Working Text of the Brasswind Terminology Working Group

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Aïda trumpeta straight valved trumpet made for use on stageAM 30.8.96
Alphornwooden horn used in the Alps and other European regions. On the larger sizes, 3 - 5 metres long, a series of twelve or more notes can be sounded. The bore very closely approximates to a section of a cone. Modern alphorns generally have detachable mouthpiecesAM 30.8.96
Althornbrasswind instrument of intermediate bore and with profile midway between those of a trumpet and a flugelhorn, played with a cupped mouthpiece. The word usually denotes such an instrument built in F or E-flat (a tenor saxhorn) but has also been used for larger instrumentsAM 30.8.96
Alto hornAmerican term for althornAM 30.8.96
Antinodesee pressure antinode or velocity antinodeAM 30.8.96
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Backbore, mouthpiecethe backbore of a mouthpiece is the section of the bore from the minimum bore to the distal end (the end which is inserted into the mouthpiece receiver of the instrument). The expansion in the backbore can be conical or of curved profileAM 17.6.03, 13.1.05
Ballad hornbrasswind instrument pitched in 8-ft C of narrower bore than the baritone saxhorn, intended to facilitate the performance of untransposed vocal parts in domestic music-making with the usual fingering of valved brasswind instrumentsAM 30.8.96, 11.12.01
Baritonethe baritone saxhorn, member of the saxhorn family in 8-ft C or 9-ft B-flat with narrower bore than the bass saxhorn of the same pitch (euphonium). In the U.S.A. the term is often used interchangeably with EuphoniumAM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
Bass horna bass brasswind instrument usually in 8-ft C, virtually a serpent made of metal in the form of a letter V with a long curved crook inserted into one branchAM 30.8.96
Basson Russe (q.v.)AM 30.8.96
BB-flat basscontrabass tuba in 18-ft B-flatAM 30.8.96
Bellthe end of the air-column furthest from the mouthpieceAM 30.8.96
Bell rimsee RimSK 26.3.01
Berlin valvePiston valve in which the inlet and outlet for the valve tubing is arranged on the same plane as the main tubing.
See diagram of the Berlin valve
SK 23.8.04
Bersag horna bugle with (usually) a single valve made in different sizes for band use in Italy, France or SpainAM 30.8.96
Bezelsee Rim 
Bite, mouthpiecethe bite of a mouthpiece is the edge (region of transition) between rim and cup. When the profile of the bite approximates to the quadrant of a circle, the degree of curvature can be expressed in terms of the radius of curvature of the biteAM 13.1.05
Blechblasinstrumente (Ger)brasswind instrumentsAM 30.8.96
Bombardona bass tuba, generally in E-flat with three or four valvesAM 30.8.96
Bottom-sprung Périnet valvePérinet valve in which the spring is placed below the piston.
See diagram of the Bottom-sprung Périnet Valve
SK 5.1.05
Bowa part of the tubing of an instrument of approximately semicircular shapeAM 30.8.96
Bow guarda sheet of metal covering the outer area of a Bow to provide reinforcementAM 11.12.01
Brancha long, straight part of the tubing of an instrument. An older term is YardAM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
Brasswindterm generally used for instruments made form any material in which the tone-producing element is a column of air one end of which (the mouthpiece) is placed against the player's lips and the other end of which (the bell) radiates soundAM 30.8.96
Buglea brasswind instrument with approximately conical bore profile, small enough to be a portable signalling instrumentAM 30.8.96, 11.12.01
Buisinea term used in the late middle ages for a large horn or trumpetAM 30.8.96
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Capsulecomponent of a piston valve: a cylindrical case to contain the springAM 24.8.01
Cavalry trumpeta natural trumpet for signallingAM 30.8.96
Cimbasso (It)designation used in the nineteenth century for a contrabass instrument to the trombone section: at first a Russian bassoon or bass horn, then sometimes a valve ophicleide, and later a contrabass valve trombone used by Verdi. In current usage the word most usually denotes a contrabass valve tromboneAM 13.1.05
Clapper keya key on a cornopean (q.v.) covering a tone-hole;p used for trillsAM 30.8.96
Clarino (It)the upper register of a trumpet in which the partials lie close enough to allow a scale to be played; a trumpet built to be played in this registerAM 30.8.96
Clarionimprecise term which has at times been used for various signalling trumpets and buglesAM 30.8.96
Clavicor or althornbrasswind instrument of intermediate bore profile at alto or tenor pitch with upwards-directed bellAM 30.8.96, 11.12.01
Coach hornBritish late 19th-century straight horn with almost conical bore profileAM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
