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Euphonium

The euphonium is a large, conical-bore, baritone-voiced brass instrument that derives its name from the Ancient Greek word εὔφωνος euphōnos, meaning "well-sounding" or "sweet-voiced" (εὖ eu means "well" or "good" and φωνή phōnē means "sound", hence "of good sound"). The euphonium is a valved instrument; nearly all current models are piston valved, though rotary valved models do exist. Outside of Brass Bands (in the British tradition where the instrument plays in B♭ and in treble clef) the euphonium is a non-transposing instrument. A person who plays the euphonium is sometimes called a euphoniumist, euphophonist, or a euphonist, while British players often colloquially refer to themselves as euphists, or euphologists. Similarly, the instrument itself is often referred to as eupho or euph.

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Euphoniums are one of the less popular instruments most commonly found in concert bands and full orchestra but also in marching band and jazz bands lacking trombones. Euphoniums are categorized as low brass instruments and share very similar structure to baritones but have straight bells and 4 valves where the baritone has a curved bell and 3 valves. I have played euphonium for 8 years now and have found there are many techniques that can be used during playing that make it unique like lip trills, growls, flutter tongue, trills, and half-valve murmurs. I have also found its sound compatible with the flute and piano to make for beautiful duets.

Contributed by Abi Heppner

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