6 valve euphoniums

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Veri, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Veri

    Veri Member

  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I suspect it's an old-style French tuba (especially as the maker is French). These were built in 8 foot C (i.e. a tone *higher* than a euphonium), with 6 valves to reach the low notes. Ravel wrote the tuba solo in 'Bydlo' from his famous orchestration of Musorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' for one of these (it goes up to a high G# repeatedly - A# in euphonium transposing treble clef terms. A bit high for a normal size tuba!)
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sure Charley Brighton (Higham's) will give a fuller explanation in due course - the link is to his site ;) - but if I understand it correctly, you basically have two sets of slides, one for the lower notes and one for the higher ones. It was a way of improving intonation before compensating systems had been refined, but it did make for rather heavy instruments!
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    No, I don't think so, Peter - that's the "enharmonic" system you're describing, which only requires the usual number of valves, and was a British invention. I think Charley has a photo of one of those somewhere on his site too.

    The extra valves will be to aid tuning on low notes (if you look carefully, you'll see that there's no compensating system employed, so it shouldn't blow too stuffily down there, but with the inherent tuning difficulties of a non-compensating system, this many valves become necessary). I think they are ordered:
    1st valve: 1 tone (as usual)
    2nd valve: semitone (as usual)
    3rd valve: 1 1/2 tones (as usual)
    4th valve: 2 1/2 tones (as usual), or maybe 2 tones (did occur, I have a valve trombone that does this. It's Czech, not French, though.)
    5th valve: 1 tone + a bit (often employed on modern big orchestral tubas)
    6th valve: something long! Maybe a perfect 5th?
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Peter and Dave beat me to it! I believe Charley Brighton plays on a six(?) valve Highams euph (hence his username I guess!) so I dare say he knows the exact machanics of how they work.

    What I'm more interested in is why does the "euph and bari homepage" have a picture of a flugel on it? I believe its an Exbrass flugel - I saw a picture of one on trumpetreview.com ages ago and I've been curious to find out more about it since, especially the benefits of that "wired" bell (more resonance?).
  7. Veri

    Veri Member

    Wow - thank you guys! I was just idly browsing the internet, as one does when it's the week before Easter, and you don't really want to be at work. What a lot I've learned...
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    You may be right, Dave, and I think I was getting confused with one of the early Highams 5-valve compensating instruments which have seen and heard him play.

    There's more info on these early instruments in this article Charley wrote for another forum:
  9. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    There's other brass forums? Wicked! See ya!!!!:biggrin:
  10. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: