Brass instruments

To play a woodwind instrument you must:

  • have all your front teeth (top and bottom), and
  • be able to reach the keys on your instrument.

If unsure, speak to the woodwind teacher in school.

The Brass family consists of 5 main instruments, the Trumpet/Cornet, The Trombone, the Euphonium/Baritone, the French Horn and the Tuba. Sound is produced by each instrument in the family by buzzing the lips together into the mouthpiece. These versatile instruments can be found in Orchestras, concert wind bands, brass bands and jazz ensembles. If you want to be heard then brass instruments are for you!

Trumpet/Cornet

These are the smallest brass instruments and produce the highest pitch. Trumpets are found in all genres of music whilst cornets are mostly found in brass bands, and have a more mellow tone. Both are good options for beginner musicians.

French Horn

Originating from the hunting horn, the French Horn is larger than a trumpet, has a circular shape containing 18m of tubing and plays a deeper pitch. The French Horn produces a beautiful sound and can play harmonies and melodies. It is considered a minority instrument – the world (and East Sussex) needs more French horn players!

Trombone

The trombone is the only brass instrument to use a slide to change pitch rather than valves . The trombone is a lower brass instrument, beginners usually play a tenor trombone, and there is also a bass trombone. Since longer arms are needed to operate the slide, the trombone is recommended for older children.

Baritone/Euphonium

These are two separate instruments, and could be likened to a half sized Tuba. They play in the lower range of the brass family but can also play melodies with a beautiful tone and distinctive colour.

Tuba

The Tuba is the lowest of the family and is known for playing the bass line in most music, although can also be a melodious and versatile instrument . Its deep rich sound anchors the harmony of the whole orchestra or band. Like the trombone, this instrument is best for older children due to its shape and weight.