Compensating valvessystem of constructing brasswind instruments whereby the air passage for valve combinations including the operation of a master valve is led through the other of the valve pistons or rotors twice. These latter valves are equipped with two sets of valve loops and tuning slides. The shorter secondary loops add the extra tube length required for good intonation when valves are used in combination This is the principle of the Gautrot's 1858 patent Système Équitonique, D.J. Blaikley's 1878 patent Compensating Pistons, and some models of Double horn.AM 30.8.96, 11.12.01, 23.12.04
Contrabass trombonetrombone in 16-ft C or 18-ft B-flat an octave below the tenor trombone, usually with a compass descending to E1. Slide and valve versions have been made, the former generally with a double slide to give the same slide positions as the tenorAM 30.8.96
Co-operative regimethe acoustical phenomenon in which a number of the spectral components of a sustained sound on a brass instrument resonate with and are supported by the modes of vibration of the air column inside the tubeAM 30.8.96
Coquillesthe tubing inside piston valves which can form part of the wind wayAM 30.8.96
Cor (Fr)horn, french hornAM 30.8.96
Cornetvalved posthornAM 30.8.96
Cornet à pistons (Fr)cornetAM 30.8.96
Cornettlip-mouthpiece conical instrument with finger-holesAM 30.8.96
Cornetta (It)CornetAM 30.8.96
Cornettinosmall cornett, generally pitched a fifth higher than the ordinary cornettAM 30.8.96
Cornetto (It)CornettAM 30.8.96
Corno (It)horn, french hornAM 30.8.96
CornopeanEnglish name for early models of cornetAM 30.8.96
Cornophonevalved brasswind instrument with bore profile intermediate between french horn and saxhorn and played with mouthpiece like that of a french horn, played with mouthpiece like that of french horn, patented by Fontaine Besson in 1890AM 30.8.96, 11.12.01
Cor-solonatural french horn with fixed mouthpipe and alternative tuning slides for playing in the keys used for the solo repertoire: G, F, E, E-flat and DAM 30.8.96
Couplerloop of tubing inserted between a crook and a instrument such as a french horn for playing in a lower key than that of the crook aloneAM 30.8.96
Crookloop of tubing for an instrument such as a french horn. Terminal crooks fit into the instrument (or a coupler) at one end and receive the mouthpiece (or a tuning bit) at the other. The choice of crook or shank determines the key in which the instrument will playAM 30.8.96
Crook/coupler receiver taperof couplers and of the body of an instrument: the measurements indicating the conicity of the socketAM 23.12.04
Cuivre (Fr)brasswindAM 30.8.96
Cup, mouthpiecethe cup of the mouthpiece is the cavity to which the player places the lips. The cup is characterised by cup depth, cup diameter, cup shape, and cup volume (q.v.)AM 13.1.05
Cup depth, mouthpiecefor hemispherical and sharp-edged cup shapes, the cup depth of a mouthpiece is the distance along the axis from the plane of the furthermost part of the rim contour to the edge of the bottom of the cup; for cuspoidal and conical cup shapes, the cup depth is the distance along the axis from the plane of the furthermost part of the rim contour to the point of minimum bore; for funnel and intermediate cup shapes, the cup depth is the distance along the axis from the plane of the furthermost part of the rim contour to the point of maximum curvature of the bore profile (point of maximum throat curvature). In the case of `double-cupped' and other unconventional mouthpieces, individual description id requiredAM 13.1.05
Cup diameter, mouthpiecein cases where the edge between the rim and the cup (the bite) is sharp, the cup diameter of a mouthpiece is the diameter of this sharp edge; in cases where the edge between the rim and the cup is rounded, the cup diameter can most usefully denote the diameter of the cup at a depth from the plane of the furthermost part of the rim contour of the radius of the bite; this is usually equivalent to the diameter at the point of maximum curvature of the bore profile between the rim and the cup, and corresponds well with the measurements given by manufacturers of mouthpiecesAM 13.1.05
Cup shape, mouthpiecethe cup shape of a mouthpiece can described using one of the following terms:-
  • cuspoid (a curved profile monotonically decreasing in curvature from rim to distal end, only used in mouthpieces for french horns)
  • conical
  • funnel (the profile has a point of inflection, but this not close to the point of minimum bore diameter)
  • intermediate
  • edged (the profile has a point of inflection close to the point of minimum bore diameter)
  • hemispherical (the cup meets the grain or backbore at an angle close to 90o) See diagrams of the basic patterns
  • AM 13.1.05
    Cup volume, mouthpiecemeasurements of cup volumeof a mouthpiece are necessarily approximate since there is not necessarily a well-defined surface between the cup and the remaining bore of a mouthpiece. One methods of measuring mouthpiece cup volume is given in Myers and Parks (2004)AM 13.1.05
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    Demilune trumpetsee Trompette demilune 
    Disc valve or "Patent Lever Valve"Valve characterized by the use of two discs facing each other, one fixed, the other rotating. The rotating disc either blocks the valve slide (left) or allows free passageway to it (right), hence increasing the overall tube length of the instrument.
