Posted by js on June 30, 2002 at 23:10:31:
In Reply to: Re: German and American "sound" posted by Doug on June 30, 2002 at 21:31:20:
The thing is, there are bells that look like chimneys (supposedly "German"), bells that look like wide vases (supposedly "American")...
AND there is a THIRD MAJOR TYPE OF BELL (if not more) - the "English" bell flair - expands fairly wide (like "American") but tips out gently on the end (like "German"). This "ENGLISH" type of bell flair is copied by Yamaha on their large school instruments and on their 3/4 instruments. Further with Taiwan and Brazilian copies of Yamaha 3/4 instruments, this "English" shape has been further duplicated...and of course this shape appears on instruments that most seem to agree to call "euphoniums" (I'm not getting into that humorous monologue again).
NOW, as to the "distinctive sounds" of these bell shapes: Over my thirty-plus years of listening to myself and others blow through these various shaped bells, the main thing I've noticed (FAR AND ABOVE ANYTHING THE BELLS HAD TO OFFER) is that many people sound not-so-good, some people sound quite good, and a few people sound marvelous. These same groups seem to sound the same (bad, OK, or amazing) regardless of the tubas they happen to be currently playing...and the sounds they make (regardless of bell shape) almost always seem to be identified as "that person's" sound.