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Subcontrabass and Sousa[edit]

This page seems to conflict with Subcontrabass_tuba with regards to whether or not the BBBb tuba was ever used in Sousa's lifetime. This page says they were not completed until after his death, while the subcontrabass tuba page states that he toured with one (and cites a photo from the guiness book of world records). I'm unsure which is correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Darklupine (talkcontribs) 03:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Why it's called BBb[edit]

Can we please add a note about why it's called BBb? I got a decent explanation from my band teacher, but I figure I might want to let someone with more expertise handle it so that I don't confuse anybody. MToolen 03:31, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Done, 12-20-05, Rick Denney 05:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Include pictures of some of the different keyed tubas[edit]

It may be good to also include pictures of some of the different keyed tubas-- BBb, CC,Eb and F. It would also be good to have pictures of both the upright valve type, as already pictured, and the front action type.

Also, The hélicon may need to be mentioned with a picture as well.

Done, 12-20-05, Rick Denney 05:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

The Eb tuba becomes a C tuba when concert pitch music is read[edit]

This is not true, unless somehow the tuba grows extra length of tubes.

It is true to say that in concert pitch different notes will be written for the sound, but the instrument itself remains the same. The author has misunderstood what the phrase "Eb tuba" means.

A C tuba is a minor 3rd below an Eb tuba when they play their fundamental. This is compensated, in concert pitch writing, by the use of different fingering (a C is played open on a C tuba, but 1/2 on an Eb). NigelHorne 12:35, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps this is supposed to refer to the idea that an Eb-pitched treble clef instrument can relatively easily play bass-clef concert pitch music as if it were treble-clef music, only adjusting the key signature? --Rschmertz 23:54, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Let's examine this to expose the whole story. Remember that Eb tuba music that is written in bass clef is written on concert pitch--just like F, CC, and BBb horns. However, Eb tuba music for converted trumpet players is written in G-clef, and is written a 13th higher than it sounds. It is like Baritone Saxophone music. So, if one were to see a "C" written on the first ledger line below the staff--middle C, one would play it open. What would sound would be the Eb on the first ledger line below the bass clef staff (I'll explore this more momentarily). Were one playing a CC horn and saw middle C written in G-clef, one would play it open as well, suggesting the equivalency. Unfortunately, the intended Eb would NOT come out; what would come out would be the C two ledger lines below the bass clef. The bottom line is that the stated equivalency is NOT true.

Getting back to parts written in G-clef for Eb horns, we can see that were one to read these parts as if they were in bass clef (and not transposing), one would play the intended pitches! One needs to remember to add three flats to the key signature, and there can be some tricky accidentals involving B, C, E, and F. I've had to play bari sax parts on tuba and alto sax parts on trombone, and it truly impresses those who don't realize how easy it is to do on the fly. --Weyandt 20:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

"Remember that Eb tuba music that is written for real tuba players is written in bass clef" REAL tuba players? Care to expand on that? "Unfortunately, the intended Eb would NOT come out" No, because you'd be trying to produce a C. I would wager that anyone actually playing a C tuba having been playing an EEb bass would know what to expect, if their early efforts at pitching were wonky. WillE 21:28, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Eb Tuba music is sometimes written in G-clef. When this is done, it is done for trumpet players (transposing brass players) who do not normally play tuba--the band needs a tuba player and recruits one from the trumpet section. The fingerings are the same, but the actual notes that are produced are different. REAL Tuba players operate in a non-transposing world, where the music is written for the intended pitch, with massive numbers of ledger lines (and not an octave higher than sounding like a String Bass to avoid lots of ledger lines), and simply deal with the fact that the fingerings are different for a BBb, CC, Eb, and F tubas. Weyandt 18:18, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
The fingerings are not different. On each instrument, the depression of any combination of valves give the same decreasing of pitch in terms of semitones. The fundamentals are different. The notation may be different. The net result will always be (with varying degrees of competence) music. You are an incredibly pompous person if you think you can demean treble clef tuba players in the brass band world, when in my experience, most of them can also read fluently at concert pitch. Can YOU read treble clef? Interested to know where you come from, as I need to make a mental note never to take a musical trip anywhere near you.WillE 14:15, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
This is the same rabbit hole that plagues nearly all discussions of transposing instruments. Of course the instrument doesn't physically change depending on the transposition used. It's not classified as a transposing instrument if music is written and read at concert pitch. Some instruments (and this seems to be one) don't always use a single convention for transposing. So let's work on clarifying the article and stop the personal sniping. Brass band music seems to be a common exception to many transposing conventions used elsewhere (like concert bands & orchestras), commonly using treble clef for some instruments that would not be transposers in those other contexts. - Special-T (talk) 20:28, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Because this section was edited recently, I didn't realize that this discussion is very old. Seems like the article has been fixed accordingly. - Special-T (talk) 21:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


