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The mellophone is a simplified French horn. It has much the
same full, rounded tone, but is much easier to play. For this
reason it is used in many school bands and orchestras.
The alto, tenor and baritone horns play these three differ-
ent parts in band music. The alto horn plays the higher parts,
the tenor horn sings along as a tenor voice would, and the
baritone horn corresponds to a man's baritone voice. The tenor
horn is a relatively new instrument, which was designed to fill
the wide gap that previously existed in band instrumentation
between the alto and baritone horns. When one or two tenor
horns are used, the entire tone color of a band is enriched to a
surprising degree. The shape and appearance of a tenor horn is
almost exactly the same as that of an alto horn.
The euphonium is essentially the same in tone and range as
the baritone horn. It is made either with one or two bells. On
the two-bell type there is a fourth valve, which brings into play
the smaller bell, providing an added tone color which is dra-
matically effective in solo work and for such efforts as imita-
tions and echoes.
The recording bass is the powerful instrument that goes
oom-pah, oom-pah in the band to mark the time and accentu-
ate the beat. It has a deep, rich tone of really thunderous
Most symphony orchestra players prefer a bass horn with an
upright bell, instead of the curved bell of the recording bass.
They also prefer to call their instrument a bass tuba, although
it is also known as an upright bass. In an orchestra the bass
tuba marks the time, but is also used to provide soft, rich bass
notes to complete chords made by the other instruments.
The function of the big Sousaphone is much the same as
that of the recording bass. It is an instrument that most of the
time goes oom-pah, oom-pah, lending its own distinctive power
and richness to the general ensemble of the instruments. It is
named for the famous band director and "March King," John