Traditionally, church bands have always stuck to the pop-rock format for their lineup. A signer/guitarist, a drummer and a bassist is the common setup, with perhaps more signers or even a choir to go along with it. Brass instruments have always been considered too loud for the church environment, but now there is a bit more of a buzz about modern places of worship. We have seen a few church band groups with a small brass section as part of their line up, and we thought it would make for an informative post to shed more light on this area.
What Are Brass Band Instruments?
A brass band instrument is basically a musical instrument that produces sound either by resonating air in a tube like resonator in accordance with the pitch of the player’s lips or by making a ‘wave’ by striking the brass tubing with an instrument called a wind valve. Brass instruments are usually known as labrosones or simply labrophones, both from Greek and Latin roots meaning ‘lip’ and ‘voice’. Brass wind valves have valves that can be controlled by a chord keyed in a normal tone wind. Brass is also a metal that is highly valued for manufacturing brass sculptures and other works of art. Brass is considered to be a precious metal that has been used in musical instruments since the 17th century. Brass instruments may also contain substances called patens which cause the valve to vibrate when it is blown.
Common Brass Instruments
Some common brass instruments are trumpet, tuba, saxophone, clarinet, trombone, flute, and baritone. The best-known brass instruments are the tuba, clarinet, trombone, saxophone and trumpet. These instruments are usually played together in a group outfit, however there are some solo players in these disciplines.
The tuba is one of the most famous brass instruments which is played more often than not as part of an orchestra or brass band outfit. The tuba is also known as a woodwind instrument, the Spanish valvedrums and the Italian trombone. A variation on the tuba is the double trombone, which is an oversized trombone great for bass sounds.
Trombones are mainly used in jazz music and have a distinctive tubular shape. The trumpet is the most widely used trombone because it is easy to handle and very powerful. The oboe is another widely used instrument like a trombone due to its large bore. Trumpets are the easiest brass instruments to play. They are mainly used to produce a sharp tone rather than a circular tone like the flute. Their bell sizes range from one and a half inches up to fifteen inches.
The tenor trombones are the smallest of all brass instruments. The sound produced by a tenor trombone is crisp and clear. They are used mainly in jazz music. The flute and the clarinet are larger instruments that produce softer tones. The flute has a rounder sound, while the clarinet has a more nasal sound. The other brass instruments are the saxophone, tubas, maracas, trombones and piccolo.
The valves of these brass instruments are made to open and close in specific ways. They are electronically operated rather than by physical pressure. Brass valves have a tendency to squeak when they are not correctly fitted. So you should be careful while fitting them.