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The Tuba for the 21st Century

Tuba History
• The “tuba” was a large brass war trumpet used by the Roman legions
• Biblical references (e.g. tuba mirum)
• Stems from same family as the euphonium
• Modern tuba and valve system invented in mid to late 19th century.
• Replaced the ophicleide and serpent throughout orchestras.
• Modern tubas are either brass or silver plated and have either rotary or
piston valves.

Tenor tuba: (Euphonium) -Bb
Bass tuba: Eb, F
Contrabass tuba: BBb, CC
• The quarter system is used to differentiate sizes (bore sizes) within each
category (3/4-6/4). Although this method is completely subjective and
unique to each manufacturer).
• These tubas are different sizes (lengths) interchanged mostly for timbre
changes as opposed to range (although range is a factor as well).
• The terms bass tuba and contrabass tuba are sometimes interchangeable
with older composers (i.e. Strauss).
• Very often you will see orchestral musicians using both bass and
contrabass tubas for the same piece (i.e. Mahler, Wagner).
• In the U.S., the contrabass tuba is mostly used in large bands and
• Young bands throughout the U.S. use predominantly BBb contrabass
• Although tubas are pitched in different keys the tuba is a NON-
transposing instrument (I.e. you have to learn new fingerings).
Suggested Brands
Tuba Models
• Beginner – Yamaha, King, Jupiter (these are great for middle school
• High School – Miraphone, Yamaha, Conn, King, Jupiter
• Advanced (college/professional) – Miraphone, Meinl Weston, B&S, Yamaha
• Bach (18, 22, 24AW)
• Conn-Helleberg (7b for beginners)
• Laskey (30C or 30F bass tuba) (30H or 30G contrabass)
• Perantucci (PT 64 or 72– bass tuba) (PT 50, PT36 or PT88 contrabass)

• Lebedev, arr. Ostrander, Concerto in One Movement
• Vaughn-Williams, Concerto for Bass Tuba
• Barat, Introduction and Dance
• Beethoven, arr. Bell, Variations on Judas Maccabeus
• Bach, arr. Bell, Air and Bourree
• Handel, arr. Bell, Honor and Arms
• Haddad, Suite for Tuba
• Vaughn-Williams, Toccata Marziale
• Holst, First Suite in Eb and Second Suite in F
• Wagner, Die Meistersinger, Ride, Eine Faust
• Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5
• Morris/Perantoni, Guide to the Tuba Repertoire
• Nelson, Also Sprach Arnold Jacobs
• Frederiksen, Song and Wind
• Stewart, The Legacy of a Master
• Bird, Program Notes for the Solo Tuba
• Bevan, The Tuba Family
Professional Players
Arnold Jacobs (1915-1998) - Principal Tubist Chicago Symphony Orchestra
William Bell (1902-1971) - Professor of Tuba Indiana University
Harvey Phillips (1929-2010) - Professor of Tuba Indiana University, Freelance
Tubist, Founder of TUBACHRISTMAS

Floyd Cooley, Alan Baer, Carol Jantsch, Wes Jacobs, Abe Torchinsky (d), Gene
Pokorny, Ron Bishop, Matt Good, Don Little, Ed Jones, Roger Bobo, Tim Buzbee,
Arnold Jacobs (d), Mike Roylance, Paul Krzywicki, David Fedderly, Chris Olka,
Warren Deck (f), Dave Kirk
Oystein Baadsvik, Michael Lind, Roger Bobo, Pat Sheridan, Tim Buzbee, Ben
Pierce (Cross-over), Tommy Johnson

Don Little, Kevin Wass, Kent Eshelman, Fritz Kaenzig, Sam Pilafian, Phil Sinder,
Don Harry, Deanna Swoboda, Ben Pierce, Scott Watson, Mike Roylance, David
Fedderly, Velvet Brown, Rex Martin, John Stevens, Dave Zerkel, Jerry Young, Jim
Self, Steve Bryant, Richard Murrow