French horn: This instrument was once carried on horseback during fox hunts. It is thought to be the most difficult brass instrument to play. The left hand plays the valves and the right hand is inserted into the bell. Its t
one blends equally well with woodwind and brass instruments.
Trombone: The oldest chromatic brass instrument. This instrument can slide from one note to another. It is played in the bass clef. Unlike the other brass instruments, it has no valves.
Trumpet: This is the most popular of all the brass instruments, and one of the oldest. It can play very high notes. It can change its sound by inserting a mute into the bell. Long ago kings and queens would announce their arrival with trumpets playing a fanfare.
Tuba: This is the lowest sounding brass instrument. It is also the largest member of the brass family. The tuba uses valves and its cup-shaped mouthpiece to change pitches. It sits in the back of the orchestra. A cousin of the tuba is the sousaphone, which is a tuba with a different shape. The sousaphone is used for parades and was invented for John Philip Sousa.
Back to Instrument Family