    See diagrams of the disc valve
    SK 23.8.04
    Double hornfrench horn capable of playing at either of two basic pitches, selected by a valve, usually the 4th (`thumb' or `change') valve. In the full double horn the basic three valves are each equipped with two valve loops and tuning slides of different lengths and two sets of passages in the rotor or piston. The 4th valve determines whether the windway can be directed through the longer or the shorter loops of the basic three valves. In the compensating double horn Compensating valves are used. The usual tonalities for a double horn are 12-ft F + 9-ft B-flat.AM 30.8.96, 23.12.04, BS 6.1.05
    Double-piston valveThe double-piston valve is first recorded in 1821 in connection with a trumpet by Christian Friedrich Sattler of Leipzig. In this valve type the simultaneous movement of two pistons introduces an additional valve loop. Double-piston valves come in a great variety of operating and return mechanisms:
  • long handles with long return springs (mainly in Bavaria and Switzerland)
  • short handles returned by flat or wire springs (Old Mainz Model)
  • touch-pieces with long leaf-springs (New Mainz Model)
  • touch-pieces on rods guided in small tubes enclosing a coil spring (Système belge)
  • touch-pieces connected with a clock-spring mechanism, similar to that of a rotary valve (Vienna valve).
    The only city in which double-piston valves are still in use today is Vienna. Therefore, double-piston valves are often called "Vienna Valves." However, this over-simplifies the great variety of constructions found in the past, most of which were developed outside of Vienna.
    See diagram of the Double-Piston valve
  • SK 26.8.04
    Double principlesystem of constructing brasswind instruments whereby two valves (on three-valve instruments) or three valves (on four-valve instruments) are equipped with two sets of valve loops and tuning slides in order to give better intonation when valves are used in combination. This is the principle of the Double horn, and Besson's Enharmonic Patent valves; it was also used for some small brass instruments by Boosey & Co marked COMPENSATING PISTONS but not strictly Compensating valve at allAM 11.12.01, 5.1.05
    Duplex instrumenta valved instrument with an extra valve placed in the windway (after the usual three or four playing valves) which can divert the windway to a completely different bellAM 30.8.96
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    Echo corneta duplex instrument (q.v.) with both a normal cornet bell and an alternative bell which gives a muted effectAM 30.8.96
    Embossed decorationDecoration in which metal is rearranged with the help of forms by using pressure. See diagrams of the most common techniques for decoration (engraving, impressing, embossing)SK 23.8.04
    Engraved decorationDecoration in which metal is removed.
