Instruments of a Brass Band


The baritone horn, or sometimes just called baritone, is a low-pitched brass instrument in the saxhorn family. It is a piston-valve brass instrument with a bore that is mostly conical, like the flugelhorn and alto (tenor) horn, but is narrower than the conical bore of the euphonium. It uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece like that of its peers, the trombone and euphonium. Like the trombone and the euphonium, the baritone horn can be considered either a transposing or non-transposing instrument.

In the UK, the baritone horn is frequently found in brass bands. In concert band music, there is often a part marked baritone, but these parts are most commonly played on and intended for the euphonium.

The baritone, like the trombone and euphonium, is a nine-foot brass tube. Valves are most often piston-style. It is predominately of cylindrical bore, but has a more narrow bore than the euphonium. The smaller bore renders its attack more distinct than the rounder attack of the euphonium, and also provides it with a brighter sound than the dark-sounding euphonium.

The baritone is pitched in concert Bb, meaning that when no valves are actuated, the instrument will produce partials of the Bb harmonic series. Music for the baritone horn can be written in either the bass clef or the treble clef. When written in the bass clef, the baritone horn is a non-transposing instrument. However, when written in the treble clef, it is often used as transposing instrument, transposing downward a major ninth from the music as written, so that written middle C for the baritone is concert Bb below low C (Bb2 in scientific pitch notation), with the fingerings thus matching those of the trumpet but sounding an octave lower. It is often used to play parts written for the similarly pitched tenor trombone or euphonium.

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