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  • The Euphonium Family by David Werden

    The Euphonium Family
    The Baritone, Euphonium, and Double-Bell Euphonium

    A thorough discussion of the instruments in the euphonium family, covering their history and development, the various types of instruments, and their history of usage.
    David R. Werden


      - The Instruments
      - History of Usage
    6. SUMMARY


    This family of instruments consists of three branches: baritone, euphonium, and double bell euphonium. The baritone, or baritone horn, is the smallest member of the family. (Occasionally its name is applied to a type of euphonium.) It is used in brass bands routinely, but is seldom seen in wind bands. The euphonium is the instrument commonly used in American wind bands. The double-bell euphonium is no longer made, although many still exist in playing condition. Each member of the euphonium family possesses design features that clearly differentiate it from the others. Each has virtues that are valuable in some context. I chose to use all three in my recent Masters Recital at the University of Connecticut in order to demonstrate the differences among them and advantages of each. A secondary reason for using all three instruments was my desire to alleviate the confusion many people have in distinguishing between baritone and euphonium.


    The Instruments

    The euphonium family is the youngest among the standard brass instruments. Its development began in the early 19th century from a common seed. Earliest examples were of a narrow and somewhat cylindrical bore, which would classify them as baritones by today's standards.1 However, these instruments are certainly part of the euphonium's family tree. Mary Petersen, who is an instrument historian and curator of the Shrine to Music instrument museum, believes that euphoniums and baritones evolved from this one root. "Although the baritone and the euphonium have perhaps now formed two distinct groups, their predecessors are identical."2 By 1829 a second design had evolved with a wide bore, creating the duality of the baritone and euphonium.3

    The next major developments were in the early 1840s. "Adolphe Sax invented a complete range of piston-valved brass instruments in Paris from 1842-1845. These were used in England also, and helped fuel the brass band movement. They are credited as the first generation of modern low brass instruments."4 These new musical instruments used piston valves, while most previous valves used a more complicated rotary mechanism. The piston valves had a faster action enabling the performer greater facility. There was one other significant development during this period: "In 1843 Sommer of Weimar invented the Euphonion."5 Some sources credit it as the first modern euphonium. During informal research I did 15 years ago, I consulted 20 reference books for definitions of euphonium. About half of these sources traced the lineage to Sommer and the others to Sax. In either case it is clear that even the earliest euphoniums had a large bore and conical tubing, giving them a smooth, voluminous sound. The euphonium's name is derived from Latin and Greek words than mean "sweet-voiced" or "sweet-sounding."6 As brass instruments improved over the next three decades, the smaller-bore baritone and larger-bore euphonium maintained their own identities. In many ensembles there were separate parts for each instrument.

    Immutable physical laws caused intonation anomalies that designers sought to overcome. "The [intonation] errors arising from the use of valves in combination are present in all valve instruments which have no provision for compensation and amount to .52 of a semitone sharp in a three valve instrument and just about 1 3/4 semitones sharp where the chromatic scale is extended down to the pedal octave by the use of a fourth valve."7 Various solutions were tried, but none were as accepted by players as the Blaikley compensating system, which is still standard on high-quality baritones and euphoniums today. "The most effective solution of all for the euphonium is the system of automatic compensation designed by David J. Blaikley for the Boosey company in 1874."8 Blaikley's compensating system was implemented on instruments that are visually similar to today's versions. The design featured an upright bell pointing to the player's right and valves that pointed in the same direction.

    The next development, the double-bell euphonium, is arguably one of the oddest brass instruments to be mass-produced in this century. "The 'double-bell euphonium' has a second smaller bell and is equipped with a 4th valve which, when depressed, sends the air stream through the smaller, more cylindrical tubing and out the smaller bell. A 5th valve also may appear on a double-bell euphonium, the 4th being the compensating/range-extending valve, which appeared relatively early after valve combinations showed evidence of faulty intonation, and the 5th valve then being used to activate the small bore tubing. The instrument is unique both in appearance and sound, and certainly was effective for performing the band parts written during its popularity in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. It was second only to the cornet as a featured solo instrument during its day."9 Very little information exists as to the ways in which players used this new instrument. Neither I nor other researchers whom I have consulted have found more than passing mention of the use or advantage of the double-bell euphonium. However, interviews with older players invariably bring out what appears to have been the intention of the instrument: during band performances, the large bell could be used when playing melodic or counter-melodic material, and the small bell could be used when playing with trombones. It is a certainty that soloists of the day would have explored many other possibilities. One of John Philip Sousa's most famous soloists was euphoniumist Simone Mantia. He is known to have performed on a five-valve double-bell euphonium, although the existing recordings of him do not feature the smaller bell. The following quotation is one of the few suggestions of a way this instrument was used: "Mantia specialized in playing cornet solos on a five-valve euphonium with two bells which could be used for echo effects."10 A further, although somewhat vague, hint of players' usage of this remarkable instrument is given in this quotation (the author uses the term "baritone" in place of "euphonium"): "As brass instrument makers honed their technical skills, a number of remarkable hybrid instruments were introduced to take advantage of characteristics of two contrasting bores or lengths. The double-bell euphonium, for example, combined a cylindrical-bore valve trombone with a conical-bore baritone. The musician could use this odd-looking beast as either valve trombone or baritone by the simple press of a valve. A number of complex solo pieces were written to take advantage of the striking effects produced when the two bells were employed in rapid succession. A similar technology was employed in the echo bell cornet, which had one normal bell and one specially designed bell that produced a distant echo effect."11

