History of Instrument
The first tuba was actually made in Germany by a composer named Richard Wagner. Not only did he make the tuba and compose music but he also greatly increased the amount of woodwinds that play in the orchestra. He divided the brass section into four groups. In his orchestras he had three trumpets and a bass trumpet, three trombones and a bass tuba, four French horns and four tubas that he had made especially for his orchestra.
The Prussian Army helped make the tuba popular. Their marching band directors liked the big, bold sound the tuba makes. After the Prussians started using the tuba other countries started making their own tubas. Tubas come in lots of different shapes and names like the Bombardon, Fluegelhorn, and Helicon, but now it is most commonly called the tuba.
Tubas were originally designed to be played while marching instead of while sitting. To begin with the player held the tuba on his shoulder. With the bell pointed forward the sound projects in the direction that the marchers are going. Later the mouthpiece position was switched to the position it is now in and players can sit down and play it. Tuba players change their mouthpieces to go with the music they are playing. Sometimes a tuba player will have 40 mouthpieces!
The tuba is often known as the big boomer because it plays mostly the lower notes which the other instruments cannot play. The tuba used to be less popular in its early stages because in European countries the instrument makers kept switching designs for the tuba and changing the name so no one knew exactly what a tuba looked like. This made it hard to find a correctly made tuba or at least ones that were alike.
When the tuba is used in the orchestra it sounds best for a musician to play the short staccato notes. This is when the player does short quick notes Tubas don't come in one certain size. There are 5 different sizes. And the only difference between a bass tuba and a contrabass tuba is the width of the tubing.
Range of the Tuba:
From F two octaves below middle C to F above middle C.
Music for the Tuba
© Copyright 1999 ERCHA.