|Related Instruments:||Baritone, Euphonium, Subcontrabass Tuba|
The tuba is the largest member of the brass family. Commonly pitched in BBb and Eb, as well as G in some drum corps, it is one octave lower than the baritone or the euphonium and is written in and below the bass clef.
Tuba valves can be either piston or rotary valves. Top-action piston valves are popular in Britain and fairly common in the US, and front-action, or side-action, pistons are common in the US. Rotary valves are traditional in Germany and the surrounding areas.
Uses in the orchestra Edit
The tuba is commonly the lowest instrument in the orchestra, though rarely an orchestra will have a contrabassoon, which is lower. Tubas are most commonly used for standard bass lines, which are two notes repeated over and over.
- Mussorgsky. Bydlo from Pictures at an Exhibition
- Vaughn Williams, Tuba Concerto
The sousaphone is a type of tuba that you wear and is notably used in marching bands. It doesn't play differently from a BBb bass or contrabass tuba, just slightly larger to produce louder sounds. Unlike the tuba, it has a forward-facing bell and a very different design.
- BBBb Subcontrabass tubas exist, but are extremely rare.
- The tuba is not a proper family of instruments.
- Rarely, you see EEb (double e-flat) tubas
- BBBb Subcontrabass tubas are capable of playing an octave below the BBb contrabass (or bass) tuba.