    In the early 20th century, American manufacturers developed a modification of what had become the standard euphonium design. This new variant had a bell that pointed to the player's left, and was sometimes curved forward, as seen in Illustration 4. The valves were perpendicular to the main tubing of the euphonium. It had a slightly smaller bore (but with similar taper) compared to the older euphonium design. It was intended to fill the gap between euphonium and baritone, supposedly being able to perform either role. However, it soon came to be used as a euphonium. It was the standard euphonium design in public school bands until about 1980, when the traditional design began to gain favor despite its higher cost. Some European countries (especially Germany and Austria) developed a design similar to the American instrument except with rotary valves and a more oval appearance. This design is still in use today, particularly in the role of a tenor tuba. It has been shunned by soloists because of the slower action of its rotary valves (see Illustration 4).

    History of Usage

    In the euphonium's early days a wide variety of brass ensembles existed. There was considerable experimentation with various combinations of instruments, but it was to last only a short time. With the development of Sax's line of instruments in the 1840s, two forms of band were destined to materialize: the brass band and the wind band (or concert band). The euphonium immediately found an important and secure position in each of these ensembles.

    Brass bands soon began to compete with each other, which may explain the standardized instrumentation that began to be specified so early in their history (the first British "Open" Championship for brass bands was held in 1853). Bevan offers the following list for the typical brass band:12

    1 E-flat Soprano Cornet
    8 B-flat Cornets (3 or 4 "Solo"; 1 "Repiano"; 2 2nd; 1 or 2 3rd)
    1 B-flat Flugel Horn
    3 E-flat Tenor Horns ("Solo," 1st and 2nd)
    2 B-flat Baritones (1st and 2nd)
    2 B-flat Euphoniums (one part, almost exclusively in unison)
    2 Tenor Trombones (1st and 2nd)
    1 Bass Trombone
    2 EE-flat Basses (playing from the same part)
    2 BB-flat Basses (playing from the same part)

    Violet and Geoffrey Brand offer a similar list, this time shown in score order (note the positioning of baritones between horns and trombones):13

    1 Eb soprano cornet
    9 Bb cornets
    1 Bb flugel horn
    3 Eb horns
    2 Bb baritones
    2 Bb tenor trombones
    1 Bb/F bass trombone
    2 Bb euphoniums
    2 Eb basses (tubas)
    2 Bb basses (tubas)
    plus percussion

    Brass bands have always been a strong force in Europe, but they virtually disappeared from the United States until recently. "At present, brass bands, modeled on the British tradition, are gaining popularity."14 This rebirth has been driven by the formation of the North American Brass Band Association. At present there are nearly two hundred amateur brass bands in this country and at least one professional brass band.

