Brass Family Instruments List (Names With Pictures)
The brass family instruments names list with pictures are 1. Trumpet 2. Trombone 3. Tuba and more. Brass Instruments are made of Brass.
However, the reason these instruments are called brass instruments has less to do with their construction, and more to do with their sound. Each instrument in the family shares a harmonic sound which can be described as filled with timbre and regulated with a series of keys.
The distinction comes into play because some brass instruments are made of wood like the didgeridoo, while some woodwind instruments are made of brass, for example, the saxophone. Most brass instruments have been indelible in the history of Western Classical Music since its inception and regularly feature in orchestras, symphonies, concertos, and sonatas, to name a few.
In this list, we will be taking a look at the six brass instruments, their history, sub-types, and anything else about them to learn more about this family of musical instruments.
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Brass Family Instruments Names List
|Date of Creation
|Late 14th Century
|Early 18th Century
|Early 19th Century
Brass instruments list begins with the trumpet as it is the most recognized. The trumpet is what people think of when it comes to the brass family.
In fact, almost all designs of the many instruments in the brass family bear a stark similarity to the trumpet. The instrument is known for its singular coiling pipes alongside three nodes through which a player can control the pitch and sound that comes out of the piece.
Though it began to be officially used as a musical instrument in the late 14th century, instruments that bear resemblances to the trumpet have been recorded as being used in battle all the way back to at least 1500 BC.
However, since its use as a musical instrument, the trumpet has become a part of not only the Western Musical Tradition but later jazz, rock, pop, and even Hip-Hop, and ranks as one of the most recognizable instruments not only in the brass family but in general.
The trombone is the next member of the Brass family of instruments. Like the trumpet, it is also easily recognizable due to its long slide.
Etymologically, the trombone comes from an Italian term meaning "big trumpet," but its design couldn't be more different. In fact, the trombone stands apart from many other brass instruments for its peculiarity.
The trombone's design is actually very simple when compared to the trumpet as it too has one long, coiling pipe, but instead of nodes, it is controlled by that long slide that regulates the pitch and sounds.
Though the trombone as it is known now has been played since the early 18th century, there was an earlier version of it called a sackbut which has been in existence since the 15th century. While used as a musical instrument, it was also used to announce people's arrivals, much like the bugle.
The tuba is a member of the brass family of instruments with the lowest pitch. So, people who play the tuba are sometimes simply called bass players.
Unlike the previous instruments on this list, there is a specific date of creation for the tuba. The instrument was created in 1838 by Carl Wilhelm Moritz, though its patent had existed since 1835.
The first version of the tuba was much smaller than it is known now and only had one long coiling pipe. As the tuba has grown in prominence and evolved, the instrument ranges from three pipes to even six and is known for its structural complexity, compared to the previous instruments.
Nowadays, the tuba is still popular in not only Western Classical music but in jazz and rock, and has even gained something of a memetic reputation due to its large size and the deep, booming sound it makes.
4. French Horn
The brass family instrument list also consists of the French horn. In musical circles, the instrument is also known simply as the horn.
The French horn comes from a long line of "horn" instruments that were originally made up of actual animal horns, thus the name. Eventually, they evolved from animal horns to simple metal horns, to the complex monstrosity it has since become.
The instrument is distinct by the intricate design of the pipes and valves that it is made up of, and the subsequent difficulty in playing the instrument that complexity creates. In fact, many view the French horn as one of the most difficult instruments to play in general.
Another reason why the instrument is so hard to play is that aside from controlling the nodes, the player also has to blow into the horns in a variety of different ways. Instead of simply blowing into the mouthpiece, many players have their own way of positioning their mouths.
The didgeridoo is perhaps the most distinct member of the brass family of instruments. Unlike the others, it is made of wood.
However, the main reason why it is so distinct has as much to do with its origins as it does with its construction. Unlike the other instruments, the didgeridoo was developed by the native Aboriginal people in Australia and is one of their main cultural instruments.
Though the instrument has now been used all around the world, it is still heavily associated with the indigenous people of Australia. Another distinct fact about the instrument is that it requires a special breathing technique to play called Circular Breathing.
Circular breathing is a technique where the player continuously breathes in through the nose and breathes out through the mouth into the instrument to create a continuous sound. Through this technique, the didgeridoo produces its hypnotic sound which has made it a popular instrument for meditation and other self-help needs.
The bugle might be the simplest instrument in the brass family. The instrument has no valves or nodes and is simply one long, coiled pipe.
The instrument is completely controlled by a variation of the embouchure, which basically means lip movement. The player controls the pitch, duration, and other varieties of sound by how they place their lips on the mouthpiece, and so the bugle has the lowest range of all of the brass instruments, barring the didgeridoo.
As with the French horn, the bugle comes from a long line of instruments that began with hollowed-out animal horns and eventually evolved into the metal instrument it is now. However, the bugle retained much of its initial use as it has long been associated less with music and more with battle and ceremony.
Even up until the first World War, armies would use the bugle as a way to commence the battle, and the term "military bugle" is almost more recognizable that simply calling the instrument a bugle.
The cornet might be the least distinct member of the brass family of instruments. In fact, at first glance, the cornet looks like a small trumpet.
The main difference between the two instruments is the fact that the cornet has a more conical bore or interior chamber, a compactor shape, and produces a mellower tone. However, the similarities far outweigh the differences, and to a layman, they are almost nonexistent.
The reason why the cornet first gained popularity, even over the trumpet, is because composers could play more complex music for it compared to the trumpet. The trumpet would be used for more bombastic, fanfare-like passages, while the cornet would be used for the melodic passages.
Eventually, valve technology meant that trumpets could produce those same sorts of sounds and eventually the cornet's distinction gradually receeded. Though it is still played, it is no longer written for as it used to be in its heydey.
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