The first edition of THE TUBA FAMILY was published by Faber & Faber (Scribner in the USA) in 1978 and made an instant impression. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme described it as ‘the most unexpected publishing event of the year’.                               


Following continuing research and increasing awareness of historic performing practice, the second edition, published in 2000, is a significant improvement on the first, with 640 pages (compared with 303), 16 chapters, a 33-page index, 16 tables, 100 music examples, 100 illustrations, 8 appendices and 23-page bibliography.


This family of instruments (called by organologists the ‘valved bugle-horns’) is immense: there are over 700 names in the Glossary. The instruments date back in time to one of the earliest signalling horns, the bugle (horn of the bugle or young ox), became more versatile with the addition of finger-holes in the 11th century, provided a deeper range of notes through the serpent at the end of the 16th century and reached their highest state of perfection following the invention of the valve about 1813.


The family provides virtually the entire instrumentation of the British brass band (except for the cornets and trombones), is found in wind bands of all sorts and, particularly in the form of the bass and contrabass tubas, in symphonic and operatic orchestras.







Preface to the Second Edition.




I           The valved bugle-horn and its acoustics

               The acoustics

II          Serpents and bass horns

               The serpent

               Upright serpents

               The English bass horn

               The music

               The players

               The serpent revival

 III         Keyed bugles and ophicleides

               The keyed bugle

               The ophicleide

               Monster ophicleides

               The music

               The players

               The ophicleide revival

IV         Valves, valve-systems and the first tubas

               Compensating devices

               The first tubas

               Valved ophicleides

V          Tenor tuba and euphonium

               The instrument

               The music

VI         Saxhorns and other families

VII        The contemporary tuba

VIII       Instruments and music: Germany and Austria

               The Viennese Concert Tuba

IX         Instruments and music: Eastern Europe

X          Instruments and music: France

XI         Instruments and music: America

XII        Instruments and music: Britain

               The English F Tuba

               Post-war practice

XIII       Instruments and music: Italy

XIV       The tuba outside the orchestra

               Tuba in the band

               Tuba in the small ensemble

               Tuba as soloist

               Tuba in jazz

               Tuba and the avant-garde

               Tuba on radio, stage and film

XV        Helicon, Sudrephone, the duplex and other exotica

               The helicon

               The Antoniophone

               The Sudrephone

               The Wagner Tuben

               Cornons and cornophones

               Tenor Cors and Mellophones


               Saxtubas and Kornette-Instrumente

               Duplex instruments

XVI       Low brass in the nineteenth-century orchestra

               Mendelssohn and the bass problem

               International demands on Rossini

               Verdi and the cimbasso

               Wagner and the contrabass trombone

               [Royal] Philharmonic Society, London

               Hallé Orchestra, Manchester

               Appropriate instruments and techniques


Appendix A: The Baβ-Tuba Patent

Appendix B: Glossaries

               1. Terms derived from the Roman tuba

               2. Valved bugle-horns and related instruments

Appendix C: Lists

               1. Serpent presence indicated in parts, scores, etc.

               2. Historic players of serpent, bass horn and ophicleide

               3. English orchestral tubists c. 1870-1930

4. Contemporary makers of musical instruments and accessories

    mentioned in this book                                                                                                           

               5. Collections of musical instruments mentioned in this book



            Composer index of references to the use of tuba family instruments



ISBN 1 872203 30 2. 640 pages. £35 UK; £42.50 Elsewhere.

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