• History: The history of bowed string
    musical instruments in Europe dates back to the 9th century with the lira
    (Greek: λύρα, Latin: lūrā), the bowed instrument of the Byzantine Empire,
    equivalent to the rabāb of the Islamic Empires. The violoncello da spalla
    (sometimes “violoncello piccolo da spalla” or “violoncello
    da span”) was the first cello referred to in print (by Jambe de Fer
    in 1556). “Violone” means a larger “viola” (viol),
    while “-cello” in Italian is a diminutive and spalla means
    “shoulder” in Italian so that violoncello da spalla suggest a
    “little big violin” that may be held on the shoulder so that the
    player could perform while walking or that the early, short-necked
    instrument was hung across the shoulder by a strap.
  • Where to buy: If you’re just starting, go
    to a string store and see what they recommend. With stringed instruments,
    brand is not always a good indicator of quality. It is also worth
    considering renting for a while. If you like playing the cello then you
    won’t be stuck with a £470/$750 cello that you might outgrow soon (outgrow
    in the sense that you’ll know better; you don’t want to kick yourself for
    buying something too pricey too soon). Having said that, Manufacturers
    like Stentor have Cellos ranging from The Stentor Student I Cello Outfit, and
    The Stentor Conservatoire Cello to the Arcadia Cello. Also, popular are
    the Primavera 90 Cello Outfit the Yamaha VC5S range as well as Westbury
    (Eastman Strings) and Antoni Debut Cello Outfit.
  • What to be aware of when you
    start looking: 
    Very cheap cellos are very cheap for a reason and end up costing
    more in the long run. All new cellos need to be properly set up by a
    professional maker or repairer. A poorly set-up cello will lead to excess
    tension and bad playing habits. Some music shops offer a workshop set-up
    for an additional fee. Always ask a teacher before you pay for a shop
    set-up. Beware of retailers who lack knowledge of stringed instruments. A
    teacher will be able to make that judgement, based on how a retailer
    markets their stock. If your budget allows, you may be tempted to go for a
    top of the range instrument, but if you or your child has never played
    before, you’re better off starting with something more modest and
    upgrading later.  
  • Famous Cellists:
    Jacqueline du Pré, Julian Lloyd Webber, Mstislav Rostropovich, Nina Kotova, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma,




  • History: These early basses were
    supposed to produce a large sound, but large instruments made the instrument
    not only difficult to play, but also difficult to handle and transport. In
    fact, makers have always tried to construct big double-basses with a powerful
    sound. The two models used for the double bass – the Italian and the German –
    were based on the viola da gamba and the cello, and had from three to six
    strings. The first Italian workshops to make these instruments were in Brescia
    and Cremona. It is interesting to note that the basses of the Brescian maker,
    Gasparo Da Salò (1540-1609), were found without the scroll and the neck
    attached. It is probable that the instruments were in the midst of being
    modified to adapt them to the specifications of the eighteenth century. 

    Cremona the origins of the double-bass may be found in the workshop of Andrea
    Amati (1505 ca.-1577) and his sons Antonio and Gerolamo. (The most famous
    Amati, Nicolò, a Violin specialist, is the nephew of Andrea). The makers of
    this new period decided to make instruments with three big strings, so that the
    instrument increased in power, volume and sound. During 1700’s, the golden
    period of Cremonese violin-making, there was a lack of interest in the
    double-bass because the materials (wood and varnish) and the labour costs
    required to realise the instrument were too expensive.
    In the
    first half of the eighteenth century, makers from Milan succeeded in making
    double-basses which were more economical, though they did not match the fine
    quality of their Cremonese counterparts. Then in the following century, the
    making of double-basses was taken up by the Ceruit family who made them in the
    classical Cremonese tradition. Enrico Ceruti left drawings, shapes and details
    of how to build a double-bass, even though instruments with his original label
    have not been found.
    Today a
    new generation of makers have begun making double-basses following the
    Cremonese classical tradition.

  • Where to buy: Antoni Debut Double Bass
    (3/4 size) at over £570 to the Primavera P50 at 895 For those with more
    cash to spend, the Stentor Student II Double Bass Outfit is £1,390.00
    while the Westbury 3/4 Double Bass (Violin Body) Body can cost up to £2,000
  • What to be aware of when you
    start looking:
    Is always worthwhile going to a specialist if only to get an evaluation of
    the available instruments and their prices. Normal music shops mostly have
    only single double basses in store if at all. Unfortunately there is a
    risk of buying double basses from retailers’ in the condition it was
    bought from the wholesaler: badly setup and equipped with cheap strings.
    This makes the instrument virtually unplayable. If you happen to buy such a
    Double bass, immediately find a qualified luthier to do the setup work for
    you. Also, if you’re beginner/inexperienced you should naturally try out
    various double basses. It is the only way to find out which suits you (size
    and all). Often the most helpful and competent advisors are double bass
    teachers who will help you with finding and choosing the right double bass
    for you. 

