Description: The French tuba was a much-needed addition to the brasswind musical instrument family, adding depth, projection and a unique color to French orchestral literature. Its ancestors the serpent and ophicleide both lacked the tonal stability and sonic power to adequately present the bass wind role in a robust orchestra. Through the efforts of its developer and patent-holder Adolphe Sax, the French tuba made converts among players and composers, effectively creating its own niche in music history. Musical tastes change however, and the French tuba has been largely supplanted by tubists using instruments twice its size. Since French composers composed specifically with the distinct timbre of the French tuba in mind, this unique and characteristic musical entity deserves a resurgence in performances of French orchestral repertoire.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kleinsteuber, Carl