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Posted by Joseph Felton on June 22, 1999 at 09:07:49:

In Reply to: RANGE OF A TUBA (HELP)!!! posted by jon schultz on June 21, 1999 at 14:28:35:

To the best of my knowledge a low pedal F is just above 20 hertz and the pedal E is just below 20 hertz. If you get much lower than this most peoples ears can't hear the pitch anyhow. With a double whole step fifth valve it is possible to play a full octave below the fundamental of an instrument. On my F tuba the doubel pedal F isn't a problem and sounds quite good to my ears. On my CC the pedal E still has good sound quality. The Eb is a little dubious but I wouldn't be afraid to write it in a piece of music. And the D, Db, and C all sound the same to my ears. At this point I'm not certain whether this is a result of my chops not buzzing low enough of my ears being unable to hear the piches that low. My lips are most definately flapping in the breeze and sound is coming out of the bell. To be frank, I'm not all that worried about it at this point. Pedal Eb is still pretty low. ;b

My point, there isn't a significant difference in the low range of different pitched tubas.

The upper register on all brass instruments is merely a product of the player. I've always been able to play just as high on any brass instrument. I can play a C three octave above middle c(the one on a keyboard) on my CC tuba pretty consistently without using lots of pressure or turning five shades of red. The sound isn't all that big but it is definately not a squeek either... and I'm able to sustain it. Interestingly enough, last time I bothered to blow a trumpet(it has been quite a while) I was able to hit the same pitch and it had the same smallness to it. I'm pretty sure that if I put the time in on either instrument I would be able to get my sound and range in that extreme range to grow. As a tubist this isn't exactly a priority. Interestinly enough, when I get tired.. it isn't my range that suffers, it is my note accuracy.

I think that the main reasons for using differently pitched instruments is for the timbral differences. A secondary reason is that some peices may lay easier in the range or finger pattern of a specifically keyed instrument. A third benefit of higher pitched tubas is that as your chops get tired and note accuracy begins to suffer.. there is a litle bit more wiggle room for error on a higher pitches instrument.

Thoughts, suggestions, interjections and disagreements are very welcome on this topic. These are just my current ideas on this topic and subject to change at my discretion. ;b

joseph :)

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