    Wind bands materialized shortly after brass bands. While most bands in America were all brass in the 1850s, the Marine Band and the Seventh New York Regiment Band used brass and woodwinds in their standard instrumentation. This practice was popularized when, in 1859, famous bandmaster Patrick Gilmore added woodwinds to the all-brass Boston Brigade Band. Later, Gilmore settled on an instrumentation of 35 woodwinds, 27 brass, and four percussion. By 1891 Gilmore's band contained two-thirds woodwinds.15 One of Gilmore's contemporaries, John Philip Sousa, used a similar instrumentation for his own famous ensemble: "Sousa's first band consisted of 46 players--considerably smaller than Gilmore's later bands, but with approximately the same proportion of woodwind and brass instruments. Later, Sousa enlarged his band to an average of 70 players, with nearly twice as many woodwinds as brass. The instrumental make-up of most concert bands today, especially school and university bands, largely follows Sousa's model."16 Illustration 1 shows the Sousa band (including two double-bell euphoniums). Wind bands continued to gain popularity, peaking in the early part of this century. The Sousa band in particular was an international sensation, attracting the finest players on every instrument to its auditions. The popularity of bands dwindled somewhat as the century progressed. With only a handful of exceptions, professional bands came to be the province of the military. Public school bands remained strong through most of the 20th century (although economic difficulties currently threaten many school music programs in systems around the country). There is also an under-utilized system of amateur bands in this country. Many community and civic bands are thriving, but there is room for considerable growth in this area. "Amateur banding in the States, seems to have developed, and is still developing through two major sources. The influence of The Salvation Army, and the offshoots of the pro band. ... Many of the professional players, due to (a) shortage of work, (b) the desire to teach, or (c) their kindled enthusiasm have started small brass groups or brass bands of their own. Other players who are in the 'pro band scene' play themselves in amateur outfits because they simply enjoy it so much."17 A recent Yamaha newsletter discussed an amateur band festival in Oregon attended by several hundred enthusiastic musicians. An encouraging development was reported in the article: "One man had been saving $10 from each paycheck as a lumberjack to buy a new euphonium!"18

    The standard orchestral instrumentation was well established before the design of the euphonium matured. Consequently, no orchestra employs a full-time euphoniumist. However, several orchestral compositions include parts for euphonium. Other pieces originally called for tenor tuba, but have come to be performed most often on euphonium (probably due to the superior design of the euphonium and the abundance of available skilled players). Richard Strauss came to prefer the sound of euphonium to tenor tuba (tuben) for his own music after hearing a rehearsal of Sousa's band during that group's 1900 European tour.19 Bevan identifies eleven orchestral parts that were either written for euphonium or are most appropriately played on euphonium.20 They include:

    Richard Strauss Don Quixote
    Ein Heldenleben
    Bela Bartok Kossuth
    Janacek Sinfonietta
    Gustav Holst The Planets
    Havergal Brian Symphony No. 8
    Respighi Pini di Roma
    Verdi Often used in stage bands
    Meyerbeer Le Prophete

    In his reference book Euphonium Music Guide,21 Denis Winter offers a list of orchestral pieces having parts that are often played on the euphonium (originally written for euphonium, tenor tuba, or Wagner tuba):

    Barber Third Essay
    Symphony No. 2, Op. 19
    Bartok Kossuth
    Miraculous Mandarin
    Bax Overture to a Picaresque Comedie
    Fourth Symphony
    Berlioz Judges of the Secret Court
    Symphony Fantasique
    Bruckner Symphony No. 7
    Symphony No. 8
    Symphony No. 9
    Ginastera Psalm 150, Op. 5
    Grainger Early One Morning
    Fall of the Stone
    Father and Daughter
    Irish Tune from County Derry
    Mock Morris
    Shallow Brown
    We Have Fed Our Seas for a Thousand Years
    Holst The Planets
    Janacek Capriccio
    Kay Stars and Stripes Suite
    Western Symphony
    Mahler Symphony No. 7
    Moussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition
    Respighi Pines of Rome
    Schuman Credendum
    Strauss, R. Alpine Symphony
    Don Quixote
    Ein Heldenleben
    Stravinsky Firebird
    Rite of Spring
    Wagner Das Rheingold
    Die Walkure
    Webern Three Pieces
    Yardumian Passacaglia, Recitative, and Fugue
    for Piano and Orchestra
    Symphony No. 2

    Such lists are valuable encouragement for euphoniumists, but would offer only occasional employment. There is a problem with nomenclature in these excerpts--the label "tenor tuba" or "tuben" on many of these parts can mean either a high-voice tuba or a low-voice horn. In the latter case, the parts are best left to the so-called "Wagner tuba," which is usually played by a utility horn player. The euphonium serves very comfortably as a high member of the tuba section, and is particularly suited to tenor tuba parts with substantial melodic content, such as Shostakovitch's Age of Gold suite or Mahler's Symphony No.7. "It appears in the symphony orchestra under the German name Tenorhorn in Mahler's seventh symphony where, during the first movement, it plays an extremely important and exposed solo part, notable for a striking entry in the second bar of the work. The compass is concert B-b1, written in transposed treble clef."22 Most euphoniumists would need to adjust their style somewhat to fit into the orchestral texture. When serving as a tenor tubist, the amount of vibrato a euphonium player uses during band playing will likely sound inappropriate.

