[Dixielandjazz] euphonium

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 8 09:01:08 PDT 2006

Hi all,

This isn't a dumb question (at least I don't think so) but I'm interested in 
just what a "euphonium" is.

Now I'm in the Cell Block 7 Jazz Band and we field (from time to time) three 
(3) double bell euphoniums honking away in three part harmony (beautiful 
deep brass sound). I love those horns (what's not to love?).

Anyway, I also know that there are a variety of horns which belong to the 
euphonium family. So naturally I wanted to know pre-zactly what is it that 
defines a "euphonium."  To this end I went to my on-line Merriam-Webster and 
looked it up:

"a brass instrument smaller than but resembling
a tuba and having a range from B flat below the
bass staff upward for three octaves"

This didn't tell me much. For example, this definition would seem to exclude 
tubas.  Is or is not a tuba a euphonium?

I listened to Westy Westenhofer play a double bell euphonium when he sat in 
with the Cell Block 7 last year in Pismo Beach. It seemed to me that Westy 
blew a bigger range than 3 octaves.

Seems like a rather large variety of horns qualify as euphoniums.

So . . .

(1) What, precisely is a euphonium (does the word "conical" fit in here 

(2) What is the plural of euphonium (probably depends on which grammar rules 
you follow)?

Respectfully submitted,

Bill "is this a stupid question or what!" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

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