Any of a group of musical instruments made of brass or other metal. It does not include woodwind instruments made of metal, such as the saxophone or flute. The sound is produced when the column of air inside the instrument is made to vibrate by the player's lips vibrating against the mouthpiece. Orchestral brass instruments are descended from signalling instruments (the ‘natural horn’, ‘natural trumpet’) consisting of a single tube with no extra mechanism. These instruments could only produce notes in their own harmonic series – the higher notes of the series being produced by the player increasing the lip tension. To achieve a variety of notes, a player used a set of crooks (several pieces of tubing of differing lengths). Early in the 19th century, the invention of the valve system meant that brass instruments could now play all the notes throughout their pitch range. They are powerful and efficient generators of sound, and produce tones of great depth and resonance.
The number and type of brass instruments needed in the symphony orchestra vary, but there are usually four French horns, two trumpets, three trombones, and one tuba. In the brass band they include the cornet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, B flat baritone, euphonium, trombone, and bombardon (bass tuba).
A family of tubular wind instruments or aerophones most often made of brass and sounded by the buzzing of the player's lips. Each consists of...
Family of tubular instruments made of that metal and blown into with vibrating lips and a setting of the mouth (EMBOUCHURE) that controls which...
Musical wind instrument, usually made of brass or other metal, in which the vibration of the player’s lips against a cup- or funnel-shaped mouthpie