I think there's a problem in redirecting 'Bombardon' searches to the 'Tuba' article. I'm not saying that every esoteric and antique instrument should have an article, but uninformed readers might conclude that the bombardon was actually just a tuba. It might be right to write a few words about the ancestors of the tuba, or the use of the general name "tuba" for many instruments, and drop a word about the bombardon there. I'm just visiting from the hebrew wiki, working on musical articles there, so I don't want to push myself here. Udi Raz 17:34, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

put some susaphones in your site

I did :) [1]Udi Raz 21:53, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Major changes to Types and Construction[edit]

I have significantly revised the Types and Construction section to address a range of issues. The effects of valve type and finish are the subject of endless debate without authoritative conclusion, and I've reworded them to reflect that fact. I've clarified the length of the bugles, the meaning of the valves, and the reason why the instrument is sharp when the valves are used in combination. I've added a touch of history, the origin of the doubled letters (BBb and CC), and a range of other details including a mention of the helicon category and the sousaphone subset of that category.

Mainly, I expanded the statements about what pitches of instruments are used in what applications. The previous article was heavily based on a American practice and was not accurate for other parts of the world, and I have provided additional description.

The authority for the changes I made can largely be supported by The Tuba Family by Clifford Bevan (I have both first and second editions), A Treatise on the Tuba by Donald Stauffer, and thousands of communications both in person with well-known professionals and collectors and in the Tubenet forum. Rick Denney 05:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I've always understood that the double letters (in eg, BB♭ tuba) generally refer not to the pitch (an octave lower) but to the bore of the instrument (ie, BB has a wider bore, and hence a different tone). Is my understanding wrong? If so, to what extent? 19:48, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
My understanding comes from woodwinds, but I believe the octave interpretation is standard (i.e., B♭ bass clarinet, EE♭ contra-alto clarinet, BB♭ contrabass clarinet, EEE♭ octocontra-alto clarinet, and BBB♭ octocontrabass clarinet). Powers 12:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I've obviously had a mental aberration. I've long known that the same holds true of organ builders' names for organ pipes (eg, Middle C = 2' (because it's approx. 2 feet in length) = c'; Tenor C (the octave lower, despite what Wikipedia says) = 4' = c; Cello C (lowest string on the cello, two ledger lines below the bass clef) = 8' = C; 16-foot C = CC; and 32-foot C = CCC). Having now done a bit of research (OK, Googling), I've come across the following:, which clearly explains the difference in pitch transpositions of the E-flat (octave and major 6th) and BB-flat (two octaves and a tone, or an octave and major 9th) tubas; in other words, the BB♭ is a fourth lower than the E♭, and explains the difference between bass and contrabass tubas. It now strikes me (somewhat belatedly, I admit) that all of these desciptors (ie, brass, woodwind and organ) are in line with Helmholtz's pitch notation method (under which the three octaves scale from Middle C downwards would be written c' b a g f e d C B A G F E D CC BB AA GG FF EE DD CCC). Perhaps this clarity could be included in the article? - it's sadly rather lacking at present IMHO. 19:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