  • Famous Double-bassists: Domenico Dragonetti, Giovanni Bottesini, Serge Alexandrovich Koussevitsky, Oscar G. Zimmerman, François Rabbath, Gary Karr, Teppo Hauta-Aho


  • History: The origin of
    the harp goes back to Mesopotamia, The earliest harps and lyres were found
    in Sumer c, 3500 BCE Several harps were found in burial pits and royal
    tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar are from
    500 BCE, which was the Persian harp of Perspolis/Persia in Iran and from
    400 BCE in Egypt. Early evidence of the harp is found in Ancient Egypt
    circa 2500 BC. They were shaped liked bows or angular and had very few
    strings (because they lacked a column they could not support much string
    tension) The frame harp, (a harp that included a straight forepillar/or
    column in the modern sense), first appeared in Medieval Western Europe in
    the 8th to 10th centuries AD. Although there are very few remaining in
    existence, art from that time indicates they utilized about ten or eleven
    strings. The first harp to feature a hollowed soundbox that amplified the
    instrument’s sound dates back to Ireland in the 14th century. It also
    included a curved forepillar, a stronger neck and 30 to 36 brass strings.
There are differing accounts as to how the
harp entered Europe. Various sources claim the Phoenicians brought the harp to
Europe in pre Christian times as a trade good while the Irish were thought to
have popularised the instrument with every clan chief having a harpist during the
pre-middle ages.  Versions of the harp
(or Kora harp) exist from the Mediterranean Basin to Northern Europe to
cultures all the way around coastal Africa and up to the Island of
  • Where to buy/Main Brands: Lyon & Healy Harps and Pilgrim
    Harps are two prominent makes that can be found in your nearest music
  • What to be aware of when you
    start looking:
    There are many
    different types of harps out there. In fact, you may be surprised to learn
    that pedal harps and levered Celtic-style harps are only two types in a
    world that includes Paraguayan, medieval-style, gothic, cross-strung,
    double-strung and triple-strung harps, just to name a few! And each type
    of harp has its own techniques to draw on. Some people include in their
    decision, what kind of teacher is near them. Pedal harp teachers will
    generally teach a classical technique, typically either Grandjany,
    Salzedo, or a variation thereon. Folk harp teachers may teach a blended
    technique that draws on both classical and folk tradition. For a wire or
    cross-strung harp, you need a different technique altogether. 
    Determine which size of harp you’ll be most
    comfortable playing. If you’re buying for a child, smaller sizes of harps will
    be most suitable. This will ensure that the child can reach the pedals with no
    difficulty and for better playing. Also, smaller harps weigh less and reduce
    the risk of injury for young players. Semi-grand harps are suitable for older
    players, it is smaller in height, weighs less than a concert-grand and has 46
    strings. On the other hand, most professional musicians play on a concert-grand
    which has 47 strings. Beginners can start out with floor harps that have 27 to
    30 strings.
When trying out a harp, note how responsive
it is, how evenly the strings should sound, its dynamic range and handles well.
Importantly, the materials used in the crafting of a harp make the difference
in the sound quality. For centuries the wood of choice for sounding boards has
been quarter-cut spruce. For nylon or gut strung harps there is no substitute
that is worth considering. Laminated wood or plywoods are sometimes used in
inexpensive instruments, but in comparison one would find that they give a harp
a muffled, unfocused sound.
  • Famous Harpists: Alfonse Hasselmans, Carlos
    Salzedo, Derek Bell, Harpo Marx, Henriette Renie, Marcel Grandjany

    • History: The modern
      European violin evolved from various bowed stringed instruments from the Middle
      East and the Byzantine Empire. It is most likely that the first makers of
      violins borrowed from three types of current instruments: the rebec, in use
      since the 10th century (itself derived from the Byzantine lyra and the Arabic rebab),
      the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da braccio (derived from the Byzantine
      ). By this time, the violin had already begun to spread throughout
      Europe. From the 17th to 18th century there was a period of high-quality
      violin-making led by:
      ·   The Amati
      family, active 1500–1740 in Cremona, Italy
      The Guarneri
      family, active 1626–1744 in Cremona
      The Stradivari
      family, active 1644–1737 in Cremona
      Significant changes occurred in the
      construction of the violin in the 18th century, particularly in the length and
      angle of the neck, as well as a heavier bass bar.
    • Main Brands:

