Which tuba?

    
Which tuba?    04:37 on Friday, November 30, 2007          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

Apparently there are a variety of instruments going by the name tuba. Which would you consider closest to standard? Which would a tuba player be most likely to own? What is its usable range?


Re: Which tuba?    17:31 on Thursday, December 6, 2007          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

Thanks.

The standard depends on where you live.

Northern middle of the United States.

In the US the standard band instrument is BBb, and orchestra is CC.

Usable ranges?

If you become a Tuba performance major in college YOU HAVE to learn all 4.

Do you have to own all four as well?


Re: Which tuba?    02:05 on Friday, December 7, 2007          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

What do you mean by its useable range?

What the lowest and highest notes I can reasonably ask a tuba player to play to good effect?

Tell me a little about your self, your age and experience, and then if you want, I can help point you in some directions as to what tuba would be appropriate for you.

I have no intention to take up the tuba myself. I've been commissioned to score a public service announcement, and I'm considering using a tuba as the melody instrument. I'd like to have some idea what specific instrument I'm likely to get before I decide for sure.


Re: Which tuba?    23:45 on Saturday, December 8, 2007          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

The "useable range" is not defined by the istrument, it is by the player.

Of course it will vary according to the player; you can take this as read. There are two reasonable and obvious ways to answer the question. 1) You can pose an approximate average or 2) you can give your own range.


Re: Which tuba?    17:25 on Tuesday, December 11, 2007          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

Thanks, that's pretty helpful. Is it fair to assume that you generally would like notes leading up to your high F (rather than jumping directly) and that this high F is difficult to play softly? (For this piece I'll probably be emphasizing notes on the high side, considering that the tuba gets the melody.)


Re: Which tuba?    05:26 on Saturday, December 29, 2007          

ekdavies
(208 points)
Posted by ekdavies

Just to add some International balance ...

In the UK tubas (or Basses) are most commonly played in brass bands where F and CC tubas are not allowed (only BBb and EEb). The parts are always written in treble clef - sounding a two octaves and a tone lower for the BBb etc. The normal BBb range is from the written G below the treble clef to 2 octaves above - although in any good brass band the players would be expected to play 4 valve instruments and play down to written pedal C. The EEb players are expected to have at least the same range and use the extremes of their range much more frequently. The accepted BBb Bass is the Besson Sovereign despite the fact that a Sousaphone would often be musically better on these parts - its not allowed by the UK Brass Band authorities!

Brass bands also have Euphoniums and baritones with tubing an octave shorter than a BBb bass. Strangely, many orchestral musicians - especially string players - have no respect for brass band players despite the fact that the playing standard (and parts) in Championship brass bands are far more difficult than any orchestral music.

<Added>

Eb bass parts sometimes have melodic solo parts although Euphonium is the preferred sonorous solo instrument in brass bands cf Wagner tubas and french horns orchestrally. For more attack a trombone solo would be preferred. Most BBb players would have difficulty playing a solo which required an edge to the tone or alot of attack - although this is really a limitation of the Besson Sovereign which its predecessor (the Imperial) did not have.

<Added>

Playing low notes pp should not be a problem for any experienced player but playing quietly in the top octave of any brass instrument becomes increasingly more demanding as the pitch increases - although it is expected of French Horn players!


Re: Which tuba?    06:15 on Sunday, December 30, 2007          

ekdavies
(208 points)
Posted by ekdavies

It is usual in UK brass bands to use a 4 valve BBb instrument which means that written G (sounding F) down to written D (sounding C) are played using the 4th valve to add extra tubing. On many much older 3 valve instruments these can be played as "false" pedals. The first "true" pedal is then written C (sounding Bb). In the music I've played I've never seen lower notes written and the Besson Sovereign isn't very good on lower pedals. IMHO its also the Sovereign's limitations that have curtailed arrangers from expecting some "edge" to BBb bass playing in the UK. I agree there are better alternative instruments.

My reference to "orchestra music" should have been to "orchestral brass parts". I'm sorry if this caused confusion. I wouldn't have a useful opinion concerning string parts!


Re: Which tuba?    02:36 on Saturday, January 26, 2008          

Scotch
(660 points)
Posted by Scotch

In the end I used a flugelhorn instead. Sorry.


   




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