Folks, please do not remove links for web pages unless they no longer exist. If there starts to be an issue where fans of specific pages start removing the links to other pages, I'll make it my mission in life to keep all the links off the page. You know who you are.Rick Denney 03:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


This article could use some partitioning. There's a huge block of text for the one section, and that really needs to be divided into smaller sections by somebody who knows more than me about this insturment. --TexasDex 12:17, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I took a stab at it. The information is pretty comprehensive and hard to subdivide further than I did. Powers 14:50, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
There still appears to be some duplication (eg, the bit about C being the standard US instrument, with different instruments in the UK and Europe, is repeated more, though mainly less, verbatim a couple of paras later in the long "Types and construction" section. Can someone who knows about these things sort this out, please? Good luck! 19:48, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Playing range[edit]

The playing range shown in the article does not state for which pitch of tuba it applies. For BBb tuba in the Brass Band repertoire it is quite often required to play below the concert Eb indicated in the article. A range down to the concert F two octaves below the bass clef stave is sometimes required (written as the G one and a half octaves below the treble clef stave in Brass Band notation). Eg The Night to Sing by Bramwell Tovey, published by Winwood Music, 2005. As the playing range is fundamental to an understanding of the instrument, perhaps a more extensive playing range should be indicated in the article or the playing range indicated for each pitch of tuba. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Harrisoc (talkcontribs) .

Hey, it sounds like you know a lot about it, and have valid reference material to boot! Now would be a great time to try editing an article yourself. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Powers T 14:50, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. I have downloaded the image file of the playing range and modified it however I am not sure of etiquette. Should I upload the file to replace the original file or discuss first with the creator of that file. Harrisoc 10:16, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. Well, the current file is over on Wikimedia Commons, so if you want to replace it, you'll need to go over there. That's not necessarily a bad thing; everything on Commons is released with a free-use license, and that includes the right to modify it. So no notification is necessary, assuming the new image is of similar quality. =) Just make sure that you update the description to say that you modified commons:User:Mezzofortist's image, what you changed in it, and maybe how you did it. Powers T 14:01, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Really? The tuba can play the F0 below the piano's A0? According to my orchestration books, the lowest note the tuba can play is B0. --Number Googol (talk) 02:35, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I know this is old, but I would just like to mention that I have actually played F0 on a B Tuba personally using the standard 'buzzing' technique, so I can vouch for that note definitely being in the extended range of a Tuba. In principle, even a standard 3-valve Tuba should be able to play E0 a half step lower as long as the instrumentalist can 'buzz' that low. (Which is very hard to do, imo). (talk) 05:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

I have modified the playing range image file of commons:User:Mezzofortist's (Range_tuba.png)and called it Range_tuba_extended.png (the original Range_tuba.png still exists in commons). I extended the lower range to pedal F and have followed the convention of Mezzofortist and displayed the F as a smaller note to indicate the possible lower range depending on type of instrument (eg BBb tuba). Harrisoc 12:45, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion of valves[edit]

I'd like to suggest deleting most of the "valves" section; that more appropriately explained in Brass instruments (or a Valve (brass instrument) article, if it exists, haven't checked). I think discussion on valves in this article should be limited to discussion that relates specifically or primarily to tubas. --Rschmertz 01:30, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Most of this section is fairly specific to tubas (thought trumpets and horns also have competing valve types). Those needing buying research will face this topic with tubas of even student quality, unlike other brass players. The only section that might be removed is the part that describes the oiling/maintenance of the two valve types. Rick Denney (talk) 07:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Tuba in different languages[edit]

Is there a particular reason to list the names for Tuba in different languages? I don't see this done in WP articles on non-brass instruments (I've checked violin, viola, oboe) -- or of non-musical subjects, so why the brass instruments, particularly?

