The euphonium is a 4 valved tenor member of the brass family in the key of Bb. It is a non transposing instrument with mainly conical tubing and is the same length as a trombone.



The first composer to write for a euphonium like instrument was Wagner . Wagner wrote for a tuba (Wagnerian Tuba) which was a modified French horn. It had a slightly larger bore but was not as large as a modern tuba. The instruments Wagner scored for were in effect bass French horns.


Most band a some brass ensemble arrangements include parts written in treble clef for the Euphonium. These parts are written up a major 9th above the exact sounding pitches. The reason for these parts is many teachers transfer cornet or trumpet players to baritone and these players are usually unfamiliar with the bass clef.

The forth valve of a euphonium works like the F valve on a tenor trombone. When the fourth valve is depressed additional tubing is added to the instrument putting it in the key of F. This additional tubing increases the lower range of the instrument between the fundamental and the second partial. All 1&3 valves can be played 4, all 1 2 &3 valves can be played 2 & 4.


The tuba's ancestry includes primitive instruments like the shofar, buzine, and the Roman tuba. The Roman tuba some claim is the source of the name for the instruments.

Around the beginning of the seventeenth century, and instrument in the form of a letter S was developed. This instrument, known as the serpent, was approximately eight feet long and is generally accepted as the predecessor of the modern bass tuba.

The ophicleide, the bass instrument of the keyed bugle family, was the accepted bass of the military band until the middle of the last century.

The most common tuba is a BB-flat instrument which is exactly one octave lower than the euphonium. Orchestral players usually prefer the CC tuba. Tubas are usually manufactured with three or four piston or rotary valves.


The Eb tuba and F tubas are less popular and are used in chamber music. These instruments can have up to 6 valves with the 5th and 6th valves extending the range down to the BB-flat instrument.

Tuba Fingering Chart