- Tenor horns look like small baritones. They are smaller, cheaper, and less awkward to carry and hold than French horns.
- The tenor horn is pitched in E-flat (one step below the French horn).
- Tenor horn players read the treble clef and use the same fingering as trumpet players.
- Americans call this instrument the “alto horn”. Several popular band method books (e.g. Standard of Excellence, Tradition of Excellence and Essential Elements) publish alto horn method books.
- Tubas come in four different pitches – B-flat, C, E-flat and F. American school bands use B-flat tubas, and this is what we see in most Australian school programs. Brass bands use B-flat and E-flat tubas. C and F tubas are not as commonly found at the student level.
- Tubas can have three or four valves (3+1 or 4-in-a-row). The valves can be piston or rotary.
- Tubas come in a variety of sizes; for example, compact, 3/4, full size, 5/4, 6/4, etc.
- When a tuba player is reading a bass clef part, the note produced is the same as that written on the page (concert pitch). Different-pitched tubas, therefore, can read off the same part (they just need to use different fingering to produce the desired concert pitch note).
DR. Heather McWilliams earned a Ph. D. in Curriculum & Instruction (Music Education) from the University of Wisconsin — Madison in 2003, before teaching tuba, euphonium, band, and music education courses at American universities for more than a decade. She has taught instrumental music in Queensland and Western Australia. Heather currently works for Education Queensland. She is also a freelance conductor and clinician.