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Thread: Jeopardy! question

  1. #1

    Jeopardy! question

    On tonight's episode of Jeopardy!, an answer in the "Shapes" category was along the lines of the following:

    "These kinds of tubas, named for their shape, are lighter and wrapped differently, and often used for marching."

    The question? "What is a helicon?"

    None of the contestants answered, or tried to answer. I didn't get it at home, either. I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who could get that on the fly.
    Frost School of Music (UMiami) - BM Euphonium Performance '21


    Besson Prestige 2052 Euphonium - Alliance DC2
    Bach 50B3 Bass Trombone - Denis Wick 00AL
    Olds P-16 "Custom" Trombone - Yamaha 48

  2. #2
    I wonder if sousaphone would have been acceptable?
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  3. #3
    A Sousaphone is not named for its Shape.
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)


  4. #4
    Right you are!
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. #5
    Dang, and here I thought they were named for Helicon, Alabama, a community in neighboring Winston County, where a lot of my cousins live
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by MarChant View Post
    A Sousaphone is not named for its Shape.
    Also, Sousaphones are (almost universally) not lighter than tubas. Most tuba players, with some thought, should have answered correctly. Most other people have never heard of (or seen) a helicon (helikon) -- and in fact the spelling corrector here doesn't recognize the word. Of course, and ironically, it also doesn't recognize 'euphonium', though it's fine with 'tuba' and 'Sousaphone'.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  7. I missed it too. I would have said sousaphone, but as Dave pointed out, it isn't named for its shape. I would question the part about "often used for marching" though. How many marching bands use helicons? I watch Jeopardy every day, and I find that the only easy questions are the ones I know the answer to.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daniel76309 View Post
    I would question the part about "often used for marching" though. How many marching bands use helicons?
    If you're referring to the groups of dozens of players who march in uniform? Probably only a few in Eastern Europe. In the states, the only times I've seen helicons used for marching are with dixieland marching groups.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
    www.adrianquince.com

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Helicons aren't very easy to get in the US. In NC, for example, at three different Tuba Christmas locales over the past five years or so, I think I've seen only one helicon (an Eb, and it appears at several different events).

    While marching was one of the design considerations for helicons (and oval euphoniums -- the bell isn't blocking your straight-ahead view as you march), another consideration was the ability to play them on horseback (considerably more difficult with a Sousaphone, and mind the wind). The original Sousaphone (upward-pointing "raincatcher" bell) was a kind of Franken-heli-tuba in accord with Sousa's vision and his desire to have higher output than from the helicon. Interestingly, in several circumstances, Sousaphone players will now turn their bell away from the front-orientation into what is more of a helicon configuration (perhaps along the lines of "Don't point that thing at me!".)

    While I have seen pictures of Sousaphones used on horseback, this is not for the faint of heart, or weak of will (or weak of muscle either). And of course the legendary Dutch Bicycle Band uses helicons.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  10. #10
    Ah, yes! The "Trompetterkorps Bereden Wapens":

    https://youtu.be/q7tPNxyeWUU

    A long time ago, when I still played Tuba, I did a gig with them. How ever, I did not join the bicycle part of the show, as that requires lots of training and experience, and I was just a stand-in. I was condemned to marching the heavy Sousaphone...

    Actually, come to think of it, they were my first experience with marching/military band music.
    Last edited by MarChant; 01-07-2017 at 03:35 PM.
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)


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