Euphonium

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The euphonium is a piston-valved brass wind instrument that is played upright with the sound-producing bell of the instrument at the top. The euphonium is smaller than a tuba and sits in the tenor-bass range of many brass bands. It has a conical bore. The euphonium often has a fourth valve instead of the typical three for brass instruments, which allows for a lower range.
History of the Euphonium
The euphonium’s history dates back to the 17th century when the first patents for an instrument called The Serpent were first made. The Serpent looked just like a snake with a curved, zigzag design, but it was the first to feature a cupped mouthpiece and a soothing tenor tone. The ophicleide (invented by Jean Hilaire Aste) developed the brass instrument by creating an upright design with depressed keys that would operate as tone holes, just like in modern woodwind instruments. In the early 18th century, the introduction of valves into brass instruments changed everything. Work by Adolphe Sax and Carl Moritz also ushered in Heinrich Stolzel and Freidrich Blumel to create the piston valve which allowed the players to reach a greater range of notes through lengthened tubing. Finally in 1843, Sommer of Weimar patented a pistol-valved instrument that had that recognisably tenor sound - the euphonium was born. Weimar’s design has been perfected in countries such as England and Germany. The euphonium has found its home mostly in brass bands and marching bands and does not often feature in orchestras.
Inventor: Ferdinand Sommer of Weimar

Where to Buy

£250 to £4,500

How to Play

A brass instrument that is played by blowing air through the mouthpiece while pressing the valves to change the pitch. It is typically held upright and supported by a strap around the player's neck.

In Popular Music

The euphonium is played on the score for Jurassic Park by John Williams and may also be heard on Hegwid's Theme from the Harry Potter series. However, the euphonium is not often featured so neither can be confirmed.

Famous Players

David Childs, Steven Mead, Demondrae Thurman

Close Relations

Tuba, Baritone Horn
Understanding the Euphonium
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