    The euphonium has been used sparingly in jazz or commercial music. It is (very) occasionally used in pit orchestras. For example, euphonium has a brief role in John Barry's musical Drury Lane23 and in Roger Miller's Broadway musical Big River. It is also featured briefly in a few movie scores. Henry Mancini used euphonium in at least three of his scores: What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?; Heaven Can Wait; and Oklahoma Crude. In pit orchestras or in movie studio orchestras, the euphonium part is almost certain to be played by one of the trombonists for the brief time it is used. On rare occasions, the euphonium is used in popular music. The first instance I can document is Jackie De Shannon's What the World Needs Now Is Love.24 The euphonium is used the opening solo (sounding the theme before the vocalist) and in counter-melodies later in the arrangement. It has also been used in recordings by Carole King and Paul Simon. Gus Mancuso and Rich Matteson have made considerable use of euphonium in jazz combos. Other jazz personalities such as Maynard Ferguson have used euphonium occasionally for effect.


    For the purpose of considering appropriate uses and scoring, it is safe to consider the American euphonium and traditional upright euphonium to be the same instrument. The baritone should be regarded as a separate voice, and the double-bell euphonium can be viewed as a novelty (no manufacturer has produced one in years).

    Denis Wright describes typical scoring considerations for baritones: "If an orchestral parallel were required, one could consider the baritones in the same light as the violas, except that the two baritones will usually have two independent parts. In the hands of a good player the instrument is extremely flexible; lighter in tone than the euphonium, it can play arpeggio passages well, assist euphonium in melodic or counter-melodic work or provide sustained chords or quaver accompaniments in conjunction with the horns."25 And for euphoniums: "The euphonium is essentially likened to the orchestral cello. An excellent soloist throughout a range of at least two octaves, with a warm full tone. In the military band the euphonium is employed very considerably in doubling the bass, with occasional excursions into counter-melodies and solos."26 Wright's expertise is scoring for the brass band, but his basic understanding of the characteristics of the two instruments applies to wind band scoring as well.

    The baritone horn has a fairly light tone and is not capable of great volume. It blends well with horns, trombones or euphoniums, and is a valuable supporting voice. In brass bands it is often used to impart a rounder sound to trombones or horns or to give the euphoniums more definition. It can also be valuable in a solo or recital setting. On my recital, I used a baritone for Concert Etude by Goedicke, which was originally written for trumpet. The baritone's lighter sound seemed more appropriate for some of the double-tongued passages (although balance problems in the hall made this advantage less obvious to the audience). I have also used it to good advantage when performing my own arrangement of Elgar's Salut d'Amor, which was originally a violin parlor piece.

    The euphonium is a more powerful instrument than the baritone, and is well suited to solo work. It is a melody instrument second to none. The following descriptions are from two of the most highly regarded brass texts: "...[euphonium] is the finest melodic instrument for use below the cornet register,"27 and, "In concert, military or brass band the euphonium is prime bass soloist, after the solo clarinet or solo cornet the most featured instrument."28 Its rich tone and superb agility have helped to ensure survival of the one band instrument that is not a member of the standard "orchestral brass" instrumentation. It is capable of playing even the most technically difficult cornet solo or the most expressive melodies. In fact, most of the classic cornet solos were published as "cornet or euphonium" solos. "Euphonium playing bears a relationship to cornet playing in that the main emphasis should be melodic and expressive. While both instruments lend themselves to technical display--and this is exploited in the literature--their very essence is a subtle capacity to emulate the human voice."29

    In its most common setting within the wind band, euphonium is used in a role similar to that of the cello in orchestral scoring. In fact, it is often called "the cello of the band."30 In many band pieces that were transcribed from orchestra music, the euphonium plays solos that were originally for cello. Two common examples are found in Roman Carnival Overture by Berlioz, transcribed by Leidzen, and "New World" Symphony by Dvorak, transcribed by Safranek. The euphonium doesn't sound like a cello in either case, but it has the proper agility for the Dvorak and the required melodic ability for the Berlioz. In the best original band literature the euphonium is used in similar roles. One of the finest examples in traditional repertoire is the solo in the first movement of the Second Suite in F for Military Band by Holst. It is a flowing melody taken from a British folk song, and is an excellent showcase for the euphonium. Several contemporary composers have included fine solos for euphonium in their works for band, including Roger Nixon, Claude Smith, Arnold Schoenberg, Ingolf Dahl, and Morton Gould. Unfortunately, many modern composers are inclined to write only for the orchestral brass instruments in their works for band. If a euphonium part is included at all, it is set in a very subservient role, often as a tenor tuba with no melodic or counter-melodic opportunities. The instrument works well as a tenor tuba, but restricting it to that role wastes a valuable resource.

