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Baritone Horn or Euphonium?

4 replies

AliceWhiting · 12/04/2014 22:12

DD (10) has tried several instruments, and has decided that she wants to learn the baritone horn.

I don't much mind what she learns, as long as she's willing to practise - but I know nothing about the baritone horn. I don't even know if it can be played in an orchestra... Would she be better off learning the euphonium (she's tall and sturdy, so could probably manage it size-wise)?

We are a family of musicians and had thought that the musical gene had bypassed this particular child - but none of us plays anything brassy. She seems to have chosen the baritone horn because she is drawn to noisy instruments (being a noisy child herself).

The French horn is a definite no, as her pitch isn't great.

She isn't likely to become a brilliant player, whatever she chooses - but it would be nice if she could get some fun out of playing in the school and local orchestras. Does anyone have any advice?

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Ferguson · 13/04/2014 23:59

I was under the impression they are one and the same thing!

And I've looked it up, and (I think) the euphonium has FOUR valves, while the baritone horn only has THREE - as does a trumpet.

I'm not sure if they feature in symphony orchestras, but would be be more at home in brass band, or wind band environments.

This is an American site, but it should clarify a few points. I'll 'look in' on you tomorrow, see if there are other opinions.

Ferguson · 14/04/2014 19:11

Hi again - had to end last night, as it was nearly midnight!

So : you don't appear to have moved on yet, but I have done some research on DD behalf.

It occurred to me as I left you last night, besides the Baritone horn, there is also the Tenor horn, which is similar but smaller. And there is the Flugel horn, which is used in jazz, and some orchestras; it is similar to Trumpet but more mellow.

What is forming her choice, and when you say she has 'tried several instruments' I assume you mean just had a blow to compare the different sounds. Or do you mean she has learnt several instruments for short periods of time?

Whichever instrument she chooses, it surely needs to be one she can play in a variety of different ensembles, and as she gets older, the social aspect of playing with other people becomes increasingly important.

Our DS played piano, keyboard and recorder at primary school. Aged ten he was told he was too young for saxophone, so settled for trombone for a while. Then we learnt that sax WAS available to him, and he went on to play alto with his secondary school jazz band, and the county jazz orchestra.

If she wants to take music as a GCSE subject, when the time comes, piano or keyboard is also an advantage, as it helps with understanding Theory.

This is an excellent Brass feature by Durham County, and shows most of the instruments available:

We used this dealer for DS sax, and they specialise in educational sales. If you can purchase through her school, you should get a discount and probably not pay VAT. When she goes to secondary school there may be more opportunity for music, and it is sometimes possible to hire instruments for lessons taken through school:

I hope she enjoys her chosen instrument, and makes good progress.

LIZS · 14/04/2014 19:18

ds plays tenor horn which has same fingering as trumpet (if sort of in reverse) but is a more manageable size than euphonium or tuba.

AliceWhiting · 14/04/2014 21:13

Thank you, both!

I think she is going to try the euphonium, as someone has kindly offered to lend us one. I will see how she gets on. I'm not sure at the moment whether she's keen to learn, or whether she just wants to tell her friends that she's learning it!

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