Yamaha YEP321 Series Euphonium
Modern baritones and euphoniums were developed around 1828 when the first brass instrument family with valves was built. These deep, rich-sounding brass instruments can be equated to the cello voice of the symphony orchestra. Euphoniums have grown more popular than baritones, but baritones are easier to handle for younger players so many students start on a baritone and then switch to a euphonium. Though they are very similar instruments, there is one key difference that is explained below.
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Baritones and euphoniums differ slightly in construction. Baritones are cylindrical, meaning they have a bore that stays mostly the same size until the bell flare, which makes it easier for beginners to maintain a tone. Euphoniums are conical, with a bore that gets larger all the way through the length of the instrument Euphoniums produce a slightly darker tone than baritone horns, and it is also more difficult to support a full tone on one. Euphoniums are very common in most bands in the United States and both euphoniums and baritones are used in brass-band music.
Euphoniums are available with three or four valves. For advancing players, a 4-valve instrument is always the preferable choice. The addition of the extra valve helps extend the low range of the horn and improves the intonation. Four-valve euphoniums can feature valves that are all together, or in a 3+1 combination. The 3+1 means that the main three valves are grouped together while the fourth valve is positioned on the side of the horn and played with the left hand. This valve arrangement makes the euphonium more comfortable and easier to hold for some players.
Recommended Three-Valve Euphoniums
Recommended Four-Valve Euphoniums
Euphoniums come in two basic groups: non-compensating and compensating. Non-compensating euphoniums have a fourth valve that acts as any other valve. In this case, the pitch is lowered 2 -1/2 steps. The euphonium player must do any other adjustment needed to bring the low range in tune. A compensating euphonium simply adds extra tubing to "compensate" for the tendency of the low register to be sharp. When the fourth valve is depressed, air is redirected through an auxiliary set of slides on valves 1 through 3, when they are used. These auxiliary slides lower the pitch even more to help bring the lower notes closer to in tune.
Recommended Non-Compensating Euphoniums
Recommended Compensating Euphoniums
Many years ago, there was no industry standard for euphonium mouthpiece receivers. Over time, manufacturers found that they needed to make instruments that were compatible with modern mouthpieces. They found that the only difference between trombone and euphonium mouthpieces was in the shank size. The shank size is the diameter and taper of the end of the mouthpiece that goes into the instrument. Now, there are 3 main categories for euphonium mouthpiece receivers:
- Small shank mouthpieces are the same as those used on small tenor trombones.
- Large shank mouthpieces are the same as those used on large tenor and bass trombones.
- Medium shank mouthpieces (also called European shank) are standard on several euphoniums manufactured in Europe. There are a limited amount of mouthpiece makers that offer this style of shank.
Baritones and euphoniums are available in lacquer or silver-plated finish. Silver-plated instruments can be slightly brighter sounding, and they tend to have a more immediate response compared to lacquer instruments.
In choosing a baritone or euphonium, you need to consider your musician’s age and skill level, and the kind of use (school band, marching band, orchestra, etc.) to which they will put their brass instrument. If for school, consulting with the band teacher is a good idea.
Whatever baritone or euphonium you select, The Woodwind & Brasswind's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee means you have 45 days to be sure it's right for you. If it's not, just return it for a full refund.* And you don’t need to worry about paying too much. Our 45-Day Lowest Price Guarantee means that if you find the same euphonium or baritone horn advertised for less elsewhere, we'll make up the difference. When you buy a brass instrument from The Woodwind & Brasswind, you can buy with complete confidence.
*All returned woodwind and brass instruments are assessed a $10.00 sterilization fee. Instruments priced over $3,000.00 are assessed a $20.00 fee. All mouthpieces are assessed a $4.00 fee.
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