The Tuba is the most powerful organ stop. While some authorities describe this chorus reed as a large-scaled Trumpet, others characterize its tone as being more “closed” than that of the Trumpet. Indeed, Bonavia-Hunt states that some Tubas are close-toned, while others are free-toned in the French manner. The closed-toned variety was developed in England, first introduced in 1825 under the name Ophicleide by William Hill, and later perfected by Henry Willis. The tone of the Tuba depends on a relatively high wind pressure, not merely to produce sheer volume, but to develop the smoothness of tone that characterizes the best examples of this stop. A minimum of 8" to 10" of wind is required, and higher pressures are common. It is constructed in the manner of a large-scale Trumpet, though often with closed shallots. Double-length resonators are often used, even triple-length in the treble (see Harmonic Tuba). It is most commonly found at 8' pitch.The illustration on the right shows a treble pipe, the one on the left a top-octave pipe. Both are from Wedgwood.
Osiris contains about 130 examples of Tuba (not counting its variants). Nearly three quarters of them are at 8' pitch, one fifth at 16', a handful at 4', and two at 32'.
Tuba 8', Solo; Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA; Hook 1864. This is the earliest known example of this name.
Tuba 32', Pedal; St. Fridolins, Münster, Bad Säckingen, Germany; Klais 1993.
Tuba 32', Pedal; Herz Jesu Kirche, Aschaffenburg, Germany; Vleugels 1995.
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Copyright © 2006 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.|
Tuba.html - Last updated 5 October 2006.