    See diagram of engraved rings or lines
    SK 23.8.04
    Enharmonic valveBesson's piston valve (G.B. Patent No 12,849, accepted 12th May 1904) valve on the double principleAM 11.12.01
    Euphoniumtenor tuba or bass saxhorn pitched in 9-ft B-flat (sometimes 8-ft C) with three or four valves, sometimes five; with wider bore than the baritone saxhorn of the same pitchAM 30.8.96
    External taperof couplers, crooks and shanks: the measurements indicating the conicity of the tenonAM 23.12.04
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    Factitious notea privileged note (q.v.)AM 30.8.96
    Fanfare (Ger)a natural trumpet for signalling and marching band useAM 30.8.96
    Ferrulea sleeve fitted over the joint between two sections of tubingAM 30.8.96
    FlangeRib projecting from a bow guard used to further strengthen a bow. Used on ophicleides and other large instruments.AM 23.12.04
    Flat trumpetEnglish slide trumpet of the late 17th century with the slide in the bow nearest to the playerAM 30.8.96
    FlicornoItalian brasswind instrument, the smaller sizes similar to flugelhorns, larger similar to tubasAM 30.8.96
    FlugelhornFlügelhorn, valved bugleAM 30.8.96
    FootOf a trombone slide: the distal region of the inner and outer slides, including the stockings and the slide bow.AM 23.12.04
    FootThe foot is used in the traditional convention used to denote the nominal sizes of brass instruments and to distinguish between one instrument and another of the same nominal pitch but of double or half the tube length. Common examples the approximate length of the basic tube are: 21/4-ft B-flat, 21/2-ft A, 21/4-ft G, 3-ft F, 31/4-ft E-flat, 31/2-ft D, 4-ft C, 41/2-ft B-flat, 5-ft A, 51/2-ft G, 6-ft F, 61/2-ft E-flat, 7-ft D, 8-ft C, 9-ft B-flat, 10-ft A, 11-ft G, 12-ft F, 13-ft E-flat, 14-ft D, 16-ft C, 18-ft B-flat. The actual compass of notes will depend on the particular instrument and the repertoire. For instance, a french horn in 12-ft F will often play a higher lying part than an ophicleide in 8-ft C. This is a different conventional use of the word "foot"' from that used in specifying organ and harpsichord stops, though both conventions stem from the useful coincidence that a conical or open-ended cylindrical pipe sounding a series of resonance mode frequencies approximating to a harmonic series based on the fundamental C2 has a length of just about 8ft.AM 23.12.04
    Formanta region of the spectrum where the components are consistently strong regardless of the exact fundamental frequency of the note being soundedAM 30.8.96
    French hornbrasswind instrument; now often called simply `The Horn'; the old term `french horn' is used to distinguish it from other hornsAM 30.8.96
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    Garlandan annular strip of metal fixed to the outside of the bell of some brass instruments at the rimAM 30.8.96
    Garnishinga decorated ferrule (q.v.)AM 30.8.96
    German silverwhite bronzeAM 30.8.96
    Grain, mouthpiecein the case of some mouthpieces, there is a considerable cylindrical portion of mouthpiece bore at the narrowest part, usually known as the `grain'AM 13.1.05
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    Hand horna natural horn designed for use with the player's hand placed in the bell and used to `stop' notes as requiredAM 30.8.96
    Harmonic seriesa series of numbers (especially frequencies) which are exact integer multiples of the lowest member (the fundamental); with brass instruments the frequencies of the components of a sustained sound form a harmonic seriesAM 30.8.96
    HarmonicsThe term is sometimes loosely used for the fundamental frequencies of the series of notes which can be sounded by a player on a brass instrument with a given setting of any slide or valves. These, however, form only an approximation to a harmonic seriesAM 30.8.96
    Heliconform of tuba with the tubing made in a wide coil to go round the player's body and rest on one shoulderAM 30.8.96
    hertz (Hz)unit of frequency, equivalent to one cycle per secondAM 30.8.96
    Historic instrumentssurviving specimens of older forms of instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Historical instrumentsmodern instruments copied from or inspired by old modelsAM 30.8.96
    Hornin broad classification of lip-vibrated aerophones into horns and trumpets, the term `horn' is preferred for instruments made from animal horn or tusk, or with a shape derived from these but in other materials, and thus of predominantly conical bore profile such as the bugle. The term is often used without qualification for the french hornAM 30.8.96
    Hz (hertz)q.vAM 30.8.96
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    Impressed decorationDecoration in which metal is rearranged.
