The lowest pitched member of the
orchestral brass family, the tuba has a cup-shaped mouth-piece. Its wide,
cone shaped body flares out into a large bell. The player must vibrate his/her
lips against the mouthpiece.
The original Latin word "tuba"
simply means "trumpet", but in music today, it means the bass
instrument described here. It is a reasonably recent addition to the orchestra,
dating from about 1830. Other names include double-bass tuba, and contrabass
The Bb tuba ranges from the E 3 octaves below middle C (Midi = E1)
up to the Bb just below middle C. There are many other varieties of tuba, in
different keys, and different shapes, and assuming various other names, such as
the euphonium, and the sousaphone.