A euphonium is the second largest instrument in the brass family. It is described as having a ‘sweet and dark’ sound. This instrument has a baritone voice and is played with valves, but should not be confused with a baritone horn.
The euphonium and the baritone differ in size. The baritone is a cylindrical bore instrument, which gives a brighter sound, whereas the euphonium has a conical bore, giving a mellower sound. However the technique and range of these instruments are identical, making it easy for musicians to switch between the two.
The shape of this instrument is similar to a tuba, only smaller. It can be played sitting down with the bell facing up.
Euphoniums are pitched in B♭ and are used in a number of musical genres including school bands, marching bands, concert bands and orchestras. A euphonium can play in the bass clef and the treble clef in concert pieces.
The euphonium is typically a band instrument and is often used for a solo. In some orchestral music the euphonium plays the part of tenor tuba, as orchestral pieces are not usually written for euphoniums.
Models of Euphonium
- Common for professionals
- 3 upright valves and 1 side valve
- Designed with extra tubing
- Larger bell creates a mellower tone
- Second smaller bell creates a brighter tone
- The smaller bell can give a clearer sound in the higher range
- Can be used for echoes and special effects
- The smaller bell can be used instead of a trombone
- Used in marching bands and schools
- Requires strength when carrying
- Rich, deep and dark sound
- Very rare and very valuable
- Made by Besson and Highmans
- 3 valves on top on 2 on the side
There are many accessories you can buy for your euphonium, including:
- Hard cases
- Soft cases
- Valve oil