It is useful for classical musicians to know the names of the major instruments in a few languages: English, French, Italian and German -- that's probably it. That's the only possible justification I can think of for having this list at all. Adding any languages beyond that, and we're basically duplicating the "articles in other languages" list. Thoughts?--Rschmertz 04:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Notable Tubists[edit]

Did some cleanup of the "notable tubists". This is by no means thorough, just an easy first step: Google search all the red-linked names (save the ones I already know) and eliminate the ones that return no results or only someone in some college ensemble.

This list probably needs to be pared down a lot more. The hard part will be figuring out who is truly notable. --Rschmertz 04:22, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I was just thinking the same thing. I've browsed through other instruments (Trumpet, Piano) and I've not seen any which include such a list on their page. I'm thinking it should be reduced and wrote in a paragraph form explaining what makes them notable (influential) and potentially make the list into another page (as in a List_of_et cetera page). akuyumeTC 02:41, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Vote: Proposed changes to the Notable Tubists section[edit]

I've created a draft of the notable tubists section, and I would like to submit it to a vote before making such a major change. The current draft is Talk:Tuba/proposedNotableTubists. Also, please add any tubists you feel are truly worthy and remove any you might feel are not. Mostly I've only removed redlinks and people whose bios barely mention the tuba. akuyumeTC 02:36, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Support akuyumeTC 02:36, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Support, and require some sort of documentation for further additions once implemented. Powers T 23:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Seeing as no one rejected this, I've made the change with Rschmertz (talk · contribs)'s addition [2].

akuyumeTC 01:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The notable Tubists section seems to me to be very US-centric. With the exceptions of Chuck and Walter Hilgers (and of course, Fletch) there are no non-US tubists on the list. Surely some mention should be made of e.g. Patrick Harrild (Principal for the LSO and arguably the best living British tubist)?
I'll take you at your word about the lack of non-US. Maybe we need a better clearinghouse. There is a List of classical trombonists; maybe we could have a similar list of tubists from which we could make a better selection. Just as a note, I wouldn't want to see the list get beyond 25 (10 might even be a better number), so we might have to cull out some of the Americans on the basis of "notable, but not quite notable enough", which is difficult. --Rschmertz 16:20, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Good point. Well, if people use appropiate categories, I was thinking that cat page could serve as a general list of tuba players in general, and then maybe another list of "somewhat notable" tuba players could exist, and then the most notable of them could be listed on this page. akuyumeTC 01:41, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Compensating system[edit]

I think something about the compensating system for some tubas should be included, but past additions i have made have apparently not made sense so ill leave it to you..

Im not sure whether this just applies to EEb tubas but a compensating system means a better tone and pitching tool for the Tuba by adding extra tubing. This may be similar to 4th valve scenario but may be worth putting in, unsure.

-- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TubaEEb (talkcontribs) .

Compensating systems are already mentioned in the article; do a search for "compensat" in the article. Does that answer your question? --Rschmertz 18:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Thats fantastic, sorry, must of missed it.. TubaEEb 21:08, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Types and Constructions[edit]

What's your opinion on rewriting and seperating the section Types and Constructions? It really looks too long and should probably be split and written more concisely. akuyumeTC 02:14, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree it is very long and not so great. I need some time (like maybe a wikibreak) to think about what exactly should be done (but if you go ahead and do something, you probably won't hear me screaming (unless you are in the tri-state area ;-))) --Rschmertz 05:42, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Well to take some of the pressure off, I've reached the conclusion of making a draft page so the community (read: you, me, and who ever else cares) can work on it. Here's what I've done. akuyumeTC 00:16, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Things to do: write a new Types section, consolidate Valves and Finish subsections to the Construction section

Justin Williamson[edit]

I noticed that this man's name had been added. While he was known for his new style of tuba playing (arko playing)i'm not quite sure how good of a concer tubist he was. Still he should be kept.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Tuba Eating[edit]

A person at BVSD continues vandalizing this page. They add in a bunch of false information about eating tubas, with a recipie and names of certain famous people, and the links are linked to pages such as homosexuality and Bob the Builder. This person uses different IP addresses from the school. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ockenbock (talkcontribs).

I have requested that this page be semi-protected. Nationalparks 02:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Which was denied. Nationalparks 04:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Should the Cimbasso article be related to this one? The Cimbasso article in Wikipedia is very short, and should be beefed up in any event.--Weyandt 15:15, December 4, 2006 (UTC)

Were you thinking in the "See Also" section, or in the "Related Instruments section of the sidebar?
Good question, anyway. I'd be more open to it being in the "See Also" section than in the "Related Instruments" box, but I'm not even sure about that. It does make me realize, though, that the article is pretty short on history. Ideally, there would be something in the article itself like "In many parts of Europe, the cimbasso was used in preference to the tuba for many years before the tuba became established blah blah blah". --Rschmertz 20:43, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I was referring to the "Related Instruments." I'm not a historian, and wasn't aware that cimbassos were more popular than tubas. This is surprising as well, given how "abrasive" a sound comes out a cimbasso (in my humble opinion).--Weyandt 20:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

In article about Tommy Johnson it's mentioned that he played cimbasso on many sessions, and was apparently notorious for doing so. One conductor asked him, "Tommy, are you playing that Italian horn? ... Well, don't!" So perhaps a related instrument or see also link wouldn't be unwarranted? — WiseKwai 06:49, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Drawing vs. Picture[edit]

I noticed that in the infobox there is a drawing of a tuba there. In my opinion, it also could be a baritone, euphonium, tenor horn, or alto horn, depending on the scale. It really isn't all that good - I mean, its a good drawing and all, but for an infobox at the top of the page (that everyone is going to see), wouldn't a tuba picture be better? Rick, I'm asking that you release the best pic of your York so we can have a good representation of a generic (albeit very nice) tuba. Thanks. NDCompuGeek 06:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

BB♭, BBb, etc.[edit]

Every now and then someone goes and changes the way tubas in different keys are notated in this article. We need to strive for consistency, and set a policy. Thus, I'll lay out the possible ways that a tuba key can be notated, with some comments on each, using "Double-B-flat" as the example:

  • BBb - easy to write, and common practice for people writing about these things.
  • BB-flat - also easy to write, though longer. I've seen the "-flat" notation used in other places, but never with a double letter, so while it may be used to indicate the key of a musical work, I'm not sure it's ever used to indicate the pitches of brass instruments.
  • BB♭ - more accurate than BBb -- it's not really a little B, after all, it's "flat". Hard to type -- I don't know how to create it myself, only to copy-and-paste it. I also don't know if it will show up in all browsers.
  • BB ♭ - same things as above apply, but with a space between the letters and the flat symbol. A minor stylistic difference currently used in most of this article, and in some other articles as well.

If anyone can think of other ways to do this notation, please add them to the list, right in-line (I reserve the right to take them out or modify them, though :-)). I'd vote for the "BB♭" option (flat-symbol, no space), and suggest that we recommend the "BBb" option for those who don't have the ability to create the flat symbol -- we can clean those up later.

That said, please don't make these sorts of stylistic changes without providing a reason. --Rschmertz 18:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The Manual of Style has details for this; it prefers "BB-flat" or "BB♭" options over the "BBb." Hope this helps! MToolen 04:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Aha, I suspected there might be guidance on this somewhere out there. Unfortunately, it doesn't say whether we should forge ahead with the symbols that are unreadable to some (including me sometimes, depending on what computer I'm on) or stick with the "-flat" notation. --Rschmertz 05:18, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

-The flat sign for the signature DOES NOT show up on all browsers, instead showing up as a box. This may be confusing for the musically illiterate- Apr. 25 2007

The Manual of Style has been updated to allow use of {{music|flat}} or {{music|♭}} which improves browser compatibility for displaying the Unicode flat (). See Template:Music for more details.--Dbolton 17:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I noticed that all the flat symbols in the article displayed incorrectly except the unicode flat. Even in the other articles no music, the flat symbol is inconsistently displayed in my browser (Mozilla Firefox on a system with an excellent selection of fonts). For this reason, I have edited the article to consistently use the written "flat" instead of the symbol. It doesn't look as good, but it looks a lot better than an empty box.Rick Denney (talk) 07:53, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Did you try the templates described above to see if they render well in your browsers? --Rschmertz (talk) 08:17, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