      Eastman (Westbury), Hidersine (Giovanni and
      Piacenza), Primaverta, Stentor and Yamaha

    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:
      If you’re a beginnner, be aware that many student violins are made with low quality “factory strings” It is worth fitting new strings to all new instruments (Thomastik Vision or Dominant strings), and most teachers will demand this.
    • Famous Violinists: André Rieu, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Fritz Kreisler, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Niccolò Paganini, Nigel Kennedy, Yehudi Menuhin   

    • History: The viola is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello. It is similar in material and construction to the violin and actually dates from the same time as the violin, coming into existence in the early to middle 16th century. At first the viola was called the ‘alto-tenor’ violin, as the term ‘viola’ was used to refer to any Western classical stringed instrument that was bowed. But eventually the word ‘viola’ came to refer specifically to the viola da braccia (meaning the viola played in the arms), hence the German word bratsche that is still used for the viola today.
    • Main Brands: The most copied models by Luthiers today are Andrea Guarneri, Fratelli (brothers)  Amati for Cremonese models; and Gasparo da Salò and Maggini for the Brescian School. There are many good viola makers: Iizuka, Ravatin,  Walin, as well as the main brands of Primevera (100), Stentor. If budget is less than £300/$500 then Gliga is worth looking at, especially for beginners and improvers.
    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:
      violas for children typically start at 12 inches (30 cm), which is equivalent
      to a half-size violin. For a child who needs a smaller size, a fractional-sized
      violin is often strung with the strings of a viola. Unlike the violin, the
      viola does not have a standard full size.
      Fingerboard and
      Ask for
      the height between the fingerboard (Ebony) and the strings – the higher this
      measurement, the harder the strings are to push down (and the harder it is to
      get a good sound.). Cheaper instruments have a rosewood or worse board
      covered in epoxy.  Make sure that the tuning pegs have at least a decent
      fit (not good if you either cannot move the pegs or at the other extreme the
      pegs keep slipping).  Make sure that the bridge is adjusted properly.
      If you’re
      on a tight budget (e.g. £200/$400) it’s going to be a matter of what size you
      can get, and you may not be able to get a (recommended) 17 inch for that price.
      Make and materials
      the Viola should be European made (if you can’t tell by the name, you need to
      be able to see the label inside the instrument that SHOULD have the country of
      origin listed on it). Look for Ebony or boxwood fittings, not rosewood and not
      “ebonized”. Inlaid purfling (a narrow decorative edge inlaid into the
      top plate and often the back plate of a stringed instrument) enables you to
      spot this.
    • Famous Viola players:

      Csaba Erdélyi, Cecil Aronowitz, Emanuel
      Vardi, Ernst Wallfisch, Frederick Riddle, Lionel Tertis, Paul Hindemith, Maxim
      Vengerov, Maurice Vieux, Vadim Borisovsky, Lillian Fuchs, Walter Trampler,
      Théophile Laforge, William Primrose



    • History: The
      cornet was originally derived from the post horn around 1820 in France. Cornets
      first appear as separate instrumental parts in 19th century French
      compositions.This instrument could not have been developed without the
      improvement of piston valves by Heinrich Stölzel and Friedrich Blühmel. In the
      early 19th century these two instrument makers almost simultaneously invented
      the valves still used today. They jointly applied for a patent and were granted
      this for a period of ten years. 
      In the late 19th century, the shape of cornets were more
      tightly “wrapped” and shorter than many later cornets. The sound was
      gentle and mellow but not heavy and powerful like a flugelhorn. The mouthpieces
      could be mistaken for a French horn mouthpiece, such were the narrow rims with
      sharp edge drop offs and their bowls being very deep and “V-shaped”
      like French horn mouthpieces. During the 20th-century, the revival of the
      trumpet meant the cornet became less used as an
    • Main Brands:

      Bach, Besson (sovereign), Jupiter or the Yamaha (especially 4000 or
      6000 series or Maestro or Xeno range). There custom cornets like Eclipse, Taylor and Smith
      Watkins personally

    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:
      Best thing to do is to speak to your a reputable dealer
      based on teacher recommendations. Then ask the dealer to line up a number of
      instruments (the more the better). Go in, warm up before if you can, and then
      play on each. Take a piece of music if you have to. Compare all models. Look
      for a Cornet that is easy to blow and which (preferably) has a mellow
      sound. Buy the model that you think is
    • Famous Cornet players: Bix Beiderbecke, Bobby Bradford, Herbert L. Clarke    Joe “King” Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Warren Vaché, Jr. 


