Re: Early Brass Basses
- There are actually three different shapes of tuba used in jazz - the Helicon was the predecessor of the Sousaphone and some current jazz players still use them. There are slight tonal differences between all three designs, mostly due to bell size and direction, but differences also come from the pitch of the horn (usually BBb for modern Sousaphones, BBb or Eb for older Sousaphones and helicons, BBb, Eb, CC, or sometimes F for tubas) and the number and design of valves.
The "Recording Bass/Tuba" is a variation on the upright tuba with the bell tipped forward more like a Sousaphone. There is a very rare tall version of Recording Tuba that was made to be played while standing - for string bass players who doubled on tuba.
A more modern development is the "Marching Tuba" which is carried on the shoulder with the bell pointing forward - I have not seen anybody using one in a jazz band setting. The "Over The Shoulder" (AKA Saxhorn) tuba from the 1850s was the reverse of this design - while there are many of these horns used in Civil War Recreation bands, I may be one of the very few jazz tuba players to actually use one in a performance (but it is very awkward.)
The ophicleide is an obsolete instrument that is distantly related to the tuba family and was used in Brazilian Choro and Cuban dance bands well in to the 20th Century
By the way, tuba music is usually not transposed (except for "British Brass Band" - but that is not jazz) and is written in the desired octave, unlike String Bass music which is written an octave higher. Most reading tubists can deal with string bass charts.
I play all four kinds of tubas, depending on the room size and overhead clearance, mobility requirements, music style, or visual impact.
The wiki pages on these instruments are somewhat useful and mostly correct.
but you also might like to explore
From: "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
Is there any difference in sound or anything except form between tuba and
sousaphone. Anybody ?
- I found this 1915 picture (and info) on the Henry Allen Band:
Be sure to check the Brass Band History page on that site - lots of research here!
Dave Richoux (you may notice a different e-mail for me due to technical difficulties with my old one.)
On Feb 11, 2011, at 12:31 AM, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...> wrote:
Difficult to find pictorial evidence 20s & 30s brass snip