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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Trombonium, tenor horn, or baritone horn?
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Author Topic: Trombonium, tenor horn, or baritone horn?  (Read 1778 times)
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kbiggs

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« on: Jul 13, 2017, 07:17PM »

The recent post by Chipola on Wessex asking about interest in a trombonium got me thinking...

What's the difference between a trombonium and a tenor horn, specifically the German style tenor horn as offered by Gebr. Alexander:

http://www.gebr-alexander.de/en/instruments/tenorhorns-baritones/bb-tenor-horn-mod-146/
http://www.gebr-alexander.de/en/instruments/tenorhorns-baritones/bb-tenor-horn-mod-145/

Specs (which never tell the whole story) reflect that these tenor horns are similar to medium and large bore tenor trombones. I'm assuming, however, that the conical taper after the valve cluster is more rapid than similarly-sized trombones. Perhaps the rate of taper would be similar to that of a cornet when compared to a trumpet... But then, where does that leave the baritone, the British style instrument (not the American baritone horn, which is really a euphonium)...?

Is a tenor horn just a valve trombone by another name?
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 13, 2017, 07:19PM »

There is no way that the instrument in the links you sent sounds just like a valve bone. Tenor horns usually sound TINY.
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2017, 07:39PM »

A local British style brass band will have a guest artist clinician for a week this summer from England. A friend in the band is a french horn, alto horn ( in Eb ) doubler. The guest is a tenorhorn specialist. Not alto horn or baritone horn.

Even she couldn't explain it to me. She'll find out when the guest arrives.
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2017, 07:40PM »

I played for a number of years in a very good European style concert band that had tenor horns and euphoniums.  They sounded distinctly different.  I would not have called the sound tiny, but it was more conical.  This band also carried a full trumpet section and a full fluegelhorn section.  The differences were similar.

When we played the big band stuff, we reduced the sections (these were paid gigs.)  I always struggled to balance two trumpets, two fluegels, and a euph for a long gig.  
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 13, 2017, 08:18PM »

I bought a Mirafone Tenor Horn [bass trumpet ? -- the catalogue listed it as a tenor horn]new in about 1959 from Roger Bobo who was Mirafone's first "rep" here in the States. I still have it. I always thought it was more like a bass flugelhorn because of its conical proportions.  I did use it in a British Brass Band group we assembled when at The Eastman School of Music and I played the baritone parts on it.  The leader's father was a Major in The Salvation Army and had access to all of the fabulous charts they used in their contests --- Eric Ball and Erich Leidzden [?] come to mind as two of the arranger/composers. Then again --- John Marcellus used it as a bass trumpet in the National Symphony Orchestra's Wagner recording with Antal Dorati conducting. An interesting instrument with nowhere to call home ---- . Whenever I had a dance gig I'd take it along just for grins and the leader would always ask me to play it instead of trombone. The "Trombonium" I believe, was an instrument manufactured by the King company that had a short production life.  Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson used "Tromboniums" on an album which I still have. The main tune on that album being "My Little Girl" from "Carousel".  It sounded great on those bastardized valve trombones !!  What IS a tenor horn ?  Your guess is as good as mine !   Cheers to all !!   Bob
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 13, 2017, 09:09PM »

Is a tenor horn just a valve trombone by another name?
Definitely not. Just look at the bell throat.
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2017, 01:56AM »

The euphonium is a tenor tuba in Bb.

The British baritone is a tenor saxhorn in Bb.

QED.

Stewbones
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Trombone means big trumpet-does that mean it is louder?
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 14, 2017, 06:26AM »

The euphonium is a tenor tuba in Bb.

The British baritone is a tenor saxhorn in Bb.

QED.

Stewbones

Wouldn't it be more accurate to call the euphonium the baritone tuba?  I think Europe does it that way. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2017, 06:27AM »

An interesting instrument with nowhere to call home ---- .

[...] 

What IS a tenor horn ?  Your guess is as good as mine ! 

This reminds me of the quote by Gustav Mahler who, by the way, called for a tenor horn, not a euphonium, for the opening solo to his 7th Symphony:

I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.

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« Reply #9 on: Jul 14, 2017, 07:26AM »

A local British style brass band will have a guest artist clinician for a week this summer from England. A friend in the band is a french horn, alto horn ( in Eb ) doubler. The guest is a tenorhorn specialist. Not alto horn or baritone horn.

Even she couldn't explain it to me. She'll find out when the guest arrives.

Eh, when the british say tenor horn, they mean an Eb tenor horn, could also be called an Eb alto horn.

There is also a Bb tenor horn.  Which, depending on who is discussing it, may or may not be the same as a Bb baritone.

And we thought tenorbass trombone nomenclature was bad...
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« Reply #10 on: Jul 14, 2017, 07:30AM »

Eh, when the british say tenor horn, they mean an Eb tenor horn, could also be called an Eb alto horn.

There is also a Bb tenor horn.  Which, depending on who is discussing it, may or may not be the same as a Bb baritone.

And we thought tenorbass trombone nomenclature was bad...

Yeah.  I think the Scandinavians have it right.  IIRC, they call the Eb an alto, the baritone a tenor horn, and the euphonium a baritone horn.  The "baritone" is smaller bore and has a brighter sound, so this all makes sense. 

When I was a kid there was only a baritone, and if somebody called it a euphonium we thought he was a pretentious jerk. 
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« Reply #11 on: Jul 14, 2017, 08:08AM »

In American brass bands, there was three Bb upright horns; Bb tenor, Bb baritone, and Bb bass. You see this carried forward into military band music from the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries - there are parts for Bb tenor (1st and 2nd), Bb baritone, and Bb bass. The tenor and bass parts were eventually replaced by 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trombone.