    See diagrams of impressed rings or lines
    SK 23.8.04
    Impression, mouthpiecethe proximal part of the rim contour (i.e. the circular line on the mouthpiece rim furthest from the instrument) is termed the impression. The mouthpiece impression can be placed fairly centrally on the rim contour, or can be noticeably nearer to the cup or nearer to the mouthpiece exterior. Also denoted by some writers as `crosscut'AM 13.1.05
    Internal crooks or tuning-slide crookstuning slides of different tube lengths, used instead of terminal crooks on french horns, trumpets etc to allow a fixed mouthpipe. Such an instrument is often known as an Inventionshorn, Inventionstrompete, etc.SK 17.4.03
    Inventionshorna french horn with a fixed mouthpipe and a number of internal or tuning-slide crooks, tuning slides of different tube lengths instead of terminal crookAM 17.4.03
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    JagdhornJägerhorn (Ger)., hunting hornAM 30.8.96
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    Keyin piston valves, a small projection from the side of the piston which runs in a groove or `keyway' on the inside of the valve casing and keeps the piston in the correct alignmentAM 30.8.96
    Keyed bugleconical-bore bugle, most commonly single-wound, with large key-covered toneholesAM 21.10.04
    Klappe (Ger)keyAM 30.8.96
    Knucklea small piece of tubing, usually angled, connecting the valve casing to other tubingAM 30.8.96
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    Lippingthe technique of adjusting the intonation of notes by modifying lip position and tensionAM 30.8.96
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    Maillechort (Fr)white bronze (german silver)AM 30.8.96
    Mandrela piece of steel of the exact shape required for the inside of a part of an instrument on which that part can be worked to bring it into its correct shapeAM 30.8.96
    Master crookone of a small number of terminal crooks which were used on some french horns in conjunction with a larger number of couplers (q.v.)AM 30.8.96
    MellophoneAmerican, tenor cor or other large-belled alto or tenor instrument of intermediate bore profile resembling the french horn in shape but with the valves operated by the right handAM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
    MellophoniumA special form of the mellophone [link] with straight, forwards directed bell, developed by C.G. Conn Ltd in the 1950s and used in the band of Stan Kenton from 1960 to 1963.SK 23.11.04
    Minimum bore, mouthpiecethe minimum bore diameter of a mouthpiece is termed the `throat diameter' by some authors, however `throat' should be used to refer to the region of transition from cup to narrowest pointAM 13.1.05
    Minimum shank external diameter, mouthpiecethe minimum shank external diameter is the external diameter of the distal end of a mouthpiece (the end which is inserted into the mouthpiece receiver of the instrument)AM 13.1.05
    Modèle anglaisModel of Périnet cornet with with the valves positioned between the mouthpipe and the bellpipeAM 24.8.01
    Modèle françaisModel of Périnet cornet with the valves positioned to the left of both mouthpipe and bellpipeAM 24.8.01
    Mouthpiecethe part of the brass instrument against which the player's lips are placed. The size and shape of the `cup' or mouthpiece cavity are important determinants of the instrument's intonation, tone quality, and ease of sound production. Mouthpieces for all except some signalling instruments and the mute cornett are detachable and, to some extent, interchangeable between instruments. See also parts of a typical mouthpiece: Backbore, Bite, Cup, Grain, Impression, Rim, Shank, Throat See also parameters used in measuring mouthpieces: Cup depth, Cup diameter, Cup shape, Cup volume, Minimum bore, Minimum shank external diameter, Rim curvature, Rim thickness, Taper angle, Taper depth,AM 30.8.96, 13.1.05
    Mouthpiece receiver taperof crooks and shanks: the measurements indicating the conicity of the socketAM 23.12.04
    Mutean object placed in the bell of an instrument which affects the radiation of sound from the instrument and modifies its tone qualityAM 30.8.96
    Mute cornettstraight wooden cornett with the mouthpiece turned out of the same piece of wood as the bodyAM 30.8.96
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    Natural horna french horn without valves or other mechanical device for altering the tube length while playingAM 30.8.96
    Natural trumpeta trumpet without slide, keys, valves or other mechanical device for altering the tube length while playingAM 30.8.96
    Neusilber (Ger)white bronze (german silver)AM 30.8.96
    Nodesee pressure node or velocity nodeAM 30.8.96
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    Omnitonic horna natural horn with a mechanism for adjusting the tube length before playing so that it can be played with comparable facility in all keysAM 30.8.96
    Orchestral hornterm sometimes used for the french hornAM 30.8.96
    Ottoni (It)brasswind instrumentsAM 30.8.96
    OvertoneA word sometimes used for the spectral components (q.v.) of a sustained sound higher than the fundamental. Confusion is sometimes introduced by using the term 'overtone' when wishing to identify specific members of the series. For clarity it is preferable to speak of harmonics - the second harmonic is at twice the frequency of the fundamental, the third harmonic at three times, etcAM 30.8.96
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    PartialAn ill-defined word sometimes used for the modes of vibration (q.v.) of an air column above the lowest, sometimes for the spectral components (q.v.) of a sustained sound higher than the fundamental, and sometimes for the series of notes that can be sounded on a brass instrument with a given setting of any slide or valves (except the pedal note)AM 30.8.96
    Patent Lever valveSee Disc valve 
    Pavillon (Fr)bellAM 30.8.96
    Pedal notesThe pedal note is the lowest of the series of notes that can be sounded on a brass instrument with a given setting of any slide or valves. The lowest octave of the compass of the serpent and the ophicleide consists of pedal notes (C2to C3for the most common size). On the B-flat trombone, the pedals are B-flat1down to E1. On french horns with shorter tube lengths (such as the B-flat side of the double horn) the pedal notes can be sounded easily; they are difficult on longer tube lengths such as the horn in 12-ft F. Pedal notes are frequently used on tubas and euphoniums, less frequently on trumpets and cornets. For instruments with a high proportion of cylindrical tubing such as trombones, the air column does not have a mode of vibration at the correct frequency to support the fundamental (first harmonic) of the pedal note, which can be sounded only because of a co-operative regime (q.v.) in which its higher harmonics are supported by higher modes of resonance of the tube. As a result, these pedal notes have a bright but hollow tone qualityAM 30.8.96
    Périnet valvePiston valve in which the valve loops are arranged in such a way that the inlet tubing is positioned on a different level than the outlet tubing.
