Apparently BAritones and Alto/Baritone horns are sold as different things. Also, I thought alto horns were called so in america and tenor horns in UK (or viceversa, cant remember), but it turns out that alto and tenor horns are 2 different things (at least sold in Thomann) and Baritones and Baritone horns as well seem to be 2 different instrumnts. I know however the difference between a euphonium and a baritone (horn(?)).

I am researching different brass instruments and when seeing them in Thomann I get a mess in my head.

So, can anybody help me clarify the difference between all thse instruments. I guess its a range things but I thought french horns had the "same" range as a tenor trobbone but then I see there are tenor horns as well and maybe they have the same range as tenor trombones?


2 Answers 2


The Euphonium has a fuller, rounder tone and a fuller volume than the Baritone. They are both tuned in Bb.

The tenor horn in UK is actually an Alto instrument and tuned in Eb. Its sound is „similar“ to the Flugelhorn.

The Bariton part is often higher than the Euphonium. The latter is also called the “violoncello” of the brass band because of its counterpart (counterpoint function) to the cornets. The Euphonium part is usually more virtuos than the Baritone.


Thomann lists two groups of instruments: Baritones and Alto/Baritone horns.

The Alto/Baritone horns list contains conventional British Brass Band standard baritone horns, which have these features:

  • upward pointing bell
  • piston valves
  • fourth valve can be played with left hand

Some of these instruments also feature compensated tubing for better tuning.

The Baritones list meanwhile contains instruments with the same length of tubing, but configured differently - instruments that don't belong in the Alto/Baritone horns list:

  • Bell upward facing sometimes
  • some instruments designed to be played marching, so bell is forward facing
  • angled bell
  • rotary valves rather than piston valves (although I did see one that used piston valves)
  • curvier shapes

I'm sure that as a blindfolded listener you'd be very hard-pressed to tell the difference between instruments from these two groups. The deciding factor to determine which instrument to use is the musical context - American marching band or UK Brass band.

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