Posted by Chuck on September 25, 2001 at 12:19:57:
In Reply to: Dumb Question posted by Allan on September 25, 2001 at 11:36:31:
Definitely not a dumb question. When people refer to the key of a tuba, they are referring to the fundamental pitch of the instrument (not the pedal tone fingered open, but the first regular tone fingered open). In music theory, a pitch can be referred to in shorthand by a letter arrangement. "Middle C" on the piano is referred to as "c." An octave below that is "C," and an octave below that is "CC". An octave above "middle c" is notated "c'". So when people refer to a BBb tuba, the fundamental pitch is BBb, two octaves below "middle c."
So technically, an EEb tuba would be larger than a BBb tuba. They are probably mistakenly referring to an Eb tuba. The usual keys of tuba are BBb, CC, Eb, F. A euphonium is in the key of Bb.