what is a marching tuba called

what is a marching tuba called

There are some main similarities and variations between Tuba and Sousaphone. The tuba belongs to the brass group of devices. As a brass instrument, it produces the bottom pitch among the many brass devices. It additionally produces sound by lip vibration made into its giant mouthpiece. As an instrument, it belongs to the brand new youngsters on the block. It made its first look within the center years of the nineteenth century. At current, live performance bands and orchestra usually have the tuba part of their ensembles.

The sousaphone, nevertheless, is an innovation over tuba. As a redesigned tuba, it additionally has nearly the identical dimension as that of the tuba. The sousaphone was originated by the favored American composer and conductor, John Philip Sousa. Thus, it was named after him. He first conceived of it as a alternative for the massive tuba and the helicon, that are impractical to be used in a marching band.

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As an innovation over the tuba, the sousaphone carries a particular design that’s handy for marching bands. It nonetheless has the identical tubing size as that of the tuba. But, the primary variations between the 2 lie in its sap, which makes it simple to suit across the participant’s physique and its bell, which positions itself over the musician’s head. Plus, you may detach its bell for simple storage.

The sousaphone’s bell is probably the most outstanding characteristic that distinguishes it from the tuba. Its bell sits naturally on the suitable shoulder of the participant and faces ahead. Thus, the sousaphone can challenge its sound ahead. However, the tuba’s bell faces upward. Moreover, you’d play the tuba whereas seated, whilst you would play the sousaphone whereas standing. This permits the person of sousaphone to deal with enjoying it properly, even when the person is standing.

All through the years, the sousaphone has grow to be symbolic of troupes and marching bands. As a brass instrument, the sousaphone seems cumbersome and heavy, with its 12.5 kilograms of weight. But, its weight is lowered to three kilograms whether it is wrought in ABS resin supplies.

Contents cover What Do These Two Brass Devices Have in Frequent? What Are The Main Variations Between Sousaphone & Tuba? Pitch Form Sizes Utilization Conclusion Associated Posts:

What Do These Two Brass Devices Have in Frequent?

The tuba and the sousaphone have some succinct similarities other than each belonging to the tuba household of devices. Earlier than the invention of the sousaphone, it wasn’t simple to make use of the tuba for marching bands. Therefore, they wrapped tuba across the physique of the tubist when utilized by cavalry bands, they usually name this sort of tuba “helicon.” Tubas and helicons even have nearly the identical important tube’s size as that of the sousaphone.

Specialists model the sousaphone as a sort of tuba. Chances are you’ll mistake one for the opposite for those who don’t have a eager eye for musical devices.

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The tuba, as a brass instrument, has the bottom tonal vary. Its main pitches embrace B♭, C, E♭, and F. You’ll be able to categorize the tubas based on pitch. Primarily based on these pitches, the tuba’s important tube varies from 18 ft for Bb, 16 ft for C, 13 ft for Eb, and 12 ft for F tuba. Sousaphone additionally carries these main pitches, and each could have variations in buildings, based mostly on the pitch it produces.

In relation to sound manufacturing, each devices produce nearly the identical sounds. The sousaphone, for instance, produces sound by shifting air by way of the lips. This causes the lips to vibrate into the mouthpiece as that of the tuba.

Each devices are additionally made from sheet brass. They each are available silver, yellow, gold plated, or lacquer choices. But, the sousaphone could also be wrought in fiberglass. Furthermore, the elements performed by this instrument are often inscribed in live performance pitch. Regardless of having a restricted vary than the tuba, the sousaphone can play all of the elements written for tuba.

What Are The Main Variations Between Sousaphone & Tuba?

The tuba and the sousaphone, regardless of being in the identical musical instrument household, have apparent variations. As talked about above, chances are you’ll not distinguish their variations for those who don’t have a eager eye for musical devices and in case you are not musically inclined. Listed below are a number of variations between these two musical devices which might be noteworthy:


Sousaphone Pitch: The sousaphones largely come within the BB♭ (Low B Flat) key. The tubas, alternatively, are available BB♭, CC, EE♭, and F keys. The sousaphone has a extra restricted vary as in comparison with their counterpart live performance tubas. And as an alternative of getting 4 valves, they solely have 3 valves for weight discount.

Tuba Pitch: As talked about earlier, the tubas come in numerous pitches, and you may categorize them based on pitches. The contrabass tubas, for instance, are the lowest-pitched tubas. They’re pitched in B♭ or C. They’re additionally referred to as BB♭ or CC tubas. The CC tubas have a elementary pitch of 32 Hz, whereas the BB♭ tubas have a elementary pitch of 29Hz.

There are additionally bass tubas. These tubas are pitched in E♭ or F. There are additionally the tenor tubas, pitched in B♭. They’re pitched increased than the BB♭ contrabass tubas by an octave. There are additionally the euphonium or tenor tubas. They’re pitched one octave increased than these of the BB♭ contrabass tubas. There are additionally subcontrabass tubas, however these tubas are very uncommon.


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The sousaphone comes with a bell that you would be able to place proper above our head whenever you play this instrument. Its bell initiatives ahead as in comparison with the tuba’s bell, which initiatives upward. It additionally has a large bell as in comparison with the tuba. The Conn mannequin 20K, for instance, which got here out within the Nineteen Thirties, comes with a 0.734 of an inch bore.

Furthermore, the sousaphone’s design permits it to suit snugly into the physique of the participant. You’ll be able to prop it up in your left shoulder. However, the tuba has a bell form that doesn’t attain the participant’s head. Furthermore, you play it whereas seated.


Sousaphone Dimension: The sousaphone comes with a really giant bore, which might be round 0.750 inches. It additionally options an outsized bell that may be as giant as 32 inches in diameter.

Tuba Dimension: The tuba, alternatively, comes with diversified lengths for its important tube. It could be 18 ft, 16 ft, 13 ft, and 12 ft. It additionally has a conical bore that will increase in diameter alongside the size of the tubing.


Sousaphone Makes use of: The sousaphone has a design that means that you can carry it round whereas enjoying it. It’s designed explicitly for marching bands and troupes.

Tuba Makes use of: However, you should utilize the tuba for various performances comparable to in brass ensembles, orchestras, jazz bands, live performance bands, and wind bands. There could also be one or two tubas in a efficiency, comparable to within the case of navy bands which have 2 or extra tubas.


Tagged as the 2 greatest devices of the brass household, the sousaphone and the tuba might be simply confused with one another. These two devices, in fact, are akin to one another and are nearly the identical. Thus, if you understand how to play the sousaphone, additionally, you will know learn how to play the tuba. They’re additionally simple to play. So, if you wish to grasp this instrument, you shouldn’t hesitate to study the rudiments of enjoying these two nice devices.

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