• Brass instruments make up the brass
family of orchestral instruments.
• Brass instruments are sometimes made of
brass, but also other metal.
• These instruments all have three major
sections: a mouthpiece, a length of tubing,
and a bell.
• You usually think of them as a “fanfare”
• In their present form, brass instruments
have been around for about 1000 years,
although there is evidence that similar
instruments have been around since the
beginning of time.
• These early “brass-style” instruments
included conch shells, animal horns and
A conch shell
A sea shell used as
An ancient trumpet An Alphorn
made from rams
horn A horn that is
made of wood and
is in many section
– still used today!
• Since their were no microphones in
churches 1000 years ago, brass
instruments were used instead of singers
so that everyone could hear.
• Those songs sounded like this.
• There are four major members of the
brass family: the Trumpet, the French
Horn, the Trombone, and the Tuba.
• Each of these instruments has its own
distinct look and sound.
• Smallest and highest of the brasses, it
usually plays the melody or soprano part.
• The trumpet is sometimes made of brass,
but usually it’s made of silver.
• It has three valves.
The French Horn
• The second smallest of the brass family, it
usually plays the middle harmony or alto
• The French horn is usually made of brass,
but some are silver and some are made of
• It has three valves and is played with the
right hand in the bell.
• The French horn is the only “left-handed”
The French Horn
is played with
your right hand
in the bell
A “Brass” A “Silver”
• The oldest member of the brass family, it usually plays
the middle harmony or tenor part.
• The Trombone horn is almost always made of brass, but
some are silver and some are made of mixture of brass
and copper (rose brass).
• The Trombone is the only instrument in the world that
uses a slide rather than keys, valves, or strings. (Some
trombones have a single valve that allows them to play
• The Trombone is was originally called the Sackbut.
• The trombone is also the instrument you hear making
the “sliding” noise in Jazz and Dixie Land bands
A Trombone Two Original
with a valve Sackbuts
• The largest of the brasses, it usually plays
the low harmony or bass part.
• The Tuba is made of brass or silver.
• It has three or four valves.
• Some special marching band tubas, called
Sousaphones, are made out of a very
A “Silver” A “Brass”