    • History: As a
      tenor/baritone-voiced brass instrument, the euphonium traces its ancestry to
      the ophicleide and ultimately back to the serpent. Deriving its name from its
      snake-like shape, the serpent was constructed of either wood , brass, or silver
      and played with a deep-cup mouthpiece made of horn or ivory. One buzzed the
      lips into the deep-cup mouthpiece like a cornetto to produce the sound. A
      serpent had six finger holes to change pitches and was used most often as a supporting
      voice for the tenor and bass in church choirs. Its invention is credited to
      Canon Edme’ Guillaume of Auxerre, France in 1590. The serpent was in use for
      over three hundred years not only as an accompanist for choirs but also as a
      member of the cornetto family in military and civic bands in France, Belgium,
      and England.
      ophlicleide was first introduced in 1817 by Jean Hilaire Aste’ as the lowest
      member of a patented group of keyed bugles. It was made of brass and shaped
      somewhat like a saxophone with a cup mouthpiece. The euphonium is alleged
      to have been invented, as a “wide-bore, valved bugle of baritone
      range”, by Ferdinand Sommer of Weimar in 1843, though Carl Moritz in 1838
      and Adolphe Sax in 1843 have also been credited. While Sax’s family of saxhorns
      were invented at almost the same time and the bass saxhorn looks very similar
      to a euphonium, they are constructed differently. Saxhorns have a nearly
      cylindrical bore and do not allow the fundamental to be produced; thus, the
      bass saxhorn is more closely related to the baritone than the euphonium.
    • Main Brands: Yamaha, Besson, Willson, Miraphone, Meinl Weston, Jupiter, Kanstul, King, Allora and Cerveny
    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:

      Euphoniums are available with three or four valves (used to change the length of tubing of a brass instrument allowing the player to reach the notes of various harmonic series). For
      advanced players, a 4-valve instrument is always the preferable choice. The
      addition of the extra valve helps extend the low range of the horn and improves
      the intonation. Four-valve euphoniums can feature valves that are all together,
      or in a 3+1 combination. The 3+1 means that the main three valves are grouped
      together while the fourth valve is positioned on the side of the horn and
      played with the left hand. This valve arrangement makes the euphonium more
      comfortable and easier to hold for some players

      After a while it might be time to consider purchasing your own
      instrument, especially if you plan to study music at University or a specialist school. This purchase will range somewhere between £1,300/$2,000 to £3,100/$5,000, depending
      on the model. When buying a euphonium, firs consider the instrument’s sound quality. After playing the instrument,
      the student should ask himself, “Is the sound full…robust and bright, even between registers? If yes, continue the selection process by using a tuner to check the horn’s intonation. Pay careful attention to notes like middle C (often flat), the A, below
      middle C (often flat), G, below middle C (often sharp), and E flat, E, and F,
      above middle C (often sharp). If the intonation is good, the final step
      is to check the valve action carefully. If the action is smooth and there is no
      apparent corrosion, this just might be the righht horn for you. Enlisting the help of
      a professional euphoniumist is an extremely informative way to gather another
      educated opinion about any used or new instrument. Often, you gain
      insights into an instrument by hearing others play it.

    • Famous Euphonium players: Toru Miura, Brian
      Bowman, Arthur W. Lehman, Simone Mantia,
      David Thornton, Steven Mead, 
      Alfred James Phasey


    • History: Instruments
      made from animal horns have existed since ancient times – they were primarily
      used as signaling devices. However, the horn as a musical instrument has only existed
      for several hundred years.One of the earliest “horn-like”
      instruments, the lur, dates back to sixth century B.C. Made of bronze, these
      horns were used on the battlefields by Scandinavian clans.  It makes a loud, obnoxious sound, just
      perfect for striking terror into the enemy camp.hunting horn

      Early metal
      horns were less complex than modern horns, consisting of brass tubes with a
      slightly flared opening (the bell) wound around a few times.

