The Bore of the French Tuba Companed to Euphonium, by Glenn Call.
by, 10-19-2005 at 06:00 PM (264 Views)
Editorial remarks by Glenn Call.
A favorite arguing point of mine has been resolved in print. I have often been told by "authorities" (the type who assume "common knowledge" -- their opinion, that is -- needs no factual foundation or documentation) that the "small C French tuba" has a bore size substantially larger than any Euphonium used today. This "fact" is used to argue that Euphoniumists have no business bothering with the enormous range of fine literature written for this instrument, often referred to as "Saxhorn bases in Si flat" or "tuba ut". The bore size of today's Euphoniums is quite as large as many large bass trombones, however, and self compensation makes playing below the bass clef staff quite practical. The "tuba ut" has a length one foot shorter than the nine foot Bb Euphonium. Is it very logical to give it a bore size much larger than the already quite large Bb Euphonium? I say not.
The lower brass family has lately been blessed with a marvelous book that takes the Euphonium and its kin out of the dark ages of speculation and heresy. Mr. Clifford Bevan has given us his "The Tuba Family" to resolve our arguments and to salve our curiosities as well as to bring us and our instruments to a better understanding in the most explicit terms. Filled with facts, figures and illustrations, and very readable, Clifford Bevan's "The Tuba Family" (which includes a special chapter devoted to the Euphonium!), is a must for all of us who take our instruments seriously.
Oh, the bore of the "French tuba?" From Mr. Bevan's book, the bore measured will be a minimum of 13mm and a maximum of 15mm. From the preceding issue of Euphonia, which agrees with Clifford's book, we see that the Bb Euphonium can have a bore ranging from 14.22 to 17 milliliters. This should open a whole world of repertoire for the purists among us, Thank you Mr. Bevan!
NOTE: this article is reprinted from Euphonia magazine, January, 1979, with permission of the publisher, Glenn Call. This post will be changed to a webpage in the near future, and will be found under the Euphonium menu on the main site.