Questions tagged [brass]

The family of wind instruments that produce their tone through the buzzing of the lips into a mouthpiece. The most common brass instruments are the trumpet, trombone, tuba, and french horn.

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31 votes
4 answers
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Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
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17 votes
7 answers
6k views

How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra?

I want to train myself into distinguishing the instruments being played simultaneously in orchestral music (primarily Wagner and Bruckner, maybe Mahler). Ideally I want to be able to say at each point ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What are good techniques to bend notes on brass instruments

I play Eb tuba, and sometimes I come across bending down in my notes - either as an effect at the end of a note, or sometimes as a slide between two notes. I find this difficult to achieve with a good ...
awe's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
373 views

What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones?

The natural range of a standard Bb trumpet, for example, extends down to F# (i.e., concert E), but by adjusting one's embouchure and air, it's possible to produce lower pitches. Those lower pitches -- ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What are brass instrument "pedal tones" and "false tones", and how are they different?

The below two questions resulted in some debate, confusion, and consternation: What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones? What are brass instrument “false notes” and how are they played? ...
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6 votes
7 answers
17k views

Key choice for brass instruments

I've been told several times that brass instruments prefer to play in keys with flats, rather than sharps. As a trumpet player myself, I cannot relate to this preference. E major is just as easy or ...
Gauthier's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there conflicting requirements for technique between large and small brass instruments

I want to know some practical details on what to consider if you want to play different brass instruments of various size. Specially differences between the extremities like trumpet and tuba. Is there ...
awe's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What are brass instrument "false notes" and how are they played?

In @AlbrechtHügli's answer to Properties of a very low pitched natural horn?, "false notes" are mentioned. What are they, and how are they produced?
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21 votes
6 answers
14k views

Will my wind instrument be damaged if I leave it assembled?

Almost every teacher, expert, and book has informed me that I should disassemble my (clarinet / recorder / saxophone) each time after I practice. However, it is difficult for me to see how this would ...
David LeBauer's user avatar
20 votes
11 answers
76k views

Difference between Baritone and Euphonium

What is the difference between a baritone and a euphonium, and how can you tell? My band director sometimes uses them interchangeably, but I am pretty sure that is not correct. All I know is that this ...
Cody Guldner's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do I approximate instruments when arranging an orchestral piece for brass ensemble

I am going to arrange Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod for British brass band. I am not sure if it will be a good fit, but it is worth a try. The instrumentation that I am writing for is standard: ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Brass instrumentalists are taught that higher notes require faster air while lower notes require more air. How exactly is this different?

I cannot count the number of times I've heard the simple adage: To play higher, use faster air. To play lower, use more air, but slower. And unfortunately, this statement is just as confusing to the ...
Richard's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
10k views

How to make a brass instrument quieter?

I play trumpet at home. I feel a little uncomfortable playing because of the loudness. I found the Silent Brass series by Yamaha, which makes brass sound quieter, and you can still hear everything ...
DoctorMoisha's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Wind instruments and sharp keys

As far as I know, most of the wind instruments are transposing, and many of them are either in B, in E-flat or in F - these keys make them more suitable for playing in "flat" keys. My question is why ...
trolley813's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the advantages of different mouthpiece sizes?

I played horn from age 10 until age 22, and after a couple of years off I'm starting to play again. I was always pretty mediocre, so I was content to use my elementary-school Holton MDC mouthpiece the ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Transposing bass clef instruments for Tuba, Bombardon, and Contrabass

I got myself an old full score of an arrangement for Dutch-styled brass band (fanfareorkest) to copy which the instrumentation is unconventional to me (I believe it's written in continental tradition?)...
sanerski's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Which instruments to physically familiarize with to become a better orchestrator?

Physically familiarizing with which two orchestral instruments would be a good compromise between having to buy all the instruments and gaining leverage in orchestral writing? My own opinion is ...
MahlerAdmirer's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
313 views

Why is it harder to lip slur without tonguing?

I was practicing lip slurs yesterday, and I was wondering why it is easier to lip slur between harmonics by tonguing than without tonguing. It seems it should be the same either way-- whether you ...
Luke_0's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Finger techniques when playing valve brass instrument

I am playing Eb tuba with 4 valves (4th at my right hand pinky). Usually I have my fingers more or less straight out over the valves, resulting in the tips for all other than the pinky is sticking out ...
awe's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
520 views

Is a Bb Baritone and a Baritone Horn the same instrument?

I'm about to start A level music and therefore I need to buy an instrument, I play Bb baritone but when I searched for one on the internet all I could find was a baritone horn. Is this the same ...
Bradley James's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
355 views

How to re-develop double tonguing?

Two years ago, I had no issue double- and triple-tonguing. After a while, however, I seem to have issues playing quickly enough. I suspect that I have gone back to single-tonguing. How can I go back ...
segiddins's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
334 views

How do I compose idiomatically for brass instruments?

I'm thinking of composing pieces for small ensembles with varied instrumentation. Typically I compose on a keyboard. How do I determine if the musician can easily play on brass instruments such as ...
empty's user avatar
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