Historical development of the Bass tuba - Philipp Dangas

Historical development of the Bass tuba

Bass tuba graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Bass tuba in small representation

The Latin term "tuba" (from tubus = tube) originally refers to all straight, i.e. neither twisted nor bent horn instruments of antiquity, especially the tuba of the Romans.

In the history of modern orchestral instruments, the tuba plays an important role as the indirect predecessor of the busine, the main instrument of today's horns, trumpets and trombones. In the history of the development of European musical instruments, the term "tuba" appears throughout the centuries as a name or collective name for the most diverse types of wind instruments. It is the lowest of all common brass instruments. It has 3 to 6 valves and is one of the horn-like instruments due to its wide scale length and the correspondingly conical bore.

The first tubes were developed in Berlin around 1835, shortly after the invention of valve technology. This year, Wilhelm Wieprecht and Carl Wilhelm Moritz received a patent for a bass tuba in F with 5 valves. In the orchestra, the tuba is usually single, more rarely double. The tuba player himself decides whether a part is to be played with the bass or contrabass tuba based on a few aspects (e.g. pitch, volume, composer's wishes, sound conception, etc.). An orchestral tuba player must master both types of tuba with virtuosity. In German-speaking countries, the so-called alternation form has prevailed, i.e. the tuba player alternates between bass tuba (F) and contrabass tuba (Bb).

A prime example of the sound of the bass tuba
[music by Shostakovich, Dmitri]
Download size: 173 kilobytes
Use of the bass tuba in music
Music composer's Work Style of music
Richard Wagner The Mastersingers from Nuremberg Opera
Richard Strauss Salome Opera
Krzysztof Penderecki Capriccio Orchestra
Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra in F minor Orchestra
Paul Hindemith Sonata for Bass Tuba and Piano Chamber music