The musical instrument known as the tuba is usually played in the orchestra or military bands. The brass section is happy to welcome the tuba as the base. Many times church choirs will use the tuba to reinforce the bass voices of the strings and woodwind instruments. It is used as solo instruments for many people who like to make the base sound stand out.
The Tuba’s Origins
The tuba is a well-renowned instrument in orchestras, marching bands, and other musical events. The tuba is a base instrument that is believed to have been created in 1835 by Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Carl Moritz. But one thing’s for sure, that the first tuba came from Germany around the time when valves were developed and just about to be in use as parts of various musical instruments.
Since then this heavy and bulky brass instrument has found favor in orchestras and concertos, and several sheet music has been produced for the instrument. Among the notable tuba players are Dave Bargeron, Bob Stewart, Don Butterfield, Walter Page and so many others.
Since the creation of the first tuba there has been several other tubas created that give even a deeper, richer sound. The brass instruments were limited to only harmonic notes until the invention of valves. The inventors of the tuba created the first series of valves, which were of the Berlinerpumpen. This type of valve for the tuba became the forerunners of the rotary valve. Today tuba’s and other brass instruments all use rotary valves, which gives them their unique sounds.
The word “Tuba” is the Latin for horn or trumpet. The vibration of the tuba gave it the quality of sound of a horn or trumpet. The tuba instrument has a large cupped mouthpiece that is used by the player to blow into making the vibration sound that comes out the other end. The players of the tuba must be able to have a lot of breath to keep up with the musical instrument. The tuba is such a famous instrument that many famous writers have written concertos just for the instrument. One of the most famous American composers is John Phillips Sousa who wrote “Stars and Stripes” which is played today by military marching bands, at picnics during the 4th of July celebration, and at many other important events.
The Modern Tuba
The tuba is played in orchestras around the world as a bass instrument to accent the sound that you hear from the other brass instruments. The Lawrence Welk band which is one of the most famous bands known in the United States and around the world often used the different tuba’s in their music. They have a tuba soloist and made popular several songs that used the tuba. The song “Baby Elephant Walk” is well known everywhere and it was a creation of the Welk band tubist player.
The tuba is no longer just one-size gives all sounds instead; the tuba is now in different sizes that help to give off the different sizes.
- The contrabass tubas have the lowest pitch, which is in the C or B (flats) which is referred to as the CC and BB (flat tubas).
- The bass tubas that you normally hear in most of the musical arrangements are pitched in the F or E (flats) and in the United Kingdom; this is the tuba that you might hear in their music.
- That famous American bandmaster John Philip Sousa developed the modern sousaphone. The sousaphone (tuba) was named after Mr. Sousa and he used it to play many of the military marching songs. They were referred to as the “over-the-shoulder-saxhorns.”
No matter what type of tuba or sousaphone is being player you can hear that clear rich bass sound that lets you know that it is a tuba. Many of the bands and orchestras include the tuba as part of their instruments even today.