    In traditional brass bands baritones and euphoniums are well used. The parts take advantage of the instruments' strengths and avoid their weaknesses. Baritones are used to supplement the horns or trombones, and euphoniums assume the role described previously for wind bands. Both are key instruments in brass band instrumentation. In this scoring the baritones are not coupled with euphoniums, but rather are a part of the horn/trombone choir. The wealth of good literature for brass band is overwhelming. Not only are there abundant transcriptions, but many gifted composers are currently writing for brass band. Their music is more evolutionary than revolutionary in style, and is usually classified as "neo-romantic."

    A role that is too seldom explored for euphonium is soloist with orchestra. Alan Hovhaness wrote two of his symphonies as euphonium solos (No. 3 and No. 29). British composers are very familiar with the characteristics of the euphonium, partly because of the popularity of brass bands in England. Two of England's modern composers recently offered their thoughts on scoring for euphonium. The first is Joseph Horovitz, who wrote a concerto for euphonium and orchestra in 1974: "The first time I heard a euphonium . . . I realized that its function in the brass band is similar to that of the cello in the orchestra: the provider of a firm and agile bass, as well as a fully chromatic carrier of middle range melodies; both functions, moreover, equally effective in the whole range of dynamics. . . If I had to describe my ideal euphonium sound, I would make it a mixture of French horn, bass clarinet and viola!"31

    Derek Bourgeois has also written a euphonium concerto. His newest work was premiered in this country only one year ago. He says: "In orchestral terms [euphonium] doesn't blend very well. Like the saxophone (another infrequent visitor to the orchestra) whenever it plays it tends to dominate the ensemble. Its very open tone makes it most suitable to be used as a solo instrument in a texture, and this is why in the brass band it is the prima donna of the lower register instruments. ... In fact the euphonium is an ideal instrument to pit against the normal sound of the orchestra. All the qualities I have described that render it a difficult partner within an orchestra are the very ones which make it an ideal concerto instrument. Although euphonium players would be loathe to admit this, it is one of the easiest brass instruments to play. Its very essence is virtuosity, and its big tone projects across even a fullish orchestral texture with ease. It can get virtually as high as a French horn, and it can play low notes with stertorous aplomb."32

    No discussion of euphonium scoring would be complete without a mention of chamber ensembles. The most popular setting for euphonium in chamber music is in combination with tubas in a euphonium-tuba ensemble (sometimes simply called a tuba ensemble). The blend of these large-bore conical instruments is extraordinary, although care must be taken to keep the writing in a high enough range to avoid a muddy texture. While year-round employment for euphonium players is rare outside military bands, four-part euphonium-tuba ensembles are employed at Disney theme parks and occasionally at other parks. Euphonium is also used advantageously as a bass or melody instrument in a brass quartet. Both types of ensemble have a large body of music available. According to Denis Winter's Euphonium Music Guide,33 there are 16 recordings available of euphonium-tuba ensembles and four of brass quartets.


    For at least the past several decades, the euphonium has been a somewhat misunderstood instrument. Most American non-musicians have never heard of it, although some have heard of the baritone horn. In England, however, "euphonium" is a fairly well known word. During a trip there in 1980, my wife commented to our cab driver that I was in London to accept an award for euphonium playing. His response was, "Oh, yeah? I just heard a euphonium soloist on the telly [meaning "television"] the other night." I have yet to have a similar experience in the United States.

    Part of the reason for the anonymity of euphonium in this country is a mis-application of terminology. In public schools, an American-design euphonium is most often used but is commonly called a baritone horn. Many publishers label their music "baritone" instead of "euphonium," even though the parts are obviously written for euphonium. The American-style euphonium may have contributed to the confusion. Most references say that this instrument is made with a bore size in between that of a euphonium and baritone. However, its bore is actually much closer in size to a euphonium. The following chart, assembled from manufacturers catalogs, shows that relationship:

    company bore bell taper bore bell taper
    Yamaha .504 8.25 narrow .571 11 wide
    Besson .515 8.38 narrow .580 11-12 wide
    DEG / Willson .512 10.00 narrow .592 11.5 wide
    Sterling .522 9.6 narrow .592 12 wide
    Amati .488 8.75 narrow .559 11.75 wide
    Conn American-
    Style Euphonium
    .563 11 wide
    The Conn American-style euphonium fits very well into the range of measurements of the other traditional-style euphoniums, yet this instrument is more often called "baritone" than "euphonium." The Conn line is interesting in this regard. Their various models all share the same dimensions of tubing, bell size, and taper, but Conn has usually listed their most expensive model as "euphonium" and their cheaper models as "baritones." Other American companies have followed the same path, apparently feeling that the name "euphonium" justifies a higher cost and connotes better quality.

