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The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby tobysima` » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:47 pm

Hello TubeNet,
I am wondering what the most important types of tubas are, and what their descendants are, if they don't exist anymore. It could be a Kaiser BBb, a York CC, British F, Vienna F, French C, stuff like that. :tuba:

Side Note: I'd be very interested in hearing what tubas Bloke uses - he seems to have decently high standards (In a good way), so I'm wondering what lives up to his standards.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby bloke » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:05 pm

yeah...but mine aren't very important...
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby smileatom » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:09 am

As Jake would say the most important one is the "one in your head".
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby anotherjtm2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:23 am

The one in my head sounds like Chuck Daellenbach, but the one in my hands does not.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby lost » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:17 am

Welcome to the forum Toby. Maybe you could help a little by defining what you think is "most important."

:tuba:
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby tclements » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:49 am

The one that makes me sound like Warren Deck (I'm still looking!).
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Donn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:16 am

The ancestor of sousaphones would sure be important, and I suppose somewhere in the archives here we've sorted out to our collective satisfaction what exactly that was - I guess J W Pepper made it, anyway. That was recent enough that such things can be tentatively nailed down. Was it Sousa's idea? Might as well be, it's a story anyway. And the mighty echoes reverberate unto this day - imagine if all the football half time band tuba players had to leave space clear to their left to avoid collisions with their helicons!

Really though, every tuba is important.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby tobysima` » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:53 pm

lost wrote:Welcome to the forum Toby. Maybe you could help a little by defining what you think is "most important."

:tuba:


By most important I guess I mean the types of tubas, or even makes and models, that have made the biggest impact on how tubas are expected to sound today.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby tobysima` » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:58 pm

Donn wrote:The ancestor of sousaphones would sure be important, and I suppose somewhere in the archives here we've sorted out to our collective satisfaction what exactly that was - I guess J W Pepper made it, anyway. That was recent enough that such things can be tentatively nailed down. Was it Sousa's idea? Might as well be, it's a story anyway. And the mighty echoes reverberate unto this day - imagine if all the football half time band tuba players had to leave space clear to their left to avoid collisions with their helicons!

Really though, every tuba is important.


I definitely do prefer sousaphones to contras, and I'm assuming that helicons are awkward as well. Contras are way too one sided, and I can't keep it up well.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Donn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:54 pm

The sousaphone is an improvement in some ways, but not by that much. They're about equally manageable, and between two instruments that differ only in the bell, the helicon is just more directional and in a potentially inconvenient direction. They don't really have to stick out to the side so much, that's mainly what happens when they were making sousaphones and helicons that differed only in the bell.<*> The sousaphone is directional, but thanks to the huge flare, more in a fore/aft sense. For the player, in my opinion anyway the helicon is more playable because you aren't in the shadow of that big bell flare and you can hear yourself better. And with European designs you aren't playing through a bit assembly, though that has its down side too if you aren't shaped right.

<*> (By my theory, somewhat similar to Reynolds' ill advised idea to use a sousaphone bell for a forward-facing lap tuba bell, so the upright bell is absurdly tall, but I have no confirmation that's really how it happened.)
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby tobysima` » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:06 pm

Donn wrote:The sousaphone is an improvement in some ways, but not by that much. They're about equally manageable, and between two instruments that differ only in the bell, the helicon is just more directional and in a potentially inconvenient direction. They don't really have to stick out to the side so much, that's mainly what happens when they were making sousaphones and helicons that differed only in the bell.<*> The sousaphone is directional, but thanks to the huge flare, more in a fore/aft sense. For the player, in my opinion anyway the helicon is more playable because you aren't in the shadow of that big bell flare and you can hear yourself better. And with European designs you aren't playing through a bit assembly, though that has its down side too if you aren't shaped right.

<*> (By my theory, somewhat similar to Reynolds' ill advised idea to use a sousaphone bell for a forward-facing lap tuba bell, so the upright bell is absurdly tall, but I have no confirmation that's really how it happened.)


