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Wind Brass

The euphonium is a conical-bore, tenor-voiced brass instrument. It derives its name from the Greek word euphonos, meaning "well-sounding" or "sweet-voiced" (eu means "well" or "good" and phonos means "of sound", so "of good sound"). The euphonium is a valved instrument; nearly all current models are piston valved, though rotary valved models do exist.

A person who plays the euphonium is sometimes called a euphoniumist, euphophonist, or a euphonist, while British players often colloquially refer to themselves as euphists. Similarly, the instrument itself is sometimes referred to as eupho or euph.


Construction and general characteristics

The euphonium (like the baritone; see below for differences) is pitched in concert B, meaning that when no valves are in use the instrument will produce partials of the B harmonic series. In North America, music for the instrument is usually written in the bass clef at concert pitch (that is, without transposition), though treble clef euphonium parts, transposing down a major ninth, are included in much concert band music.[note 1] In the British-style brass band tradition, euphonium music is always written this way. It can also be written in tenor clef at concert pitch, which is usually done to prevent too many ledger lines in case it is a high part. In continental European music, parts for the euphonium are sometimes written in the bass clef a major second higher than sounding.

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