Posted by Tom on June 21, 1999 at 23:20:18:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: RANGE OF A TUBA (HELP)!!! posted by James on June 21, 1999 at 22:16:21:
In response to Sean. I think we have a slight misunderstanding.
An F tuba, with a conventional set of 5 valves (flat whole step 5th valve), can play down to about a pedal Gb (below the last A on the piano). Apart from any kind of lipping that can occur, that is the lowest theoretical note. The length of the entire tube dictates this. The only way to change this is add more valves or pull the slides out further.
A CC tuba, with the same valve setup, can play (theoretically) down to about a pedal D flat (below the Gb played by the F). The length of the entire tube also dictates this. However, if a player cannot play down to these pitches anyway, than to that person, there is no perceivable range difference.
One of the main reasons many players use Eb's or F's for upper range work has to do with the overtone series. As you get into the sixth, seventh, eighth partials (G, Bb, and C at the top of the staff) on a CC tuba, things get a bit close (intervals between partials get smaller). This gets magnified as we get into the 9th and 10th partials and beyond. On a bass tuba (Eb and F), the 6th - 8th partials are C, Eb and F above the staff. This makes pitch accuracy much more reliable for the typical player in that range, although it still requires the lips to buzz at that frequeny, regardless of the equipement. Ask a trumpet player, that, if given a choice, would they rather play the Haydn Concerto on an E flat trumpet, or a Bb trumpet. While many can do it on both, most would prefer to do it on an E flat.
Another reason is the quality of sound. You will notice on this list many postings re: f tubas and people's sound preferences. The f tuba will have a different sound than a CC tuba due to the absence of many of the low overtones that you hear in a contrabass tuba (BBb and CC) sound. This has a lot to do with the typical bore, flare and construction of an f tuba vs. a CC or BBb.
If I bored anyone by this, please forgive me. I am writing this while listening to the NBA Finals, so I have plenty of time.
Best wishes to all,