Friends of valved low brass instruments (i.e.,all serious musicians worth more than $0.02)
This instrument is a belgian version (made by Mahillon) of the FRENCH TUBA that Maurice Ravel had in mind in his orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition. In its day (perhaps up to the 40s or 50s), it was the standard orchestral tuba in France.
What makes it unique??
*It has the bore size of a TUBA.(1)
*It takes a TUBA mouthpiece.(2)
*BUT it is in 9-ft Bb or 8-ft. C like a euphonium, NOT 18-ft Bb or 16-ft. C like a tuba.
*It has 6 valves but is totally incapable of playing in tune (only partially kidding) in any register.
*Theoretical range was from lowest B on the piano to Bb or so above middle C on the Bb horn, step higher for the C.
*But low notes were stuffy due to all the tubing necessary to make them...
*And high notes were strained because of the relative largeness of the bore and mouthpiece.
*This latter factor is what made Ravel write the Bydlo passage in Pictures for this instrument. It's supposed to portray a lugubrious oxcart, fully loaded, trudging up a hill. It ain't supposed to sound pretty! The high note of the passage is G# above middle C, which sounds appropriately strained on this instrument, even when played well.
THIS IS ONLY PART OF WHAT YOU WILL LEARN WHEN SNORLAX POSTS HIS LONG-THREATENED...errrr...PROMISED TUBA TOOT-ORIAL WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THE SECRETS OF LOW BRASS, VALVE AND SLIDE, WILL BE REVEALED TO YOU. PREVIOUSLY, THESE SECRETS COULD ONLY BE REVEALED TO QUALIFIED GRADUATE ART STUDENTS OVER 21 WITH UNLIMITED SUPPLIES OF GUINNESS.
BUT FOR A COST OF ZERO*, THESE SECRETS WILL BE YOURS! IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH STATEMENTS LIKE "Ahhh...I see your fifth valve is a quart and not a quint," "For truly popless slurs, vent your pistons!," and "My oh my, Agnes, you have the two biggest CC Cervenys I've ever seen!"
I KNOW YOU CAN'T WAIT, BUT YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO. THERE IS SOME WORK YET TO BE DONE.
NO MORE CRAPPY WRITING FOR TUBA...COMPOSERS & ARRANGERS, TAKE HEED!! GREAT TUBA PARTS=MULTIPLE PERFORMANCES and WILD AUDIENCE RAPTURE. ALSO=BEER FROM GRATEFUL PERFORMERS.
BE THE FIRST IN YOUR INSTRUMENTATION CLASS TO PUT THESE POWERFUL SECRETS TO WORK. YOU WILL NOT KNOW THE DAY OR TIME, BUT WHEN YOU TRY TO LOG IN AND THE FORUM SAYS "SERVER TOO (*&*(^*& BUSY," YOU'LL KNOW THAT THE TUBA TOOT-ORIAL IS UP!!
With your welfare firmly in mind...Snorlax.
*Snorlax accepts liquid or solid charity.