    I consulted four respected sources for accurate definitions of baritone and euphonium. The results are listed below:
    Source Baritone Euphonium
    The New Grove
    Dictionary of
    Music and

    narrow bore
    warm, large tone
    Deep-cup mouthpiece
    Tenor of tuba family
    (accurate photo)
    wide bore
    (accurate photo)
    of Music and

    smaller bore
    smaller tone
    semi-conical bore
    cup mouthpiece
    3 valves
    larger bore
    larger tone
    semi-conical bore
    deep-cup mouthpiece
    3 to 5 valves
    New Harvard
    Dictionary of
    Music 36
    smaller bore
    tapered like cornet
    larger bore
    tapered like flugelhorn
    New Oxford
    Companion to
    narrower bore
    called baritone in USA
    wider bore

    The definitions summarized above show some consistency of opinion about the main features that define the instruments. Euphonium has a larger bore and a larger tone than baritone. One source mentions the deeper mouthpiece that is usually used for euphonium, and another correctly identifies a difference in taper of the tubing (flugelhorn has a wider taper than cornet, in the same manner that euphonium has a wider taper than cornet). The amount of taper is easily judged without measurements. True baritones have a very small amount of taper, so that the tubing in the final bend before the bell is still very narrow. In a euphonium, this tubing is roughly twice as wide. While the bore size contributes to tone quality, the taper is probably more significant. Consider the double-bell euphonium. The valve that selects which bell will play is located after the point where bore size is measured. The differences in dimensions after this valve consist solely of the amount of tubing taper and subsequent bell size: wide taper and large bell versus narrow taper and small bell. The sound of the two bells is very different despite the fact that they are both played through the same mouthpiece, leadpipe, and bore. Therefore, it seems obvious that the degree of taper must be considered when assigning the term "baritone" or "euphonium." Unfortunately, most reference books mention differences in bore and few mention differences in taper. Some mention the number of valves, but this feature is a reflection of practical considerations of how the players use the instruments. A baritone could be built with four valves (although I don't know of any that are), and euphoniums are frequently made with only three valves. Famous euphonium soloist Arthur Lehman understands the construction particulars that are significant, and expresses his definition in 11 words: "It all lies in the shape and size of the tubing."38 Illustration 2 at the end of this paper shows a baritone and a euphonium for visual comparison.

    The British have a clearer understanding of the make-up of a euphonium, as stated in the following quotation from Violet and Geoffrey Brand, two of England's most noted brass band experts: "It says much for the rich diversity of design that euphoniums, for example, in brass bands can be bell-forward (American type), oval shape (continental) or upright bell models (British); likewise bells of horns, baritones, euphoniums and basses may point over the left or the right shoulder of the player, according to design and maker."39 It is worth noting that the Brands include the "American type" instrument in the list of euphoniums. In his book Practical Hints on Playing the Baritone (Euphonium), Brian Bowman refers to the American-style euphonium as a baritone horn, although he also refers to the "true baritone horn" (European style).40 Dr. Bowman is an expert in this field and is certainly aware of the distinction between baritone and euphonium. It is reasonable to assume that he was writing to his audience, most of whom use the same terminology. Also, his book is intended for younger players, who are most likely to use "baritone horn" to refer to their instrument. Another expert in the field, Earle Louder, states, "...the names have become almost synonymous in the United States..."41 Arthur Lehman offers the following cross-reference of terminology:

    Country Term for
    Term for
    United States Inst.not used euphonium
    & Australia
    & New Zealand
    & Canada
    baritone euphonium
    Germany tenor horn bariton
    or baryton-tuba
    Austria bass flugelhorn euphonium
    or bariton
    Italy flicorno tenore flicorno baritono
    Spain baritono bombardino
    France baritone
    Countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Holland mostly follow either the German or French nomenclature, depending on the publisher, the band and the area.42

    In the 1970s there was a movement in this country to call euphonium a tenor tuba. The effort was short-lived, fading as euphoniumists began to gain a stronger identity. Euphoniums perform a tenor tuba role in many types of music and manage the task quite well. According to Bevan, ". . .'tenor tuba' is sometimes used in English-speaking countries when referring to a group of tubas in various pitches: it is then generally applied to both euphoniums and baritones as opposed to the bass tubas of lower pitch."43 However, it may be more appropriate to use the term "tenor tuba" to define a musical role rather than an instrument.


