Euphoniums

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About Euphoniums

Invented in the early 19th century the euphonium is a non-transposing brass instrument that plays an important role in military and brass bands around the world. Pitched to Bb the euphonium has a unique tone color and broad range. The instrument is often mistaken for a baritone horn - however the bore size of the euphonium's horn is larger which produces a darker tone. The fingerings on the euphonium are the same as those on a trumpet but its tubing gradually expands in diameter throughout its length resulting in a gentler sound. Euphonium models feature either three or four valves: student euphoniums have three top-action valves while professional models have a fourth for enhanced intonation and versatility (some intermediate models also contain this extra valve). Four-valve euphoniums come in a variety of combinations including 3+1 (three valves combined together with an extra valve sitting on the horn's side).

While most euphoniums are designed to be played on a player's lap marching band euphoniums have a slight change in their design so they can be easier to hold while marching. For this reason many brass instrument manufacturers construct convertible euphoniums that allow a player to change the position of the instrument's mouthpiece so it can be played in both concert and marching applications. Euphoniums are available in lacquer and silver-plated finishes. Of the two lacquer is the most popular and it gives the instrument a dark sound in the lower register. Silver-plate finishes are used for professional models and it provides the euphonium with a warmer sound that many advanced players prefer. Popular euphonium manufacturers include Jupiter, King, Kanstul, and Yamaha.