    See diagram of the bottom-sprung Périnet Valve
    See diagram of the top-sprung Périnet Valve
    SK 23.8.04
    Piston valveValve in which the valve loop is disengaged or engaged by the up-and-down movement of the piston within the casing that aligns the ports either with the main tubing or the valve loop. See names of the parts of piston valveSK 23.8.04
    Posaune (Ger)tromboneAM 30.8.96
    Posthorna small coiled or straight instrument of bore profile intermediate between conical and cylindrical. Prefer to `post horn'AM 30.8.96
    Pressure antinodea point in the air column where there is a local maximum of fluctuation in pressure during the production of a sustained sound. Pressure antinodes correspond to velocity nodes (q.v.) There is a pressure antinode in the mouthpiece of a brass instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Pressure nodea point in the air column where there is no fluctuation in pressure during the production of a sustained sound. Pressure nodes correspond to velocity antinodes (q.v.) There is a pressure node in the region of the bell of a brass instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Privileged notea note not in the usual series of notes that can be sounded on a brass instrument with a given setting of any slide or valves, but which can nevertheless be produced by a player through the mechanism of a co-operative regime (q.v.)AM 30.8.96
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    Quinticlavea small ophicleide pitched in 6-ft F or E-flat, a fifth below the keyed bugleAM 30.8.96
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    RimThe outermost reinforcement of the edge of the bell.
    See diagrams of the most common basic patterns (Nürnberg rim, Saxon rim, Dresden rim, Italian rim, Bohemian rim, Mainz rim, French rim)
    SK 23.8.04
    Rim, mouthpiecethe rim of the mouthpiece is the surface to which the player places the lips. The rim contour can be described using one of the following terms:
  • round (i.e. semi-circular or acorn-cup)
  • semi-round
  • medium
  • semi-flat
  • flat (i.e. with a significant flat or conical surface area)
  • AM 13.1.05
    Rim curvature, mouthpiecewhen the profile of the rim of a mouthpiece approximates to a section of a circle, the degree of curvature can be expressed in terms of the radius of curvature of the rimAM 13.1.05
    Rim thickness, mouthpieceIf the cup diameter (the commonest measurement) and the overall diameter (the easiest measurement) are already known, the rim thickness of a mouthpiece is usually half of (overall diameter less cup diameter)AM 13.1.05
    Rotary valveValve in additional tubing is added by the turn of a rotor enclosed in an outer casing. The valve loops and main tubing are soldered to the outer case on the same plane. The port of the rotor allows free passageway either to the main tubing or to the additional valve tubing.
