Blog #32
Blog #32: Instrument of the week
Brass Family

Brass Instruments

For the last four weeks, we are going to look at the four major families of instruments, to cover the broader topic, and more instruments before the year is out.  This week we will be looking at the brass family of instruments.
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Overview

brass instrument is a musical instrument that you play by blowing through a mouthpiece to change the pitch, or note.

With brass instruments, the sound starts at the lips. Their mouthpieces just help your lips buzz. It does not matter if the instrument is really made of brass, as long as it works that way.

It is not important what the instrument is made of. Some brass instruments are really made of wood, but are still called brass instruments, like the serpent. Other instruments are made of brass but do not work like this, like the saxophone. They are not called brass instruments although they are made of brass.

There are also parts of the instrument that change the resonance and thus the pitch, like slides or valves.

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Common Brass instruments in the U.S.


Trumpet
Trumpet

Trombone
Trombone

Horn/French Horn
Horn/French Horn

Tuba
Tuba

Euphonium
Euphonium

Cornet
Cornet

Flugelhorn
Flugelhorn

Baritone
Baritone

Sousaphone
Sousaphone

Mellophone
Mellophone
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Some brass instruments from around the globe

Alphorn
Alphorn

Conch Shell
Conch Shell

Didgeridoo
Didgeridoo

Jazzophone
Jazzophone

Keyed Bugle
Keyed Bugle

Keyed Trumpet
Keyed Trumpet/Haydn Trumpet

Serpent
Serpent

Ophicleide
Ophicleide

Shofar/Rams Horn
Shofar/Rams Horn

Vuvuzela
Vuvuzela

Lur
Lur

Sackbut
Sackbut

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Links


Brass Instrument background

List of Brass Instruments

How the valves work

Video about how brass instruments work
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Respond

Click this link to respond to the questions below

If you had to pick one of the instruments listed, which one would you be most interested in? Why?

Pick two of the instruments listed above and compare and contrast them. How do they sound similar? How do they sound different? What are the major differences in how they are built or played?