      In Europe,
      horns gained popularity in the fashionable sport of hunting. As this
      aristocratic sport spread, horn-makers experimented with different shapes and
      sizes to increase the range of notes possible. These early “hunting”
      horns were originally played on a hunt, often while mounted, and the sound they
      produced was called a recheat. Change of pitch was effected entirely by the
      lips (the horn not being equipped with valves until the 19th century). Without
      valves, only the notes within the harmonic series are available. The horn was
      used, among other reasons, to call hounds on a hunt and created a sound most
      like a human voice, but carried much farther.

      In the
      mid-18th century, horn players began to insert the right hand into the bell to
      change the length of the instrument, adjusting the tuning up to the distance between
      two adjacent harmonics depending on how much of the opening was covered. This
      technique, known as hand-stopping, is generally credited to Anton Joseph Hampel
      around 1750, and was refined and carried to much of Europe by the influential Giovanni

      It wasn’t
      until Hampel encouraged a Dresden instrument maker, Johann Werner, to construct
      a horn with detachable crooks for BOTH the mouthpipe and the middle of the horn
      that a full range of transpositions was possible on one instrument. The
      Orchestra horn, as it was called, was honed and perfected between 1750 and
      With the
      Orchestra horn all transpositions are possible, from Bb basso to Bb alto. 
      And utilizing hand horn technique, it could now play a full chromatic scale in
      any key.  The horn was no longer a “special effect,” but was
      firmly established as a refined musical instrument, and had become a regular
      member of the symphony orchestra (which was also beginning to grow as other
      instruments were added). This
      offered more possibilities for playing notes not on the harmonic series. By the
      early classical period, the horn had become an instrument capable of much
      melodic playing.

      Around 1815
      the use of pistons (later rotary valves) was introduced, initially to overcome
      problems associated with changing crooks during a performance. Valves’
      unreliability, musical taste, and players’ distrust, among other reasons,
      slowed their adoption into mainstream. Many traditional conservatories and
      players refused to use them at first, claiming that the valveless horn, or natural
      was a better instrument. Some musicians, specializing in period
      instruments, still use a natural horn when playing in original performance
      styles, seeking to recapture the sound and tenor in which an older piece was

      However, the
      use of valves opened up a great deal more flexibility in playing in different
      keys; in effect, the horn became an entirely different instrument, fully
      chromatic for the first time. Although, valves were originally used primarily
      as a means to play in different keys without crooks, not for harmonic playing.
      That is reflected in compositions for horns, which only began to include
      chromatic passages in the late 19th century. When valves were invented,
      generally, the French made smaller horns with piston valves and the Germans
      made larger horns with rotary valves. It is the German horn that is erroneously
      referred to in the English language (and more commonly in the United States and
      Canada) as the French horn.

    • Main Brands:

      Blessing, Conn-Selmer, Holton, Paxman, Yamaha,



    • History: The earliest trombone, called the sackbutt and similar
      names in England, seems to have emerged from Belgium around the Fifteenth
      century in 1450.

      The bells of
      these earliest instruments terminated in a rimless funnel little wider than
      5″ in diameter (13cm). Like the modern trombone, these were a tenor
      instrument, and by the early 17th century there was an alto, a bass and a
      contrabass version. The sackbut was known to have been used to accompany church
      music, and to have played parts in bands, though parts for these instruments
      were rarely scored.

      The 17th
      century trombone was built in slightly smaller dimensions than modern
      trombones, and had a bell that was more conical and less flared.The instrument
      was used extensively across Europe from its appearance in the 15th century to a
      fading out in most places across the mid-late 17th century. It was used in
      outdoor events, in concert and in liturgical settings.

      When the “sackbut” returned to common use again
      in England in the 18th century, Italian music was so influential that rather
      than being known by its original name the instrument was known as the
      “trombone”, although other countries used the same name throughout
      the instrument’s history, viz. Italian trombone and German Posaune.

      The addition
      of trombones to the orchestra began in the 18th century, though their most
      popular role was as vocal support for the sacred music of the church, a
      tradition which continued until at least the mid-19th century. An excellent
      example of this type of scoring can be found in such music as Fanny
      Mendelsson-Hensel’s Oratorio based upon scenes from the Bible. Gluck, Gossec
      and Mozart wrote passages for the trombone intended to be spiritual or
      supernatural; Gluck commonly used three members of the trombone family- altos,
      tenors and basses.

      By the mid-19th century, bell-size became wider as a
      larger, louder sound was desired, for performance in bands, and to generate
      greater volume in orchestras which were continually increasing in size.
      Composers like Berlioz and Wagner relied heavily on trombones for bigger
      volume, and a far greater range of emotion expressing might, heroism,
      barbarism, and religious fervour.

