3. From Beginning to End

Although Adolphe Sax, who is exclusively remembered for his work on wood wind instruments today, had a hand in their development, both horns are in fact brass wind instruments. At first glance, the two intruments seem almost identical, even if the alto horn is obviously the slimmer of the two.

The designation "alto horn" can be applied to many different instruments, from the French horn to the trumpet. The most familiar shape of the alto horn is the tuba shape, which we, too, will focus on. The euphonium's construction exclusively rests on the design of the tuba. In spite of their similar appearances, the basic pitches of the instruments differ. The euphonium is pitched in b-flat, one octave lower than the trumpet and one octave higher than the tuba. The alto horn is most frequently pitched in e-flat, between the trumpet and the euphonium in sound.

The individual elements of the two instruments share some structural characteristics, though: mouthpiece, resonance tube, valves and bell.

The mouthpiece:

Both alto honrs and euphoniums use cup mouthpieces, with only few manufacturers preferring funnel mouthpieces. In contrast to the tenor and baritone horns, one and the same mouthpiece cannot be used for the two instruments. If you want to play both, you'll need to get different mouthpieces. The shaft size is especially important when buying a euphonium mouthpiece. Like the trombone, the euphonium mouthpiece comes in three different shaft sizes. But worry not, the delaer of your choice will be able to help you with this.

The bore of the two instruments differs greatly. The alto horn's bore is about 11mm. The euphonium's bore is wider generally, beginning at 15mm and increasing to up to 16.2mm, depending on the model. With identically pitched instruments, a larger bore makes the embouchure more difficult and the sound richer.

The valves are significantly different from those on tenor or baritone horns. The latter feature rotary valves, while the alto horn and the euphonium both feature Perinet valves, as does the standard trumpet. The number of valves is different on the two instruments. Alto horns consistently have three valves, while the euphonium is a little more sophisticated in this respect. Beginner models also feature three valves, configured as front-action valves or top action valves, depending on whether they are depressed from the front or from the top. The next option is the four-valve euphonium, with a choice of a top or lateral compensating valve. The side valve is played with the left. If the valve is added at the top, musicians call the configuration an in-line valve. In contrast to the alto horn, the Perinet mechanism is fully compensated, which allows for better intonation.

Both instruments feature water valves, either single or double, depending on the manufacturer.

The size of the instruments' bells, which usually point straight upwards, is an indication of their different sound. The alto horn's bell is usually 18cm in diamater, compared to the euphonium's larger 28cm.

In addition, some manufacturers offer a choice of bells in different sizes. A larger-diameter bell results in a more brilliant sound, while the embouchure is a little more tricky as well. If the manufacturer offers the choice, players can also opt for a compensator with a separator on the main tuning slide.

Your Contacts
Phone: +49-9546-9223-26
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
(4)
Recently Viewed
Rode Wireless GO

Rode Wireless GO; Digital Wireless Microphone System; ultra-compact and lightweight set of transmitter and receiver; series III 2.4 GHz digital transmission; clip-on transmitter TX with built-in microphone (omni capsule); maximum SPL: 100 dB; Frequency Range: 50 Hz – 20 kHz...

(12)
Recently Viewed
Behringer Vocoder VC340

Vocoders Analog vocoder and string ensemble synthesizer, Keyboard with 37 semi-weighted and velocity-sensitive keys, "Human Voice" (Male and Female) and "Strings" sections mixable for classical string and choir sounds, Analog vocoder with tone control, BBD chorus for ensemble effects,...

Recently Viewed
Mooer GE 300

Multi-Effects Processor Integrated ToneCapture function with 4 modes (Amp / Stomp / Guitar / Cab) to capture the sound of your favourite gear, 108 High quality amp simulations, 43 IR (Impulse Response) speaker cab simulations, Support for additional Impulse...

Recently Viewed
Fender SQ Bullet Strat FSR SFG

Electric Guitar Special Run, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck shape: C, Fretboard: Indian Laurel, Fretboard radius: 241 mm (9.5"), 21 Medium frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Pickup: 3 Single coils, Standard synchronised tremolo, Ex-Factory stringing: Fender...

(1)
Recently Viewed
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 MK2

6-Channel Audio Interface 24-Bit / 192 kHz, 2 Mic/Line/Instrument Combo Inputs: XLR/jack 6.3 mm, 2 Line inputs: 6.3 mm Jack, 4 Line outputs: 6.3 mm Jack DC-coupled, S/PDIF input coaxial, MIDI input and output, 2 Stereo headphone outputs: 6.3...

Recently Viewed
Audient Nero

Audient Nero; Monitor Controller; 4 sources selectable: 2 x Stereo Line Level Inputs (6.3 mm jack), 1 x Stereo Cue Mix Inputs (6.3 mm jack), Alt Inputs (3.5 mm mini jack, stereo RCA, optical or coaxial S/PDIF inputs); 3 x...

Recently Viewed
Gator G-LCD-TOTE60

Gator G-LCD-TOTE60, Padded LCD Transport Bag, Fits Screens Up to 60", Reinforced Front Cover is Outfitted with a Polyethylene Screen Shield, Providing Shatter-Resistant Protection, Durable Padded Nylon Handles and Removable Shoulder Strap Give You a Firm Grip on Your Gear,...

Recently Viewed
Turbosound iQ TS-PC12-1 Cover

Protective cover Water resistant deluxe cover for 12" loudspeaker, Especially suitable for the Turbosound iQ12 and iX12, Outer material: Sturdy, multilayer black nylon, prevents the penetration of dust and debris, Inside lining made from foam to ensure perfect protection...

Recently Viewed
K&M 21427

K&M 21427, professional carrying case for 6 microphone stands, includes castors for easy and comfortable transport, case made of extremely durable 1680D nylon fabric, all seams hand-stitched in high quality, padded carrying handles and a durable zipper, castors included, dimensions:...

Recently Viewed
Behringer MS-101-BL

Analog Synthesizer Keyboard with 32 semi-weighted keys, Analog VCO - 3340 based, 4 Mixable waveforms: Rectangle (with adjustable pulse width), sawtooth, triangle and rectangular suboscillator (switchable between -1 oct and -2 oct), Noise generator, Resonant low pass filter, Filter...

Recently Viewed
RCF Art 312 MK III

Passive Full-Range Speaker Rated power: 300 watts (RMS), Equipped with: 12" Woofer and 1" driver with 1.5" Mylar diaphragm, Impedance: 8 ohms, Maximum level: 127 dB, Dispertion pattern: 90° x 60°, Input and output: Speaker Twist, Plastic housing, 4...

(1)
Recently Viewed
K&M 21316 Select

K&M 21316 Select, large carrying case for speaker and hand crank stands, case made of extremely durable 1680D nylon fabric, all seams hand-stitched in high quality, padded carrying handles and a durable zipper, dimensions: 1200 mm, weight: 2,1kg, colour: black

Give Feedback
Feedback Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.