    For my recital, I tried to use the baritone, euphonium, and double-bell euphonium for music that was suited to each. I chose the baritone horn for Goedicke's Concert Etude, a piece originally written for trumpet. As such, the music stayed out of the lowest range, which is consistent with the baritone's weak low register (its smaller bore and cylindrical tubing add resistance to the flow of air and make it more difficult for the player to produce low notes). The restricted air flow made one of the low range double-tonguing passages more difficult, but probably no more so than it would be on trumpet. The only other piece on the recital that would have fit the range limitations of the baritone was Vizzutti's Cascades (also originally written for trumpet). However, my interpretation of Cascades called for several sudden, wide dynamic changes. Such dynamics are more effective on euphonium--its wider bore gives it a very large dynamic range. The rest of the pieces on the recital required a low range that is beyond the scope of the baritone.

    I arranged Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata specifically around the extended abilities of the euphonium--its mellow sound, low register, and expressive capabilities make it a good choice for this demanding piece. Two of the other pieces, Goldsmith's Pastorale and Kellaway's Morning Song, were written for tuba. However, the range of either one falls within the recommended tessitura for euphonium. In fact, from the standpoint of range alone, Morning Song is much better suited to euphonium than tuba--it requires a B-flat above middle C, which is uncomfortable or impossible for most tubists. The Sparke Fantasy was written for euphonium by a composer who is intimately familiar with the instrument's abilities. There was no reason to select any other instrument for performance. All the music mentioned in this paragraph could be played on a double-bell euphonium. However, modern euphoniums feature improved intonation, tone, and general "playability" compared to the now-extinct double-bell euphoniums.

    Virtuoso solos such as the Arban Carnival of Venice were written as a showcase for experienced players who are expected to perform them in a manner that will leave the audience breathless. The extra aural and visual impact of a double-bell euphonium is an appropriate enhancement for such a piece. In most of the variations I chose to create a simple dialog, alternating phrases between the two bells as the music seemed to dictate. However, in the second triple-tonguing variation it seemed more effective to play the entire first half of the variation on the large bell in order to take advantage of its greater volume potential in accenting the melody notes. Then it was appropriate to stay on the small bell for the second half of that variation. I used a "wa-wa" effect on the slow variation, which was probably not used by soloists during the era in which double-euphoniums were first being introduced. In the final variation, which consists of 32nd notes, I played only the melody notes on the small bell in order to exaggerate the "duet" effect. While it cannot be documented, this was almost certainly an effect used by the euphonium soloists of a hundred years ago.

    6. SUMMARY

    The euphonium family is a valuable asset in today's music world. In order to encourage composers to use it to the best advantage and to educate listeners about the instruments, it is necessary to present them as often as possible to the public. I intend to continue to use the various instruments in public performance and to encourage other artists to do the same. Ultimately, it may be possible for a euphoniumist to become a professional recitalist, which would bring the instrument before a new audience. I would like to have the experience of hearing a taxi driver reply, "Oh yeah? A euphonium? Wasn't there a euphonium recital in town just the other night?"


    Illustration 1

    Photo showing the Sousa Band's instrumentation in 1911.44 Notice the two double-bell euphoniums.

    Illustration 2

    Photo showing a baritone and a euphonium.45 Notice the difference in taper of the tubing, easily compared at the last curve before the bell.

    Illustration 3

    Arthur Lehman with a double-bell euphonium while he in with the U.S. Marine Band in 1948.46

    Illustration 4

    On the left is an American-style euphonium.47 On the right is a German oval-shaped euphonium.48



    Arnold, Denis, ed. The New Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

    Bevan, Clifford. The Tuba Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978.

    Bowman, Brian. Practical Hints on Playing the Baritone (Euphonium). Melville, NY: Belwin Mills, 1983.

    Brand, Violet and Geoffrey. Brass Bands in the 20th Century. Herts, England: Egon Publishers, 1979.

    Brand, Violet and Geoffrey. The World of Brass Bands. Herts, England: Egon Publishers, 1986.

    Brasch, Harold. The Euphonium and 4-Valve Brasses. Arlington, VA: Harold T. Brasch, 1971.

    Bryant, Carolyn. And the Band Played On. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1963.

    Draper, F.C. Notes on the Besson System of Automatic Compensation of Valved Brass Instruments. Middlesex, England: Besson & Company, 1953.

    Hazen, Margaret Hindle and Robert M. The Music Men, an Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800-1920. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987.

    Lehman, Arthur. The Art of Euphonium Playing. Poughkeepsie, NY: Bob Hoe, 1977.

    Randel, Don Michael, ed. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1986.

    Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan Publishers, 1980.

    Skeat, Walter W. A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Perigee Books, 1980.

    Thompson, Oscar, ed. International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1985.

    Whitener, Scott. A Complete Guide to Brass. New York: Schirmer Books, 1990.