    See diagram of the Rotary valve
    SK 23.8.04
    RozhokRussian folk cornett with integral mouthpiece (the word is also used for reed pipes)AM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
    Russian bassoona form of serpent or bass horn with a U-shaped section of tube fashioned in a single piece of wood like the butt of a bassoonAM 30.8.96
    Russian hornone of a set of conical-bore natural instruments, used so that each instrument in the set sounds only one note, each player contributing this one note as required for the melody and accompaniment played by the band as a whole on the set of hornsAM 30.8.96
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    Sackbut16th-18th century English name for the trombone; now often used to denote the earlier trombone models and their modern reproductionsAM 30.8.96
    Saxhornfamily of intermediate bore profile brasswind instruments patented by Adolphe Sax in 1843; the althorn, baritone, tenor horn and euphonium more or less correspond to members of the familyAM 30.8.96
    Saxotrombabrasswind instrument patented by Adolphe Sax in 1845 having a bore profile intermediate between the saxhorn and the trumpet or the trombone with upwards-directed bell; made in a range of sizes similar to those of saxhorns but not as extensively usedAM 30.8.96, 11.12.01
    Schallstück (Ger)bellAM 30.8.96
    Serpentside-hole lip-reed instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Serpent Forveillevariety of the serpent made in the 1830s with brass body and wooden bellAM 30.8.96
    Shanka straight piece of tubing for an instrument such as a cornet fitting into the instrument at one end and receiving the mouthpiece (or a tuning bit) at the other. The choice of shank or crook determines the key in which the instrument will playAM 30.8.96
    Shank, mouthpiecethe shank of a mouthpiece is the tenon which is inserted into the mouthpiece receiver of the instrument. In most cases the shank is conical or cylindrical. It is characterised by minimum shank external diameter, taper angle, and taper depthAM 13.1.05
    Shielda name sometimes used for a Bow guardAM 11.12.01
    Side action string-operated rotary valveValve with a rotor operated via a string in the manner of a bow-drill rather than entirely mechanical linkage; side action indicates that the axis of rotation of the rotor is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the touchpieceAM/SK 16.5.01
    Socketthe component of a shank, crook or tuning-slide into which is inserted a Tenon when the instrument is assembledBS 11.11.04
    Sousaphoneform of tuba with the tubing made in a wide coil to go round the player's body and rest on one shoulder and terminating in a large bell, 600mm or more in diameter directed forwards (but in the earliest models directed upwards)AM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
    Spectral componentsWhen a sustained sound is produced on a brass instrument, the air inside the instrument vibrate not only at the frequency of vibration of the players' lips, but also at exact integer multiples of this frequency. These are the spectral components of the sound, sometimes called `overtones'AM 30.8.96
    Standing wavea vibration state where sound waves travelling within the instrument and reflected at each end combine so that at certain positions they cancel to create a pressure node (q.v.), while at others they add to create a pressure antinode (q.v.). A sustained sound on a brass instrument requires standing wavesAM 30.8.96
    Staya component of folded or coiled brass instruments which strengthens their structure by rigidly connecting two parallel or nearly parallel sections of tubeAM 30.8.96
    Stemcomponent of a piston valve: the rod or tube connecting the touchpiece to the pistonAM 24.8.01
    Stölzel valvePiston valve in which the main tubing enters the piston from below.
    See diagram of the early Stölzel valve
    See diagram of the later Stölzel valve
    SK 23.8.04
    Select from A-Z
    Tab seamTabs or small notches may be cut into one side of the bell during its construction to strengthen the seam at the flare. These tabs are alternately bent upwards and downwards and linked to the opposite straight side of the bell's edge. The tab pattern often remains visible after the bell is soldered and polished; however, plating usually makes the tabs invisible. See example of a tab seamSK 23.8.04
    Taper angle, mouthpiecethe taper angle of a mouthpiece with a conical shank is the solid angle subtended by the exterior of the shank. It is often conveniently expressed by the minimum and the maximum diameters of the external taper, and the taper depthAM 13.1.05
    Taper depth, mouthpiecethe taper depth of a mouthpiece is the axial length of the external taper, or the conical part of the external taper of mouthpieces with a rounded transition from cup exterior to insertAM 13.1.05
    Tenonthe component of a shank, crook or tuning-slide which is inserted into a Socket when the instrument is assembledBS 11.11.04
    Tenor cortenor horn with large bell, coiled as a french horn; has been used as a substitute french horn mostly in bandsAM 30.8.96
    Tenor hornthe tenor saxhorn, member of the saxhorn family in 6-ft F or 61/2-ft E-flatAM 30.8.96
    Tenorbass Posaune (Ger)a slide trombone in B-flat with thumb-valve for F capable of playing parts for both tenor and bass tromboneAM 30.8.96
    Tenorhorn (Ger)an instrument of intermediate bore profile in 8-ft C or 9-ft B-flat; similar to a baritone or bass saxhorn (or euphonium)AM 30.8.96
    Throat, mouthpiecethe throat of a mouthpiece is the edge (region of transition) between cup and minimum bore. Throat profiles vary considerably from sharp-edged to smoothly blended. When the profile of the throat approximates to a section of a circle, the degree of curvature can be expressed in terms of the radius of curvature of the throat. Some writers use the term `throat' to mean the region of minimum boreAM 13.1.05
    Top action string-operated rotary valveValve with a rotor operated via a string in the manner of a bow-drill rather than entirely mechanical linkage; top action indicates that the axis of rotation of the rotor is parallel to the axis of rotation of the touchpieceAM/SK 16.5.01
    Top-sprung Périnet valvePérinet valve in which the spring is placed above the piston.
