[Dixielandjazz] euphonium

Robert Smith robert.smith at tele2.no
Fri Jun 9 00:19:59 PDT 2006

Dear Bill Gunter

The range of the euphonium is more than three octaves. A three-valve 
euphonium goes from E (one octave plus a fifth below the bass stave) to F 
four octaves above the bottom E. There is, however, a gap from the Bb above 
the bottom E to the E above this lower Bb.
The four-valve euphonium compensates for this by turning the Bb instrument 
into an F instrument. This enables the above gap to be filled, and also 
extends the range downwards to C below the bottom E.
The normal top limit to the range is Bb below the F mentioned above, and I 
think it is pretty rare for music to be written above this Bb.

As far as the plural of "euphonium" is concerned, here is a paraphrase of an 
epic Flanders and Swann song:
... For one who spelling at a loss is
Who boldly spells euphoniosses
I've known a few, I can't say lots
Who call the beasts euphoniots,
Though they are not so bad, oh fie,
As those who say euphonii.
One I've heard, oh Holy Moses,
Who plainly said "euphonioses",
While possibly a fourth form boy
Might venture on euphonioi.
The moral that I draw from these is
"The plural's what one damn well pleases."

Kind Regards

Bob Smith 

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