    Winter, Denis. Euphonium Music Guide. New London, CT: Whaling Music Publishers, 1986.

    Wright, Denis. Scoring for Brass Band. London: Studio Music Company, 1986.


    Louder, Earle L. "An Historical Lineage of the Modern Baritone Horn and Euphonium." Ph.D. diss., Florida State University School of Music, 1976.


    Bourgeois, Derek. "Composers Speak." British Bandsman: The World of Euphonium, No. 1 (1991): 3.

    Horovitz, Joseph. "Composers Speak." British Bandsman: The World of Euphonium, No. 1 (1991): 3.

    Kimpton, Jeffrey, ed. "Music in the Great Northwest: The Oregon Adult Band Festival." Published in the Yamaha Corporation newsletter New Ways, 8, No. 2 (Winter 1993). C-12.

    Petersen, Mary. "A Brief History of the Euphonium." The Instrumentalist, Vol. 35, No. 10 (May 1979): 16.


    Bacharach, Burt and Hal David: "What the World Needs Now Is Love." Performed by Jackie De Shannon, 45rpm single 66110, I.M. Imperial, ca.1962.


    1. Clifford Bevan, The Tuba Family (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978), 90-93.

    2. Mary Petersen, "A Brief History of the Euphonium," The Instrumentalist, 35, No. 10 (May 1979): 16.

    3. Bevan, 90.

    4. Scott Whitener, A Complete Guide to Brass. (New York: Schirmer Books, 1990), 101.

    5. Whitener, 102.

    6. Walter W. Skeat, A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. (New York: Perigee Books, 1980), 172.

    7. F.C. Draper, Notes on the Besson System of Automatic Compensation of Valved Brass Instruments. (Middlesex, England: Besson & Company, 1953), 5.

    8. Whitener, 67.

    9. Mary Petersen, "A Brief History of the Euphonium," The Instrumentalist, 35, No. 10 (May 1979): 16.

    10. Bevan, 92.

    11. Margaret Hindle and Robert M. Hazen, The Music Men, an Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800-1920. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987), 96.

    12. Bevan, 179.

    13. Violet and Geoffrey Brand, Brass Bands in the 20th Century. (Herts, England: Egon Publishers, 1979), 20, 29.

    14. Whitener, 104.

    15. Hindle, 194.

    16. Carolyn Bryant, And the Band Played On. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1963), 29-30.

    17. Violet and Geoffrey Brand, The World of Brass Bands. (Herts, England: Egon Publishers, 1986), 88.

    18. Jeffrey Kimpton, ed., "Music in the Great Northwest: The Oregon Adult Band Festival." New Ways, 8, No. 2 (Winter 1993), c-12.

    19. Bevan, 92.

    20. Bevan, 95-100.

    21. Denis Winter, Euphonium Music Guide. (New London, CT: Whaling Music Publishers, 1986), 11-2.

    22. Bevan, 116.

    23. Bevan, 95.

    24. Burt Bacharach-Hal David, "What the World Needs Now Is Love." Jackie De Shannon (45rpm single), I.M. Imperial 66110.

    25. Denis Wright, Scoring for Brass Band. (London: Studio Music Company, 1986), 24.

    26. Wright, 26.

    27. Wright, 25.

    28. Bevan, 94

    29. Whitener, 69.

    30. Bevan, 91.

    31. Joseph Horovitz, "Composers Speak." British Bandsman: The World of Euphonium, No. 1 (1991): 3

    32. Derek Bourgeois, "Composers Speak." British Bandsman: The World of Euphonium, No. 1 (1991): 3

    33. Winter, 15-6.

    34. Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. (London: MacMillan, 1980), vol.2 p.161, vol.6 p.293.

    35. Oscar Thompson, ed. International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1985), 147, 657.

    36. Don Michael Randel, ed. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1986), 294.

    37. Denis Arnold, ed. New Oxford Companion to Music. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), vol.1 p.172, 648.

    38. Arthur Lehman, The Art of Euphonium Playing. (Poughkeepsie, NY: Bob Hoe, 1977), 55.

    39. Brand, Brass Bands in the 20th Century, 34.

    40. Brian Bowman, Practical Hints on Playing the Baritone (Euphonium). (Melville, NY: Belwin Mills, 1983), 3.

    41. Earle L. Louder, "An Historical Lineage of the Modern Baritone Horn and Euphonium." (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University School of Music, 1976), 32.

    42. Lehman, rear cover.

    43. Bevan, 90.

    44. Bryant, 30.

    45. Brand, Brass Bands in the 20th Century, 42.

    46. Lehman, front cover.

    47. Bowman, 4.

    48. Bevan, illustration XXIV.
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