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Thread: Euphoniums, Baritones, British Baritones, Tenor Horns, Alto Horns - I need Clarity

  1. Euphoniums, Baritones, British Baritones, Tenor Horns, Alto Horns - I need Clarity

    So I'm pretty sure I understand the difference between an Euphonium and a British Baritone after reading Dave Werden's article etc. Where I get confused is the difference between British Baritones, Tenor Horns and Alto Horns. I not absolutely sure but I think a British Baritone and a Tenor Horn are the same thing and both in Bb. An alto horn is smaller still and in Eb. I'm not sure what the difference is in mouthpiece size from baritione to british baritone to tenor horn to alto horn.

    The reason I'm asking these differences is I recently bought an Avid Mbox to record onto my computer. My idea is to have a self-made trio with dubbing and I'm trying to figure out the balance of sound that I would like to have. I originally thought I would get an Euphonium, Trombone and Baritone. Mind you the Euphonium I am talking about is an Conn 24i, so it's an American Baritone/Euphonium, not a British Euphonium. The Trombone is an Olds Recording trombone. So the question is the third horn and there is a complication. I recently tried a British Baritone with upright valves and after just 5 minutes of playing my first finger knuckle was aggrevated (I think I have some arthritus setting in, luckily this does not happen when I am playing front facing valves, but I am having trouble with that finger). I have not found any British Baritones with front facing valves. Furthermore, I was wondering whether there will be enough sound difference between a Conn 24i and a British Baritone. More recently I've been thinking about an Alto horn, which in some of my reading has been described as being somewhat Flugel horn sounding and is available with front facing valves. What is the size diffence from a Bach 5G to Alto mouthpiece?

    Thanks for any input. Have a good day. Nelson

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    A tenor horn is similar to a british euphonium in the sense that they are both conical tubing where a british baritone is cylindrical (predominantly).
    To my ear a tenor horn sounds brighter and more compact than a baritone. As demonstrated through these three videos. (Different players, different years but it displays the general concept)
    This is The Swan played by a tenor horn:
    http://youtu.be/reo0V9WeD3M

    Same piece but on British Baritone
    http://youtu.be/3rV2ZwyGdY8

    Same again but on British Euphonium:
    http://youtu.be/mXMKUU8KdqM
    (I couldn't find a video where the piece is played by an American Euphonium)

    I believe both tenor and alto horns are pitched in Eb (I always thought "alto horn" is the American reference to the horn, where "tenor horn" is the british name, could be wrong there), and if you have found them in the same key, it's probably because you found brass band music, where all the instruments are in the same key.

    The euphonium/trombone/baritone mouthpiece will all be the same (shank size difference), but the tenor/alto mouthpiece will be smaller like a mellophone/cornet mouthpiece. I started a thread in General Discussion of Anything, and EuphGirl05 gave me that information, if you find that thread (it's pretty close to top entitled "Tenor Horn Mouthpiece", you could PM her with questions.
    Last edited by Msan1313; 07-14-2014 at 11:32 AM.
    Marco Santos - Marcher and Performer
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  3. Thanks Msan1313. Having the three recording of the same material was illuminating. I particularly liked the recording of the Tenor Horn. Now if I can find one with front facing valves...Any suggestions out there for brands to look at?

  4. #4
    that recording on tenor horn is actually an Eb instrument, what americans (who aren't in british brass bands) would call an alto horn. The british call the Eb instrument tenor horn where the German nomenclature is to call the Eb instrument an alto horn and the small Bb instrument the tenor horn.

    Bb "tenor horns" in the piston variety are not really made anymore. They died out in american bands in the early 1900s. The Germans still use rotary versions in their folk bands, but they are a little larger than the american instrument which was very similar to a british baritone.

  5. I have followed Msan1313's advice and gone to General Discussion of Anything > EuphGirl05 > "Tenor Horn Mouthpiece" and Dave Werden has a post with a link to Dennis Wick mouthpieces. What I found was similar to what I found earlier this morning in my Bach Mouthpiece Manual. Alto/Tenor horn approximate Cup Diameter runs from 18.30 to 19.75 mm whereas Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium horn Approximate Cup Diameter runs from 23.92 to 28.00 mm (small shank to large shank Bach catalog).

    Unfortunately the smaller Alto/Tenor mouthpiece size is not going to work for me. I have already bought and sold a very nice Olds Recording trumpet. My original original idea was to have a Trumpet, Trombone and Baritone/Euphonium trio. I had planned to find an Al Cass doubler (trombone to trumpet) to use on the trumpet to make this happen. I found one after searching several months, but I could not get any upper range. Turns out that an accident that I had when I was young created a dimple on my upper lip. The dimple is large enough to fill most of the upper portion of the Al Cass doubler mouthpiece. In a final attempt to make the trumpet work, I then bought a larger Chasons Music doubler that was the equivalent to a Schilke 40B 22.51 mm, but still I could not get up in range. So I abandoned ship and sold the Olds Recording trumpet, Al Cass doubler and returned the Chasons doubler. With the Alto/Tenor horn being in the 18.30 to 19.75 mm range I think I will run into the same problem. I am going to go to Music and Arts to try one, just to be sure. My trumpet problems may have been a combination of trumpet horn and doubler mouthpiece not working, together along with my big lip.

    Maybe I should be thinking lower, like tuba with my lip situation. I hate to say that because they are more expensive, but my lip might like a tuba. Let's see, Conn 24i Euphonium, Olds Recording Trombone and a Tuba. That might work sound wise as a trio.

    What a journey this has been. Input would be appreciated. Have a good day. N

  6. #6
    The old-fashioned B-flat tenor horns we are discussing came in at least two configurations. There was an upright version, which looked like a British baritone horn. And there was a forward-pointing version similar to a valve trombone. I have owned one of each, but gave the upright one away a few decades ago.

    I still have my forward-facing model. It was made by Henry Gunckel in the 1890's in Paris and imported by Lyon & Healy, Chicago. The leadpipe on each horn was about trumpet-size. I have a mouthpiece for them, which has the right-size shank and a cup smaller than a trombone but much larger than a trumpet. Normally, I just use a tenor-trombone mouthpiece, which inserts about 1/4".

    In college I used this as a valve trombone for combo gigs. These days I only dig it out when I have a recital coming up and I'm trying to maximize my chop-building time. I'll take it to work and go to my car at lunch, where I can practice finger stuff and build chop strength on this stuffy little bugger.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  7. Ubiquitous American-style baritones (front pistons, very tall at 31", usually curved or straight bell, extremely cheap, nearly identical between Conn/King/Olds/Reynolds) are the perfect instrument for American-style concert band playing mostly classic literature. By itself it's kinda meh, but the trombone-baritone sound and tuba-baritone sound are iconic.

    For BBB, it's not really like the euphonium or like the British baritone. If both baritone players have this instrument and use at the most a 6.5AL, there will be a clear distinction between the euphoniums on their standard big euphs and dark mouthpieces. In practical terms it might be favorable to the nearly-inaudible British baritone but it will compromise the "traditional" sound (which might have already been long lost with end of UK production or even the Soveriegn transition)

    I'd say if if they don't use traditional basses or anybody uses a long-model cornet, that ship has sailed and American baritone can be safely used instead of british baritone. especially if upright bell and sub-6.5AL mouthpiece.

    Now there were American baritones with a smaller bore, possibly slower expansion after valves, but nearly the same outer body. Those I am curious about - Conn 64i/66i

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