Monday, May 04, 2009

I don't know what a euphonium is.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the spring concert of the Kennebec Performing Arts Company, a fine show that included a wind ensemble's pops performance, a set of choral selections, and a swinging jazz combo.

The wind ensemble was especially impressive, as it included an instrument I'd never seen (or at least, never noticed) -- two musicians playing something called a euphonium.


Wonders of technology: I had an iTouch and a wireless connection, so looked it up at intermission. Imagine my relief to find that Wikipedia describes it as "possibly the least popularly-known Western instrument of all," and says that most Americans need it to be described as a small tuba or a baritone horn. Not that I know what a baritone horn is...

Anyway, the fingering on a euphonium is the same as on a tuba or a trumpet, but apparently it's a more challenging instrument to play: "beginning euphoniumists will likely experience significant problems with intonation, response, and range compared to other beginning brass players."

So it's really cool that we have not one, but two performance-level euphoniumists here in the Kennebec Valley.

Euphoniumist. I'm tempted to take it up myself, just so I can use that word to describe myself.

3 comments:

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

You never heard the lyric "Double bell euphoniums and big bassoons" and wondered what a euphonium was? I am surprised.

AnswerGirl said...

I don't know how many times I've heard that line, and it just never occurred to me to wonder until I saw it written out. Maybe I thought it was something Professor Hill had made up?

Gonçalo said...

And do you know what is a BOMBARDINO??