Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pity the Tuba

What a sad fate it is to play the tuba.

To be always playing not-quite pieces; to be lumped with bass parts in brass ensembles; to be forever playing the neglected but necessary notes to make up the harmonious whole of a composition. To be a tuba, one would imagine, would be a little like being the word 'the' in a famous and beautiful poem by a much-loved poet. Oh, people go on about the symbols, and the metaphors, and the rhymes, and the imagery - but they never stop to think about a humble preposition such as 'the': nooooo!
Lovers listen to the plaintive tones of violins; soldiers awake to the bracing call of the bugle; funerals are greeted with the solemn tones of the pipe-organ. But what about the tuba?

Won't somebody please think of the tuba?


mindlessmunkey said...

I don't mean to be a pedant, but those instruments in the photo are sousaphones, not tubas. The tuba cannot easily be carried in a marching band, so Mr John Sousa invented this substitute. Alas, once agan the humble tuba is forced to take the back seat.


TimT said...

I am truly ashamed. :( But get a load of those Sousas, eh? Phwoooar!!!

vague said...

The only thing worse that\n playing the tuba is playing the baritone sax, which often doens't get a part written for it, so one has to play the tuba part, transposing it into E-flat on the fly. Not like I know this from experience, or anything. Ahem. what I mean to say is, band was cool where I went to school.

vague said...

that\n? what the hell, people.

ManicLovely said...

I relate, I was forced to play long, open, boring notes on alto saxamaphone in Junior band. Oh the shame. Thank fuck my teen angst called on me to trash the sax and take up the bad ass bass so I could play in a bad ass girl band at Primary School fetes. Rock on forever.

Tony.T said...


TimT said...

What the XXXX was that all about?

Manic Lovely, Vague - why can't the tuba and the baritone sax be the bad-ass rock instruments is all I'm sayin' ...! I blame Gillespie and Hendrix. If only they'd taken up the tuba and the baritone sax, we'd all be better for it.

TimT said...

Actually, I fXXXXing know what the FXXXXk that was all about, but when you get a chance to use the word XXXXX! then you should use it.

Um, I'm going now.

Acme Girl said...

Yes, I, too, love the sound of the tuba. The deep, rich bass always melts my heart. I'm a sucker for the bassline and the tuba is my fave of the bass instruments. A shame there aren't very many solo pieces written for such a fine instrument. (Nor free tuba MP3s without requiring a password.)

Anonymous said...

I play tuba! Actually, a sousaphone is a tuba, so it doesn't matter. I feel much more sorry for the percussionist who gets the bass drum- same size, half the glory, because they NEVER, EVER get the melody.
March on!

+Lisa said...

First of all, AMEN to you, 'Anonymous'...I completely agree.

Second, the only thing better than a tuba is a contrabass bugle!

Go Drum and Bugle Corps!

Anonymous said...

By definition a sousaphone is a tuba, and there are solo parts for the tuba. A lot of songs have killer bass lines, which I adore. Yeah for the tuba!

Estelle Luna said...

Cry about marching Bari Sax, will you, Vague? Try bass clarinet. I don't know where you went to school, but all the pieces I played throughout high school and college had bari sax parts... bass clarinet on the other hand, not quite so prevalent.

Even worse, trying having been the only marching bass clarinet in high school.

Anonymous said...

theyre the samee, sousa-tuba watever
they are deee bombbb :D:D
and please
think about them :D they are a lot of funn

Rich said...

John Philip Sousa did not invent the sousaphone. J. W. Pepper invented it and named it after Sousa. Listen to the current crop of great tuba players and you'll see that tubas are not relegated to playing merely the bass line.
Daniel Perantoni, Samuel Pilafian, Gene Pokorny, Red Lahr, and Roger Bobo are just a handful of the tuba greats playing these days.

viagra online said...

When I was a little boy, my mom bought me a Tuba, after that I've been playing the Tuba with my friends in the University and we can't stop the feeling, I mean, we love the music, and I'm the guy in the picture above! Congrats for me!

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