Baritone Vs Euphonium

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Napiman, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Napiman

    Napiman New Member

    Hi guys&gals,

    I am a trombone player who originated playing the baritone horn. Over the years I learnt to play trumpet and tuba too but recently been asked to play baritone in a brass band and need help on whether to buy a baritone or a euphonium. I have been debating for a long while to buy one or the other but not sure which to go for :-? any help would be greatfully appreciated,

    many thanks,

    Liam
     
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  3. simonium

    simonium Member

    I'll bite! Euphonium every time. The baritone is a vital component of the band and in terms of scoring is often of more importance than the euphonium BUT, the parts allocated to tenor banjo are more enjoyable, the instrument has a unique sound unrivaled in the band (except perhaps for flugel horn) and the instrument itself is beautiful to behold.
     
  4. Napiman

    Napiman New Member

  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    tricky choice.

    Baritone - over-sized tenor horn

    Euphonium - under-sized bass (tuba)

    Stick to trombone, a real instrument

    :)
     
  6. Napiman

    Napiman New Member

    haha, well im still gunna be playing trombone for my uni course its just for a brass band i need to play either the euph or bari as they already have too many trombones
     
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    If the band that's asked you to play baritone has an available instrument, then use that and don't rush into buying anything until you've given it a go.

    With the best will in the world, please don't make any decisions based on the answers you get here! Euph players will tell you to stick to euph and bari players will tell you to get a baritone - each instrument/part has its own unique qualities, challenges and rewards, and only you will know which suits you best. Imho you need to try euph and bari parts on the right instrument to get a clear idea.

    If you're happy playing baritone, then buy a baritone - simples! But whichever instrument you decide to go with, don't buy anything without doing a lot of research and trying different models first.
     
  8. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Thomann offer great value for money across many of their lines - this is a non-compensating instrument and it might be worth spending a little more on a compensating Euph.
    Our band has just bought an Instrument from Wessex Tubas which was excellent value.
     
  9. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    Due to my lack of experience in brass banding, I imagine my view won't be that useful, but I imagine that the band can supply you with a bari, if thats the position you'll be taking, so perhaps see what playing baritone is like, and try a fellow band members euphonium to gauge a difference. In terms of musical importance, my limited experience is that baritone will often get challenging parts, but will be quite low in a band setting, and very rarely takes the solos. I've heard it described as the Cinderella of the brass band; useful and beautiful in its own right, but often overlooked.

    Euphonium is a real mixed bag, depending on what you get assigned to play. Anything from solos, with a band backing, countermelodies, octave up BBb bass parts, anything. A lot more versatile, and many prefer the tone, but as a baritone player, I'm obviously going to be more biased to my instrument, but I often practice euphonium parts to work on more melodic parts, and to work on intricacy and speed, and I prefer the sound of a bari played well, to a badly played euph.
     
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Most, if not all, bands will have a Baritone that you can use. Do not buy one!
     
  11. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    I like the solidity of the Baritone.

    Something about Euphoniums thats a bit too soft for me (in a nice way).
    When I write music I always offer Euphoniums mellow moments. because thats what I feel they do best.
    Or :oops: I think of them as more agile in the upper Bass register.

    Baritone has more charicter for me.

    One of my favourite brass band recordings (and I don't have many been a Jimmy Hendrix fan) is Variations on a 9th - Sunlife
    Cornet, Horn, Baritone and Euphonium all have sequential cadenza.
    Its the Baritone that hits the spot for me (although the valves rattle badly on the recording)
    When the Euphonium comes in, its possibly like a band on its own...
    HUGE sound and range with soft equatic fluidity. but too march mallowy for my personal taste,
    like a synthesizer with the treble turned right down.
    By comparison the Baritone has a more claritable edge to its tone for me.

    I have been told by baritone players that many baritone parts are all over the place.
    Composers treating the instrument as glue holding the upper and lower band together.
    So... its possibly the more interesting choice from that point of view.
    and its not as big to carry.

    Trombones rock though :)
     
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  13. simonium

    simonium Member

    In fairness that's because it's Lyndon Baglin and no-one has come even remotely close to equalling the amount of sound he produced. In the recent Foden's recording (Glyn Williams on euph) the difference is much less. For me one of my favourite euph moments is the reprise of the main tune in Black Dyke's European winning performance of The Essence Of Time in 1990, Morgan Griffiths swooning over the band in a way that no baritone could ever do.
     
  14. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    You beat me to it Simon, was just about to suggest that Lyndon Baglin's sound is just about unique. Interesting that you quote Morgan too, his sound is much, much lighter. Still quality though! Two superb performers, but sound wise they're like chalk and cheese.
     
  15. simonium

    simonium Member


    Great minds eh?! I personally feel that a sound like Lyndon's is utterly unique and I love it because it's euph on steroids, but for my playing I prefer Morgan's sound because of its delicacy (there is some top class roaring on Fairey's Enigma CD too); it's also the reason I've just picked up a 966 hooter. :)
     
  16. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    So we are all on the same page when describing the sonic abilities of the euphonium at its best. :)
    Probably the most flexible instrument and very much at the heart of many many arrangements.

    If a Euphonium is silk

    The Baritone is velvet with a unique charicteristic nap

    I guess we could go through many materials throughout the band LOL
    any takers for Draylon ?
     
  17. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    You can get a fully compensating Euphonium for John Packers 4V for only a little more than the one you have shown. A far better bang for your Bucks.
     
  18. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member


    If they have asked you to play Baritone, why even think about Euph ? or am I missing something ?
     
  19. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    :clap: I'm so glad I'm not the only one thinking that!
    Not many things sound worse or b*gger up the sound and balance of the band more than bari parts being played on euphoniums imho.
    If you've been asked to play baritone and you're happy to do it, then please use the right instrument!
     
  20. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Oh, and use a proper baritone. 2/3 cylidrical, 1/3 conical. Not one of those 4 valve monstrosities that is half and half and has a bore so big it's like a small bore euphonium.
     
  21. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I thought that went without saying ;)
     
  22. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Unless of course he fancies buying a tenor horn and giving the Baritone part a go on that !!!!
     

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