One of the largest low-brass instruments?[edit]

The article begins, "The tuba is one of the largest of low-brass instruments". Is there a larger one? — Rico 02:00, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps this should be edited somehow to reflect that it is the largest of brass instruments in the modern symphony. While contrabass varieties of trumpets or horns may exist, they are rarely used. Ngaskill 22:24, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but they DO exist and are referred to in the article. 25 April 2007

While larger instruments may exist, they are very uncommmon. Besides, if you want to count the big trumpet's or the big French Horns as well, there are still the extremely large tubas discussed in the article. These are bigger than any pictures of the trumpets or horns i could find on google.

Depends too on what you mean by "one of" and "largest". For sheer physical presence, a big fat tuba with a huge bell is about as impressively large as a brass instrument can be. If you mean length of tubing, there are trombones and ophicleides and serpents that play in the same general register, thus also making them "among the largest" of brass instruments. When I read that sentence, I am assuming that "large" is used in a relative sense; a sense of overall impression of size. After all, the euphonium and trombone are, in fact, relatively large, but not "one of the largest". Also, for length of tubing, the French horn and the F tuba are equals, but the French horn is not, relatively speaking, all that "large". If you wish to restrict the sense to "in the modern symphony", then by all means say "the tuba is the largest brass instrument commonly played in the modern orchestra". This doesn't mean that there are no other large brass instruments, nor that those other instruments are not sometimes found reinhabiting the orchestral jungle. But you might want to specify the BBb or CC tuba, as there are smaller tubas that become, relatively speaking, not quite so large. Elemtilas (talk) 00:31, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Tubists or tuba players?[edit]

Removed cfdnotice, cfd has completed. --Kbdank71 16:38, 9 May 2008 (UTC) In fact, the discussion covers whether the main category and all of its sub-categories should be Category:Tubists or Category:Tuba players, and so on. Please take any views you have to the discussion page there, not here. Bencherlite 09:35, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that people that know what they are talking about should comment, because there are things being written like, "'tubists' seems clearly incorrect ... to judge by the ... comments."
In the absence of knowledgeable discussion, an outcome based on ignorance can result.
I'm not getting the impression that most of the participants are serious tubists. -- Rico 21:32, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Giant tuba?[edit]

Is this a contrabass tuba? Or a subcontrabass tuba? 18:04, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

This would be one of the Gustav Besson subcontrabass referred to by the article. Here's another [3]. akuyumeTC 07:34, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Treble clef tuba[edit]

I have corrected where treble clef tuba sounds. Parsifal1961 19:29, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Very little relationship to Wagner tuba[edit]

What tubas and Wagner tubas have in common:

  • a) some letters in their name (a, b, t, u)
  • b) both are brass instruments

That's all.

Based on a), the English horn should be listed in the the "Infobox Instrument" of French horn. Which clearly makes no sense at all.

Based on b), the trumpet, trombone, French horn etc. should also be listed in Tuba infobox.

Listing the Flugelhorn would actually make much more sense than listing the Wagner tuba, because it actually belongs to the same subgroup of brass instruments as the tuba and the euphonium do, because they both have the same, wide flare ratio. As opposed to French horn and Wagner tuba which have a medium flare and the trumpet and trombone, which have a small flare or (nearly) conical bore.

The Wagner tuba is NOT a tuba. It is a misnomer. It is basically a baritone French horn. It is even built so that you have to finger its valves with the left hand - like those of a French horn. It is played with a French horn mouthpiece by French horn players and belongs to the French horn section of the orchestra.

