), from which it may readily be distinguished by its marked conical bore and absence of bell.
  More results at FactBites »



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