to right: medium euphonium., euphonium forwrard, and tuba
PART 6 : BRASS INSTRUMENTS MARCHING BANDS
MODERN HORNS (ORCHESTRAL) : In this article I would like to address
what I see as the greatest lack of understanding in modern marching bands
for the toy soldier novice collector as well as many manufacturers
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TUBA'S AND EUPHONIUMS?
A) TUBAS : The tuba is a valved brass instrument with a wide conical
bore, flared bell and cup shaped mouth piece. It is characterized by its
large size or scale compared to euphoniums in both reality and miniature
or deep sound. The first tubas where German made in the 1830s and has
since appeared in various shapes:
1) Recording Tuba with bell forward; 2) The
Orchestral Tuba with bell upward held on the players lap which
comes in three bass tones i) E, ii) F and iii) Contra bass (very large)
and; 3) Marching Tuba this instrument has a light
weight fiberglass bell and rests on the players shoulder with its bell
pointing forward. This last style is used in bugle bands and university
bands in the USA.; where as the concert tuba is held in an upright position
with a harness and is used in British and Canadian Brass military bands.
The major difference in appearance between the tuba and euphoniums is
size and positioning of the valves and mouth piece which are not easily
discernible in small scale toy soldier bands.
B) EUPHONIUMS : After the successful application of the valve
principle in trumpets in the early 19th. Century, makers in Europe and
the USA. began to experiment with brass instruments in different shapes
and sizes. In 1843 Sommer of the Weimar Republic, invented a large bugle
with three to five valves and a mouth piece bent around the enlarged bell,
this is used to replace the bassoon in the military bands of Russia and
Germany, and is now most commonly played in the USA. Three common euphoniums
are: 1) baritone - with upright bell; 2) contralto - small
outer bent tubing bell forward and; 3) tuben - large outer tubing
Bill the Bandman's Guidelines: TOY
SOLDIER VARIATIONS are where most toy soldier collectors and makers go
wrong, so I will try and clear this up right now with some guidelines.
First you can not distinguish in miniature between valve positioning
of tubas verses euphoniums; its almost impossible, due to the small scale.
Second, the way most makers distinguish these items is by size and
the position they are held in as follows:
1. The larger the instrument the more likely its a tuba - .i.e.)
Britains - distinguish between the tuba and the euphonium by size in set
37 after WW11 Britain's made three sizes of euphoniums small medium and
large all baritone styles, plus one very large upright tuba replacing
the pre-war bombadrone which was an earlier version of a European style
2. French Horns are common in military bands but not college
or trumpet bands. Most British and Canadian manufacturers of
Military brass bands include French horns.
3. Very few military bands outside the USA have sousaphones - some
exceptions are 1) The Royal Canadian Regiment 2) The Brazilian Guards
Bands and 3) The Colombian Military Brass band circa WW1. and 4)The King's
own 15th/19th Royal Hussars circa 1960s Britain.
4. Euphoniums forward do not usually appear in military bands.
Actually I don't know anyone (mass manufacturing) other than my makers,
molding this instrument today, which we make for me in Big ten American
University bands in my own lines.
5. When a large brass instrument is played forward on the left shoulder
it is a contra bass. I only know two manufacturers of this instrument
played in this position
6. Arm positions for forward held tubas and euphoniums at the march
or attention (USING OLD BRITAINS AS THE STANDARD); 6.1 Euphoniums
- arms bent forward like trumpets; 6.2 Tubas - left arms bent sideways,
right arm bent forward
Finally be aware that many makers especially outside Britain,
Canada and the USA. make mistakes when dealing with TUBAS VS. EUPHONIUMS
but rarely SOUSAPHONES VS. FRENCH HORNS. Therefore, its the buyers responsibility
to spot the error and point it out to the maker otherwise these flaws
in toy soldier band sets will continue.
Until next time Remember the fun is in the search!
horn - common in military bands not college bands.
BASS - very large hard to manufacture common in BUGLE CORP bands.