Cerveny makes three sizes of oval uprights in Bb; they have tenors (.520"/13.2 mm bore), baritones (.598" bore/15.2 mm), and "Kaiser" baritones (.638"/16.2 mm). Miraphone has a similar lineup.

Anyone familiar enough with history of British brass bands to know if they ever used a similar setup?
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« Reply #12 on: Jul 14, 2017, 08:41AM »

British brass band call the Eb horn Tenor horn. The medium size Bb horn is a baritone. The large Bb horn is an euphonium, the BBb bass is one octave lower so let this out of the discousion.

In Germany the tenor horn is a Bb horn, so is the baryton but with a larger bore.

In Sweden the tenor is in Bb when playing brass band and Eb when playing wind orchestra, in the military band the baryton is the same instrument as the brass band euphonium, not same as the brass band baritone.

Conplicated? Well it can be worse, so let us stop there.

Trombonium is an uppright valve trombone, sounds like a valve trombonem, not like tenor,baritone,baryton or euphonium.   :)
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« Reply #13 on: Jul 14, 2017, 10:28AM »

John's description was also true of the military band of the US Civil War era.  There the instruments were saxhorns, played over the shoulder.  Three types of 9-foot Bb instruments were called Tenor, Baritone, and Bass.  The difference was the bore.  The low voice in this band was an Eb tuba (also over the shoulder).

Here is a band with their saxhorns:

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« Reply #14 on: Jul 14, 2017, 11:11AM »

British brass band call the Eb horn Tenor horn. The medium size Bb horn is a baritone. The large Bb horn is an euphonium, the BBb bass is one octave lower so let this out of the discousion.
With the exception of "re-enactment" bands that try to recreate the American brass bands of the 19th and early 20th century, almost all brass bands here in the US follow the British pattern - Eb tenor, Bb baritone, Bb euphonium, Eb bass, and BBb bass.

I've often thought it would be nice to have a vintage American Bb tenor horn, but they don't come on the market very often, and those that do are usually in poor condition.
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« Reply #15 on: Jul 14, 2017, 11:43AM »

Having played an actual Bb Bass Horn, you would find it comparable to a modern 3 valve Euphonium.  The Bb Baritone was about a medium bore trombone and the tenor horn was a small bore trombone in size.
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« Reply #16 on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:31PM »

This reminds me of the quote by Gustav Mahler who, by the way, called for a tenor horn, not a euphonium, for the opening solo to his 7th Symphony:

I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.


As I recall, right at the beginning when the "tenor horn" solo starts the part says in German something like "with a large tone" which seems odd to say for a true German tenor horn.  A German barytone (euphonium) would give you the large tone.
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:38PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/d1LHOCjXZVI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/d1LHOCjXZVI</a>

Tenor horn? But it kinda also looks like that small yamaha baritone (the expensive one)
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 14, 2017, 07:54PM »

People play the part on euphonium nowdays (modern performance practice) because that's what various people play it on. (Why did many principal players play everything on tenor trombones up until about 25-30 years ago? Because they could, nobody played alto, and playing music on the alto trombone was seen as "cheating.") It could be that euphonium players are asked to play the solo because they are the most familiar with a valved instrument in that register, and are likely to be more familiar with modern orchestral performance practice. Also, very few people here in the States know what a tenor horn is, let alone have access to one. 

Just because people play the part on euphonium doesn't mean it should be played on euphonum, only that it can. Besides, the original part is clearly marked "Tenorhorn in B," not euphonium. Mahler knew what he was talking about.
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 14, 2017, 08:51PM »

In regards to the OP's first post...

Like others have said to know what a Tenor horn is you need to either specify the Germans or the British. 90% of the time when you say Tenor horn this side of the Atlantic people are going to think British Tenor horn which is an Alto horn. While German Tenor horns are in the same pitch as British Baritones they are not the same thing.

American Baritones, Oval Euphoniums and anything that claims to be a "Baritone" or "Euphonium" that isn't based of the classic Boosey and Hawkes/Besson designs is not a Baritone or Euphonium and are something else.

The answer to your original question is no, they are not the same. The closest thing to a upright valve trombone would be those Conn 90G contraptions which used literal 8H bells and had a consistent bore all the way through.

Just because people play the part on euphonium doesn't mean it should be played on euphonum, only that it can. Besides, the original part is clearly marked "Tenorhorn in B," not euphonium. Mahler knew what he was talking about.
Yes and no... that's like saying because Bizet wrote for Ophicleide that means his pieces have to be played with Ophicleide. Sure you can do that in an orchestra using period instruments but not in any sort of modern ensemble. I had a professor say that after Bizet first heard a Tuba he said all of his pieces should be played with Tuba instead of Ophicleide.

The Euphonium at the time Mahler wrote the solo was still in development and was not the instrument we know today. The compensating system Euphonium wasn't even invented until 1874 and the bore size, bell and other dimensions continued to change until the mid 20th century. A American Baritone is probably closer to what Mahler knew as a Euphonium during the time he composed his symphony.

It's entirely possible Mahler had never heard a proper "Euphonium" before and wrote it for German Tenor horn because that's what the German military bands were using at the time. What if Mahler heard the piece on a modern Euphonium? Would he have like it more?

In modern times the rule of thumb is pretty much if an America asks for Baritone or Euphonium they mean Euphonium and when a British composer specifies Baritone or Euphonium (Like Holst and Percy Grainger sometimes do) they want it for the instrument it is written for. Germans are a bit of a crap shoot... but it's usually safe to use a Euphonium no matter what they ask for.

Don't give Mahler too much credit Pant
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