    See diagram of the top-sprung Périnet valve
    SK 5.1.05
    Transientthe sound produced at the start, end, or at any point of change in a sustained sound. Starting transients are particularly important tonal characteristicsAM 30.8.96
    Transposing instrumentan instrument for which music is conventionally written at a pitch other than that at which it sounds; some of the many instruments normally treated as transposing instruments are trumpets, horns and saxhornsAM 30.8.96
    Trombonebrasswind instrument characterised by a high proportion of its tubing being cylindrical; most commonly of tenor or bass tessituraAM 30.8.96
    Trompete (Ger)trumpetAM 30.8.96
    Trompette (Fr)trumpetAM 30.8.96
    Trompette demilunea natural trumpet made in a crescent shape so that the player's hand can be placed in the bell to `stop' notes as requiredAM 30.8.96
    Trumpetin broad classification of lip-vibrated aerophones into horns and trumpets, the term `trumpet' is preferred for instruments made from cane or wooden tubing, or with a shape derived from these but in other materials, and thus of predominantly cylindrical bore profile such as the trumpet and the tromboneAM 30.8.96
    Tuning-slidean airtight telescopic joint used to vary the length of the instrument and thus alter the pitch of the notes that can be sounded. Most brass instruments and some others incorporate one or more tuning-slides which is sufficiently stiff not to move in the course of performance. On some instruments such a slide can not only allow tuning with other instruments but be extended to lower the pitch by one or more semitones, giving a different tranpositionAM 30.8.96
    Tuning-slide crooksee internal or tuning-slide crooksAM 17.4.03
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    Valvea mechanical device for adding, virtually instantaneously, a fixed length of tubing into the windway of an instrument. Most valves are `descending valves' which add to the air column length when operated; with the rarer `ascending valve' the air column is longer when the valve is not operatedAM 30.8.96, 11.1.05
    Velocity antinodea point in the air column where there is a local maximum of air movement during the production of a sustained sound. Velocity antinodes, also known as displacement antinodes, correspond to pressure nodes (q.v.) There is a velocity antinode in the region of the bell of a brass instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Velocity nodea point in the air column where there is no periodic air movement during the production of a sustained sound. Velocity nodes, also known as displacement nodes, correspond to pressure antinodes (q.v.) There is a velocity node in the mouthpiece of a brass instrumentAM 30.8.96
    Vent holea hole in the wall of a wind instrument. On brass instruments such as some valveless trumpets used to play parts written for natural trumpet, small vent holes are closed by the player's fingers, one at a time being opened to assist the production of certain notesAM 30.8.96
    Ventil (Ger)valveAM 30.8.96
    Vienna horna valved french horn with three Vienna valves sometimes used in Austria for traditional repertoireAM 30.8.96
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    Wagner tubaan instrument in either 9-ft B-flat or 12-ft F developed to meet Wagner's requirement for a saxhorn-like instrument playable by french horn players with their usual mouthpiecesAM 30.8.96
    Waldhorn (Ger)french hornAM 30.8.96
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    Yardof trumpets, one of the three long straight component tubes of a natural trumpet. The modern term is Branch.AM 30.8.96, 23.12.04
    Select from A-Z
    Zug (Ger)slideAM 30.8.96
    Select from A-Z

    References

    HEYDE, H., 1980. Katalog, Musikinstrumentenmuseum der Karl Marx Universität Leipzig: Band 3, Trompeten, Posaunen, Tuben. Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik.

    J. Paul Getty Trust. Art & Architechture Thesaurus.

    MYERS, A. and PARKS, R., 2004, Large Mouthpieces for Brasswind: Catalogue of the Collection Volume 2 Part H Fascicle v, 2nd edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. ISBN 0 907635 50 4.

    Authorship

    Stewart Carter (SC), Sabine K. Klaus (SK), Arnold Myers (AM), and Bradley Strauchen (BS)

    Mission Statement

    The brasswind terminology working group exists to develop a coherent terminology for brasswind instruments and their components so that organologists, musicologists, museum curators, instrument makers and others who have need to refer to these instruments can do so in a manner that is clear and consistent for all users.

    © the authors, 1996-2004, 2005.

    This page updated 26.1.13