The tuba is best known as a member of the brass family, though it is also
known as a wind instrument and an aerophone. It is a rather new instrument as it
only first appeared in the mid 1800s. It has the lowest pitch of all the brass
instruments and like other brass instruments is played by blowing directly into
the mouthpiece through closed lips. This creates the vibration needed to make
the sound. What also makes this instrument unique is that there is a record with
the exact date that the creators of the instrument granted a patent for it.
Apparently, the instrument was first recognized as the tuba on the 12th of
September in 1835.
The tuba comes in a few different variations. Firstly, there are different
tubas that have different pitches, including F, E-flat, CC and BB-flat. To
create the different pitches, the size of the tuba also differs, with the F tuba
being the smallest with a total of 12 feet of tubing and the BB-flat tuba being
the largest with a total of 18 feet of tubing.
The tubing of the tuba is wrapped so that the musician can easily hold it
and play it and the tubing slowly increases in diameter as it goes from the
mouthpiece to the end of it, which is called the bell. There are also different
models that use either piston or rotary valves. There is much debate in which
type of valves is the better one to use, but there is still no real proof to
which one is actually the better type of valves to use. Not all tubas are
limited to three valves. In fact, tubas can any number of valves from three to
six in total, though there have apparently been some exceptions. The least
expensive tubas are the ones that only have three valves and they go up in
expense with the more valves they have. Each valve is responsible for lowering
the pitch that the tuba creates.
The tuba may not be as popular as some other instruments, but it is one
that appears to attract a decent amount of interest. As mentioned before, many
will take it up for use in marching bands and school bands. While it can be an
expensive instrument when purchased new, the three valve tuba is also one of the
more affordable instruments. It is also a little easier to learn than others,
thought the instrument is a little more complex than some other brass
It is often available to students in schools because the instruments,
especially when used, are relatively affordable and the sheet music is fairly
easy and inexpensive to purchase. In fact, many schools are lucky enough to have
people donate these kinds of instruments to them, because the people that used
to own the instruments believe that music is something that young people should
have the opportunity to learn an instrument. This instrument is also easy to
find at pawn shops or used instrument stores for anyone who wishes to try
learning the instrument.
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