Annealing -- can it be 'undone'?

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Posted by Joe Baker on December 28, 1999 at 11:04:19:

I asked this as an addendum to a lengthy post, buried in one of those re:re:re:... deals, and got no response, so I'll ask it as the main point here.

As I understand it, brass is annealed (softened by heating to glowing red then allowing to cool) to make it easier to work. Now I hear some horns described as being 'soft' brass. Is this what is meant, or is it the composition of the brass? If it IS annealing, can it be 'undone'. I understand that as the brass is worked it loses its annealing, but once the instrument is finished is there a way to harden it up? Seems to me this might help with some of the more fragile tubas, e.g. the St. Pete. What say you, Joe, Matt and others with hands on knowledge?

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