I'll definitely have to do a side by side comparison if I can get lucky enough to nab both a sousaphone and a helicon. Sadly my high school only has crappy convertible horns (and Yamahas), and lots of band money laying around, but that's beyond me.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Rick Denney » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:51 pm

I might restate the question as "which tubas became the archetypes for later generations?"

The problem is that the archetypes became so because of who played them. One might say that the archetype for a large C rotary tubas was the Sander played by August Helleberg. But is it much different from the Cerveny that Bevan pictured from the 1870's? Or the Cerveny of 1850? We don't now when the first C rotary tuba came out, but we surely know about Helleberg.

And we don't know the exact history of the American grand orchestral tuba. There are examples that predate the one played by Arnold Jacobs, but it's certainly true that the York he played became an archetype, because he played it. Such was his influence.

Would Miraphone have been the IT tuba of the 70's, for much of the country, without Roger Bobo and his 188? The 1960's was a BIG decade for Miraphone.

And what about the Besson Sovereign Eb, without John Fletcher?

Some tubas don't have a specific progenitor that everyone recognizes as such. Certainly the Alexander 163 became a standard instrument for orchestra players simply because it was the way it was. I think the B&S Symphonie F tuba was likewise.

There are instruments that are historically important without being particularly important as tubas. Probably most of the tubas played by Bill Bell would fall into that category--those who have played those instrument have not thought to sell everything else and get one JUST LIKE it. I've even played one, and came away with greater admiration for Bill Bell and what he could do with equipment even more limited that the current stuff.

In terms of categories of instruments, there are rotary tubas, the largest of which are called kaisers. There are piston tubas of the Sax type, including all top-action instruments, that trace their way back to Adolphe Sax. And there are piston tubas of the front-action or side-valve type, which to my thinking are piston modifications of rotary tubas, with the advantage in many examples of being able to use a Sousaphone valve set. And there are helicons, of which Sousaphones were originally the bell-up version, which morphed into a bell-forward version. Which are the important examples of each? The one (whatever its qualities) played by the most influential performer.

So, the parent of top-action tubas is the saxhorn; the parent of rotary tubas is as much the Wieprecht tuba (with Berlinerpumpen, which are more like rotary valves than piston valves, despite the buttons) as modified by Cerveny with his valves that turned. Front-action piston tubas have a mixed parentage--Perinet valves from Sax and general architecture from Wieprecht/Cerveny. The parent of the sousaphone is the helicon.

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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby cjk » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:01 pm

I'd suggest to the original poster to locate and read Clifford Bevan's The Tuba Family and Donald Stauffer's A Treatise on the Tuba.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Matt G » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:05 pm

cjk wrote:I'd suggest to the original poster to locate and read Clifford Bevan's The Tuba Family and Donald Stauffer's A Treatise on the Tuba.


Yup.

Those are a really good place to start from.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby iiipopes » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:54 am

Start with the serpent, the ophicleide, and the Wieprecht-Moritz tuba of @ 1835. Everything else tuba related descends from these three instruments.
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Rick Denney » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:46 am

iiipopes wrote:Start with the serpent, the ophicleide, and the Wieprecht-Moritz tuba of @ 1835. Everything else tuba related descends from these three instruments.


Even the ophicleide descends from the English bass horn--a pre-key version of same, in the bassoon configuration.

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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby iiipopes » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:12 am

Rick Denney wrote:
iiipopes wrote:Start with the serpent, the ophicleide, and the Wieprecht-Moritz tuba of @ 1835. Everything else tuba related descends from these three instruments.


Even the ophicleide descends from the English bass horn--a pre-key version of same, in the bassoon configuration.

Rick "but the family tree is too jumbled to draw straight lines" Denney

Link to article regarding the English Bass Horn. I was unaware of this instrument. Thanks, Rick.
https://www.berliozhistoricalbrass.org/ ... s_horn.htm
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Snake Charmer » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:17 am

duo01.jpg

...talking 'bout an evolution?
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Doc » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:44 am

Snake Charmer wrote:
duo01.jpg

...talking 'bout an evolution?


I was wondering when you would post something like this. :mrgreen:
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Re: The "Most Important" Tubas - With Side Note

Postby Snake Charmer » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:48 pm

Tuba family small.jpg
I keep it in the family!
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