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Brasswind Instruments


Below are the most common Brass instruments used in a Brass & Reed Band or Concert Band like Da Buttera.

Although the Trumpet is used most often in Brass & Reed Bands, Jazz Bands and Orchestras; the Butter Exchange Band use Cornets exclusively.  This is a preference of the band and its current and former conductors.   The Cornet is used because it is said that the Cornet is majestic while the Trumpet is magnificent.   Trumpets have a very bright brassy sound compared to the Cornet which has a darker mellower sound.

Trumpet in Bb

The Trumpet is one of the lead instruments in the band.  Melody is carried chiefly by the 1st Trumpet, with the 2nd and 3rd trumpet parts establising the section's thick brassy sound.  The Trumpet has a very cylindrical bore that gives it a very bright sound.  A band usually will have six or more Trumpets.


A trumpet consists of a narrow tube with a cup-shaped mouthpiece at one end and a flared bell at the other.  The Trumpet is used to play all kinds of music ranging from South American ballads to flashy fanfares to classical orchestral pieces.  Blazing fanfares and moody mellowness are all characteristic Trumpet sounds.  The pitch range of the trumpet is two and three quarter octaves, and it is usually made of brass and covered with lacquer.  It is about 18 inches long; total length of unwound tube is 4 ft. 6 in.

Cornet in Bb

The Cornet is very similar to the Trumpet, except that is has a more conical bore that gives it a softer sound.  Most pieces have a combination of Trumpet and Cornet parts.  Cornets are also pitched in Bb and have a usual range of two and three quarter octaves.

Flugel Horn in Bb

A Flugel Horn is sort of like a very large bore version of the Trumpet.  Due to its shape, the Flugel Horn has its own very mellow sound that is very well suited for jazz solos. It is not used very often in Concert Bands and, when it is used, it is usually only for a solo in a show or jazz tune.  The Flugel Horn is also pitched in Bb and has the same range as a Trumpet.

French Horn in F/Bb

The French Horn has a rich full sound that is used for melodic passages as well for providing accompaniment to other sections of the band.  There are usually 3 or 4 different Horn parts that are usally played with one to a part.


A Horn is an instrument consisting of a mouthpiece and a long tube that widens out to the bell.  The French Horn is a Brass instrument built in a circle, with a large bell that is held down by the player's side.  It is also the only Brass instrument in which the valves are operated with the left hand -- all other Brass instruments are operated with the right hand.  Its rich, velvety sound is heard mostly in orchestras and bands.  The French Horn first came into the orchestra in pairs to portray the sound of hunting horns but is now used in music of all sorts.  The pitch range is three and a half octaves, and its length is variable.  The total length of unwound tube is between 9 and 12 feet. French horns are tranposing instruments and usually play in the key of F.

Tenor Trombone in Bb

The Trombones are a large instrument that features a slide instead of valves. The cylindrical shape of the tubing gives them a very bright tone.  They are used for low brassy sections of music and help with the inner voices and Bass Section of the band.  There are usually 3 or 4 trombone parts that are often doubled.


Trombones are Brass instruments with long, cylindrical tubes, flared bells, and cup-shaped mouthpieces.  Most Trombones have a slide that the player uses to alter the length of the tube and change the pitch, but some have valves.  Some trombones will also have some rotary valves in addition to the slide, to make the instrument more flexible.  In the orchestras, it often represents the voice of doom and danger with its loud, deep, bass sound that can slide menacingly from one note to the next.  The Trombone can also play softly: its warm tone often features in jazz bands and brass groups. The pitch range is two and a half octaves, plays in concert-pitch and the tube length is usually 9 feet.

Bass Trombone in Bb

What a Bass Trombone exactly is, is up for debate, as there is no consensus on what exactly a Bass Trombone is.  However, one thing that people seem to be able to agree upon is that a Bass Trombone is very large trombone with one or more triggers (valves).  The large bore and big bell gives the Bass Trombone a deeper sound than regular trombone and is usually used on the Third and/or Fourth Trombone part.  It also plays in concert-pitch.  A band will usually have one or two Bass Trombones.

Euphonium in Bb

The Euphonium is like a small tuba, but is considered the solo instrument of the bass section.  You can easily hear the Euphonium quite clearly in most marches and military music.  The Euphonium can either play as a Bb instrument or as a bass clef concert-pitch instrument.  The Euphonium has a dark mellow tone.

Tubas in Eb, Bb

The Tuba is the primary instrument that makes up the Bass Section of the band.  Its deep sounding low notes provide the foundation for the band's sound.  The Tuba is the largest and deepest member of the brass family.  Even though it is bulky and plays in a low register, you can play very fast notes or light and airy tunes on the Tuba. Tubas come in many different pitches and sizes.  The most common are EEb and BBb Tubas however CC Tubas and to a lesser extent F Tubas are also used in bands.

String Bass in C

Although not a Brass instrument, the String Bass, also called the Double Bass, is listed here.  It will often play pizzicato (plucked strings) in lightly scored musical passages, for a very light effect.  The Double Bass is the largest member of the violin family.  Its deep pitch can be heard playing the Bass line in orchestras, jazz bands, and folk music ensembles all over the world.  To produce music, the Double Bass can be bowed or plucked.  When used in jazz, it is mostly plucked.  The Double Bass has a pitch range of more than two and a half octaves; it is made of wood with steel strings.  The Double Bass is usually over 6 ft. high.  Like most members of the violin family it is pitched in concert-pitch.

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