Band & Orchestra



Brass wind instruments are very numerous and diversified.  They differ from woodwinds in the way they produce sound. With brass instruments, the sound is produced by the vibration of the air by the pressure of the musician's lips on the instrument. Brass instruments include trumpets, horns, trombones, cornets and tubas.

The trumpet

Trumpets are made of a curved tube 1.50 metres long (like the cornet) and are mainly made of brass. They are played with 3 valves (4 in the case of the "piccolo" model) and an air column. The 3 valves allow to obtain different tones.
The sound of a trumpet is suitable for many musical genres (it can be heard in some very modern music, such as techno). Its range is very high. To produce these higher notes, all you have to do is increase the pressure of your lips.

The cornet

The cornet literally means "little horn". Originally, the cornet was wound like a horn (and used as a call horn) until pistons were introduced. Since then it has been wound like a trumpet, with the same length of tube. It differs physically by having a more folded and compact shape.
It uses the same fingerings as the trumpet or flugelhorn, but its conical tube allows it to produce a softer, lower pitched sound. It is usually a B flat instrument.
Some beginners use the cornet as a way to learn the trumpet because it is easier to hold (due to its size and compact shape).

The trombone

A brass wind instrument, the trombone is also called the "slide trombone", in reference to its telescopic slide. It is one of the few instruments in its family that are not played with the individual use of the fingers. Today, there are also piston trombones.
The sound of the trombone, whether tenor or bass, is in a lower register than the trumpet. It is also brighter, thanks in part to its elongated, S-curved shape and cylindrical tube section.

French horns

French horns are the modern version of the valve horn, invented on the basis of the natural horn. It has a conical bore which gives it a soft and rich sound. Its large bell and a set of pistons also allow to modify the length and tuning of the horn.


Among the brass wind instruments, the tuba is the one that encompasses the greatest diversity of instruments. Its name, in Latin, means a large curved trumpet. It was originally used mostly in a military context.

Today, the tuba is the lowest register instrument in the brass family. Its range varies according to the length of its tube.