The EUPHONIUM is usually built in an upright pattern, with three or (more commonly) four valves of the piston type. The bore is relatively large and strongly conical, making the sound of the instrument dark and rich. The range of the instrument is similar to that of the baritone or trombone, however, low notes are generally better in quality than on the smaller-bore instruments.
The tone color of the euphonium is the most mellow in the brass band (with the possible exception of the flügelhorn). A comparison of the timbre of the upper and lower groups of B-flat instruments shows that each group has a bright, moderate, and dark member.
|Upper Choir||Lower Choir||Tone Color|
Role in the Brass Band
The euphonium is the principal tenor voice of the brass band. Its role is similar to that of the cello in a symphony orchestra. The sound is more powerful than that of the baritone, although it can be overwhelmed by the bright instruments such as cornets and trombones. In Salvation Army music, the euphonium is often assigned the counter-melody (for example, in the Band Tune Book, the euphonium book contains both the melody and any counter-melody, with the counter-melody being the preferred part).
The classic brass band format has two euphoniums, with the part being frequently divided. The euphonium is also extensively used as a solo instrument, second only to the cornet.