General Facts about the best known Brass
Everybody who is interested in music knows what metal wind instruments
are. They belong to a wide class of musical instruments, the aerophones,
which are calles like that because, expressesd in a simple way,
you produce the tone by blowing into a pipe.
When you speak of music colloquially, you dinstinguish between
wind instruments (trumpets, etc.) and woodwind instruments (flutes
and pipe instruments). Compared to the systematics of instruments,
however, the distinction is far more subtle. The organ is also
classified as a wind instrument, whereas the accordion, the harmonium
and the mouthorgan belong to the so-called free aerophones. The
way you produce a sound when blowing the trombone is, for example,
quite different from that of a trumpet.
In about 1700, the clarinet was
created and developed by Johann Christoph Denner, It was in the
middle of the 18th century that the clarint had become
an indispensable instrument for every orchestra. Since then many
important compositions for clarinet recitals and chamber music
habe been written. In jazz, the clarinet is a very popular instrument
In 1450, the trombone was developed in Burgundy as an improved
model of the slide trumpet; it was made in different sizes. Very
quickly this old trombone corresponded to the customary form we
have today. The English expression for this instrument is "Sackbut",
which actually means "pull" and "push" and
so points to the sliding device of the instrument at that time.
It was mainly used for music in churches and in chamber music,
but in the course of the 17th century it lost iimportance
considerably, except for the use in town bands. Later it gained
importance again as it was used in military music. In the 18th
century, trombones with valves were introduced, but since
then there has not been an essential improvement in sound.
(Schmelzer Trombones) The
trombone belongs to the family of brass instruments and the sound
is caused by the vibrating lips of the player. With woodwind instruments
the sound is produced by the vibrating part of an instrument,
for example a reed.
In our modern age, the saxophone is closely connected with the
development of jazz in the USA, and here it had reached greatest
popularity as a solo instrument. It had been made by the Belgian
instrument maker Adolphe Sax in about 1840. It was first used
in symphony orchestras in the year 1844. Today it is made in 8
sizes, from the sopranino to the sub-double bass. Well-known composers
as Hector Berlioz, George Bizet, Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy
created impressive compositions for the saxophone. But there are
also famous jazz saxophone players, as Sidney Bechet, Charly Parker,
John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan and others, who have created wonderful
compositions and who play this instrument.
You blow the trumpet using a cup mouth piece
and you produce the sound with your lips. The trumpet is used in
symphony orchestras as well as in jazz, dance and military bands.
It is probably the instrument that, starting from classical music,
has found its way into all fields of music, especially light or
As a wind instrument, the tuba has a bell that is directed upwards;
it is a "flugelhorn". It was perfected in the 19th
century and it is made in different sizes up to
The French horn:
In Germany, the French horn, originating from the bugles or hunting
horns, was developed into all fields of music, especially light
or popular music.
© M. Schmelzer - Schmelzer Musikinstrumente
- Mönchengladbach - Stand: