The store will be open on October 1, 2018! Dismiss

The Contrabass

The Double Bass is the first transposing instrument encountered in a traditional orchestration class. Printed notes sound an octave lower. The double bass can play incredibly low - near the bottom of our hearing range. Although E is listed as the bottom range, some basses have a C extension that allows them to descend...

"The Contrabass"Continue reading

The Cello

The cello is tuned an octave lower than the viola. While it is not uncommon for the cello to play in both the alto clef and even the treble clef, I suggest for ensemble passages to stay within the practical range. The cello is known is used for its rich tone quality and has...

"The Cello"Continue reading

The Viola

The viola is a versatile instrument which can serve as a "3rd violin", bridge the voicing between the violin and cello, or double the cello line or second violin for greater reinforcement. The tone quality of the viola is slightly darker and has almost a muted quality to it compared to the violin. Its...

"The Viola"Continue reading

The Violin

The Violin is the highest string instrument used in the modern orchestra. Typically, violins are divided into two sections - first violins and second violins. As with all string instruments, it has a wide range, capable of playing well-above the practical range indicated through the use of harmonics. The lowest two strings have a...

"The Violin"Continue reading

The Tuba

The tuba is the lowest member of the brass family, often reading music ledger lines below the bass clef. Unlike the string bass, it is not a transposing instrument. As the largest brass instrument, it is the least agile of its family, and rarely plays fast runs outside of solos. The timbre of the...

"The Tuba"Continue reading

The Trombone

Literally meaning "large trumpet" (Trombe->Trumpet, One->big), the trombone shares a similar timbre to the trumpet. In the past, the instrument has been used ominously, often signaling evil characters in opera. However, this association is no longer true to the general usage of the instrument. The range of the tenor trombone can be increased with...

"The Trombone"Continue reading

The Horn in F

Erroneously called the french horn, the horn traces its ancestry to Germany. The modern double horn is a new addition to the orchestra, first emerging in the late 1800s in Germany. The instrument is pitched in two keys B-flat and F, and the use of the thumb trigger switches between the two "sides' of...

"The Horn in F"Continue reading

The Euphonium

The Euphonium and Baritone are closely-related instruments.  The most-significant difference is the shape of the bell. The Euphonium's bell points upwards while the baritone typically has a bell bent slightly outward. In addition, some players (typically those that label themselves as "baritones" read in the treble clef, as a transposing instrument. Those that read...

"The Euphonium"Continue reading

Brass Ensembles

The Brass Quintet: The traditional brass quintet consists of two trumpets, a horn, trombone, and tuba. A brass sextet adds the euphonium. When writing for this group, it is typical to use a SA-TB-B voicing, where the trumpets and horn and trombone are in pairs with the tuba covering the bass. Due to the...

"Brass Ensembles"Continue reading

The Trumpet

The trumpet is the highest member of the brass family. It has a cultural association with nobility and ceremony. As a result, it is not uncommon to write short fanfares within pieces. It is a transposing instrument, with the most commonly used trumpet pitched in B-flat. Other trumpets exist, notably the C trumpet (used...

"The Trumpet"Continue reading
Scroll to top