Glad we cleared that up. --Cancun771 17:29, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

The wagner tuba is neither a french horn, neither a tuba, it’s a wagner tuba!!! It’s related to the french horn because it is played with a french horn type mouthpiece. It’s related to the tuba because it has the same bore (or "wide flare ratio" as you name it) than a tuba. The wagner tuba is not a baritone french horn. The E♭ bass wagner tuba has (approx.) the same range of a E♭ bass tuba, and the B♭ tenor wagner tuba has (approx.) the same range of a B♭ euphonium. Ten Islands 18:23, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Tenor Tuba?[edit]

I take issue with this statement:

The euphonium is sometimes referred to as a tenor tuba (the only practical difference lies in the presence of vibrato, which is traditional for euphonium, but is to be avoided on parts scored for tenor tuba)

It is my understanding that the tenor tuba is a different instrument, even if its parts are almost universally performed on euph. Concerning the use of vibrato, I'm completely unfamiliar with the idea that euphonium parts have vibrato, while tenor tuba parts don't. On the contrary, I've played many "euphonium" parts in a band setting without vibrato (like most instrumentalists, I avoid it in ensemble playing).

Take a shuftie at this, mate: Talk:Euphonium#Holst.27s_The_Planets--Cancun771 16:34, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I suppose I should have read a little farther down the paragraph, which gives more specific use of the term 'tenor tuba.' Still, I think the above passage is misleading. --Tjonp 18:11, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I eliminated the paranthetical note on vibrato, and rearraged the paragraph. --Tjonp 15:30, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Too much information?[edit]

Following the paragraph on intonation problems without additional valves, I have considered adding the following sentence:

"Such problems also occur an octave up in the euphonium and baritone horn without extra valves."

Would that be too off-subject for the article? I'm still not good at being bold. Thanks in advance! MToolen (talk) 17:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Several general edits[edit]

There were several items in the article that showed "citation needed". I have attempted to provide sufficient discussion to confirm the statement or I've removed the apparent opinion.

One opinion I removed was that there is consensus about lacquered instruments have a brighter (or less bright) sound. There is no such consensus, and I've heard it argued both ways.

I added a short history section. The regional preferences for pitches and valve types make a lot more sense in the historical context.

I also added octave designations where practical, and specific frequencies, to clarify the discussions about pitches. I revised the discussion about false tones and moved it further down in the article.

In order to standardize on something, and in order to make the article display correctly on my browser, I edited all the flat symbols to the written word. If we decide to go another way, we can just search on "flat" and change it.

Nothing jumped out at me as an obvious way to divide up the types and construction, but I agree we ought to think about it. Rick Denney (talk) 08:01, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


In addition to a series of edits, I have disconnected the relationship between Berlinerpumpen and Perinet valves. Berlinerpumpen are the direct ancestors of the rotary valve, and a simply observation of their inner shape will reveal this fact. They both use 90-degree curved passages between ports on the same plane. Perinet valves use passages of irregularly routed tubing to connect branches together. I will research the relationship between Stolzel valves and Perinet valves, which I believe to be closer than the relationship between Stolzel and Berlinerpumpen. The source here is Bevan.Rick Denney (talk) 04:39, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi! do you know if there are other reference books/materials that could be used in the article? So much of the material is just sort of 'known'. It would be really great to reference some of the specifics to specific sources. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 19:22, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
There must be, since I, a non-musician, can think of several sources. There must be tuba methods. There must be something in orchestration books. There might even be a few nuggets to be had in those general-audience books on the orchestra or on classical music you find for $5 in a box just outside the bookstore. Willi Gers07 (talk) 20:05, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Can look into Adam Carse's "Musical Wind Instruments", Anthony Baines's "Brass Instruments, Their History and Development" and Curt Sachs's "The History of Musical Instruments". All of them, but most especially Baines, have copious illustrations and photos of historical tubas and their ancestors (bass tuba, bass horn, ophicleide, serpent). They could be used quite profitably to clean up some of the problems with the history section of the article especially. Elemtilas (talk) 15:00, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Requested indefinite semi-protection[edit]

