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The History of the Tuba. Grade 9-12 General Music David Van Horn. Why was it needed?. The growing size of bands and orchestra needed a bottom end. This allowed a bigger range of sounds within the ensembles. What was the first?. The first instrument that started this family was the Serpent.

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the history of the tuba

The History of the Tuba

Grade 9-12

General Music

David Van Horn

why was it needed
Why was it needed?
  • The growing size of bands and orchestra needed a bottom end.
    • This allowed a bigger range of sounds within the ensembles.
what was the first
What was the first?
  • The first instrument that started this family was the Serpent.
    • Invented in France by Edme Guillaume around 1590.
    • Made with wood and leather.
the serpent
The Serpent
  • It coiled back and forth like a snake.
  • It had six holes to change the pitch.
    • Later, keys where added to make playing the Serpent easier.
the serpent s use
The Serpent’s use.
  • Was used first in churches as a bass instrument.
    • The first known composers were Leoninus and Perotinus, or Leonin and Perotin, in the 12th century.
    • They are the first two recognised composers of Western Music, which is critically important.
music for the serpent
Music for the Serpent.
  • Pieces were composed with the Serpent in mind.
    • Composers like Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Meyerbeer and Wagner were no stranger to the Serpent.
      • In fact, Wagner loved a lush tone-palate, and wrote music just for the Serpent.
the ophicleide
The Ophicleide.
  • In 1821, Joseph Halliday created the Ophicleide.
    • The name being constructed from the two words “ophis” (Greek for “serpent”) and “kleis” (for “stopper” or “cover”).
why does it look like a saxophone
Why does it look like a Saxophone?
  • The fact is, the Ophicleide is the predecessor to the Saxophone.
    • The saxophone was but one of several attempts to fuse Ophicleide and woodwind design.
    • Earliest Saxophones where called ophicléides á clefs, or the ophicléides á clefs et á bec.
more about the ophicleide
More about the Ophicleide.
  • The ophicleide bears no resemblance to its predecessor.
    • What sets it apart is it’s made of brass, having keys and pads like a saxophone, and standing upright.
    • However, it’s internal design makes it a brasswind of conical bore.
    • It was last used far and wide in 1928, although replicas are now made.
the helicon
The Helicon.
  • Thought to be made in Russia around 1845, it was made as a marching horn.
    • It was the forerunner for the Sousaphone, which is the marching horn of choice today.
    • The Helicon was popular across Europe and the United States.
the sousaphone
The Sousaphone.
  • As said earlier, the Sousaphone is the descendent of the Helicon.
  • Many believed that C. G. Conn made the Sousaphone in 1898. However, J. W. Peter made it in 1893, where it was displayed at the industrial exhibit in Philadelphia that same year.
the tuba
The Tuba.
  • Patented in 1835 by Prussian bandmaster Wilhelm Wieprecht and German instrument-builder Johann Gottfried Moritz.
    • It was soon adopted into British brass bands
information about the tuba
Despite the different keys, the Tuba is a “non-transposing” instrument.

This means it reads everything and plays everything in concert pitch.

Information about the Tuba.
  • It comes in different keys:
    • BB flat
    • CC
    • E flat
    • F
    • GG
more information about the tuba
The compensating valve design allows the playing of true, pure pedals that are in tune.

The bell diameter can vary from 15-30 inches based upon the Tuba’s key.

The bell tubing can we wide and open like a funnel, or relatively small, ending in a large bell.

They can be built of brass that is often electroplated with silver, nickel or copper, or they can sometimes have bells of plastic or fiberglass.

More information about the Tuba.
some random information about the tuba
Some random information about the Tuba.
  • It’s one of the heaviest instrument held by hand in an ensemble.
  • It is one of the most expensive instruments, along with percussion instruments and high quality instruments.
  • The History of the Tuba