Contrary to popular belief, the term brass family doesn’t refer to every instrument in the brass section of an orchestra or band. It actually refers to a specific group of just 5 instruments. The 5 major members of the brass family are:
Brass instruments are incredibly versatile and often heard in all manner of music; from some of the most popular jazz songs written in the 20th Century, to timeless classical pieces written by some of the most prestigious composers of the last 500 years.
But what do each of the members of the brass family bring to the proverbial table?
Qualities of members of the brass family
Naturally owing to the differing shapes and sizes of each, every brass instrument has a different feel, weight and - above all - sound.
Trumpet: often mistaken with the lesser known Cornet due to their similar size and sound - a differences between the two considered quite minor - the Trumpet is particularly small and light, with a dignified tone. Owing to its piercing and bright sound, the Trumpet often takes the lead, and is considered a beautifully versatile instrument and suits lots of different types of music.
French Horn: a relatively difficult instrument to play, but incredibly rewarding to master nonetheless, the French Horn is rarely heard in contemporary music, and quite comfortably takes its place in classical pieces; a stunning instrument to listen to, and well worth the determination and patience to learn.
Euphonium: halfway between a Trumpet and a Tuba, the Euphonium is often the secondary choice of instrument for seasoned Tuba players needing something a little more travel friendly than their hefty, heavy primary instrument.
Trombone: a soulful instrument with a distinctive sound, the Trombone is particularly popular with brass ensembles like marching bands and brass bands; often heard in ska, jazz, and reggae, the Trombone is one of the funkiest instruments around!
Tuba: this magnificently loud and large instrument provides the much needed base in ensembles. Tuba players are known by many different names, depending on which country you’re from or what type of ensemble you play in, but the role is always the same: supply the lowest voice.
Just like any family, members of the brass family are all unique and have their own, charming qualities; the things that make them all wonderful in their own right, and make us love them even more with every piece of music we learn.
The sheer versatility of brass instruments add to their excitement, and it’s one of the reasons we adore every single one!
For more information about any of the instruments mentioned above, please visit our online shop.