This article gets a surprisingly large amount of IP vandalism for what seems like an innocent topic. The tuba world is not changing so fast as to need so many updates. Geez. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:13, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

It failed. :-( It was claimed the rate of vandalism was too low. This is sad. The relevent quantity is not the rate but the ratio of vandalism. Oh well. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:44, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I just did some quick statistics. In the last 4 months, the unique IP edits have been 17 vandalisms, 8 good edits, and 3 bad but good-faith edits or obvious tests. In that last 6 months there have been 32 vandalisms, 14 good edits, and 5 bad but good-faith edits or obvious tests (those numbers may be off by plus or minus one because I lost track where I was at one point). It seems safe to say that the ratio of bad-to-good IP edits for this article is 2:1. That seems like a good candidate for protection to me. After a period for comments, I will renominate for permanent protection. Jason Quinn (talk) 20:15, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

A new request for semi-protection has gotten the article a protection of one month. For at least a month there won't be as much vandalism. Unfortunately it will come right back as soon as the lock expires. :-( Jason Quinn (talk) 15:03, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I have again requested semi-protection. The history page of Tuba basically consistent of "vandalism/revert" 'ad infinitum'. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:36, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Quick question. How long does vandalism stay in before being reverted (minutes, hours, days)? The rate seems to be slow enough (rarely more than one a day) that I don't know that protection helpful. Maybe the 'flagged revisions' kind of protection, where ip's can still edit, but their edits have to be approved by someone to show up in regular view of the article. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 17:50, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Good question. The reverts are usually quick. The main problem with the IP vandalism is the edit history noise and the watch page clutter. I am strongly opposed to flag revisions and like to pretend they do not exist. Jason Quinn (talk) 18:11, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
The page was declined semi-protection under the reasoning that the vandalism is "too sporadic". I disagree that once every day or so is sporadic but so be it. None the less, I am removing myself from the watchlist for this article. Jason Quinn (talk) 19:07, 29 November 2010 (UTC)


Perhaps this article should have a small bit about the cost of an average tuba, and the price range for different kinds of tubas. Just a thought.Mk5384 (talk) 21:33, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Fizyplankton, 23 May 2010[edit]


in the image of the range on the box on the right,|range=

Tuba range.svg

, the lower range is incorrect.

it shows its lower range to be an F, or four ledger lines below the staff. a tuba can actually play down to a Bb(B-flat), which is six ledgerlines below the staff. I play tuba, and can reach down to that Bb Fizyplankton (talk) 22:05, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Note the 8vb meaning an octave below what is written. I too play tuba and I believe the diagram is approximately correct. Tayste (edits) 03:41, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

This is an edit to the illustration, not the article, so you'll probably have to ask someone at the illustration workshop to make the edit, if the illustration is indeed incorrect. - EdoDodo talk 13:14, 24 May 2010 (UTC)


The list of composers, in this general encyclopedia article about the tuba, seems to over-represent contemporary, not-super-notable composers. I'm not familiar with the literature on the instrument, but (like most Wikipedia articles on music subjects), editors seem to be using this article to inflate the importance of a composer they know/like. Could someone with a good overall knowledge of the repertoire pare this down to the most famous handful of pieces? It is, after all, a general article about the instrument. - Special-T (talk) 15:10, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

tenor clef??[edit]

The range of the tuba in the infobox is given in bass and tenor clefs. Does this make sense? Is the tenor clef used for the tuba in ANY circumstance? -- megA (talk) 06:24, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Unsourced contention seems to be misleading[edit]

An anon recently replaced

Most professionals in the U.S. play CC tubas, with BB also common, and many train in the use of all four pitches of tubas.


Many professionals in the U.S. play CC tubas, with BB♭ also common, and many train in the use of all four pitches of tubas.


The professionals that I have known played more than one, including both C and B♭ tubas.
While I believe either of the statements in the article are true, I think they are misleading.
An editor appended the sentence with citation needed tag seven years ago.
Should the text be deleted, rewritten, or what? -- Ríco 18:14, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

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