      Friedrich Sattler
      was influential on the design of the trombone. He introduced a significant
      widening of the bore (the most important since the Renaissance), the
      innovations of Schlangenverzierungen (snake decorations), the bell
      garland, and the wide bell flare—features still found on German-made trombones
      today that were widely copied during the 19th century.

      The trombone
      was further improved in the 19th century with the addition of
      “stockings” at the end of the inner slide to reduce friction, the
      development of the water key to expel condensation from the horn, and the occasional
      addition of a valve to increase the range of the tenor and bass trombones.
      Additionally, the valve trombone came around shortly after the invention of
      valves in the 1830s, and was in common use in Italy and Austria in the second
      half of the century.

      In the 20th century the trombone maintained its important
      place in the orchestra with prominent parts in works by Richard Strauss, Gustav
      Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg.
    • Main Brands: English
    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:
    • Famous Tombone players: Glenn Miller, Bill
      Watrous, Christian Lindberg, Joseph Alessi, Frank Rosolino, Arthur Pryor, Don
      Lusher, Denis Wick


    • History: The trumpet dates
      back about 3,000 years to China, where a long, skinny version of the trumpet
      without valves was used as a signal. In ancient Rome, an early version of the
      trumpet was used in military and civilian ceremonies.As Christianity emerged,
      the trumpet became apparent in the Bible, usually played by angels and
      symbolizing the announcement of some significant event to come.

    • Main Brands: Bach
      Strad, Jupiter, Yamaha
    • What to be aware of when you start looking: Do
      By price range, here are my suggestions:
      Conn Prelude-best horn by leaps and bounds in the price range.
      Conn 23B, with new case-even buying a new case, cheaper than a Yamaha, decent
      quality (again, I use Yamaha because of the personal relationships I have with
      the people there)
      Bach Start.-Best horns made today.

      Finally, I would recommend talking to your local school-music rep. These
      companies often offer good deals on decent horns and usually even have
      pay-as-you-go plans.

    • Famous Trumpeters: Dizzy
      Gillespie, Hugh Masekela, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maynard
      Ferguson, Roy Eldridge

    • History: Persian Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm
      Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz (2777–3840) on September 12,
      1835 for a “basstuba” in F1. The original Wieprecht and Moritz
      instrument used five valves of the Berlinerpumpen type that were the
      forerunners of the modern piston valve. The first tenor tuba was invented in
      1838 by Carl Wilhelm Mortiz (1810–1855), son of Johann Moritz.
      The addition of valves made it possible to play low
      in the harmonic series of the instrument and still have a complete selection of
      notes. Prior to the invention of valves, brass instruments were limited to
      notes in the harmonic series, and were thus generally played very high with
      respect to their fundamental pitch. Harmonics starting three octaves above the
      fundamental pitch are about a whole step apart, making a useful variety of
      notes possible.
      The ophicleide used a bowl-shaped brass instrument
      mouthpiece but employed keys and tone holes similar to those of a modern
      saxophone. Another forerunner to the tuba was the serpent, a bass brass
      instrument that was shaped in a wavy form to make the tone holes accessible to
      the player. Tone holes changed the pitch by providing an intentional leak in
      the bugle of the instrument. While this changed the pitch, it also had a
      pronounced effect on the timbre. By using valves to adjust the length of the
      bugle the tuba produced a smoother tone that eventually led to its popularity.
      Adolphe Sax, like Wieprecht, was interested in
      marketing systems of instruments from soprano to bass, and developed a series
      of brass instruments known as saxhorns. The instruments developed by Sax were
      generally pitched in E♭ and B♭,
      while the Wieprecht “basstuba” and the subsequent Cerveny contrabass
      tuba were pitched in F and C (see below on pitch systems). Sax’s instruments
      gained dominance in France, and later in Britain and America, as a result of
      the popularity and movements of instrument makers such as Gustave Auguste
      Besson (who moved from France to Britain) and Henry Distin (who eventually
      found his way to America)
    • Main Brands: Conn-Selmer, Jupiter, Walter Nirschl,  Meinl Weston, B&S. Miraphone, Besson, Miraphone, Meinl Weston, Willson, Yamaha, York
    • What to be aware of when you
      start looking:
    • Famous Tuba players: Tommy Johnson,
      Roger Bobo, Harvey Phillips, William Bell, James Gourlay, Patrick Harrild