Tubas have been used in jazz since the genre's beginning.
A tuba, with its tubing wrapped for placing the instrument on the player's lap, is usually called either a tuba or concert tuba.
Most professionals (and those trained or training to be professionals) in the U.S. play CC tubas, but most also are trained in proficiency on all four pitches of tubas.
The lowest pitched tubas are the contrabass tubas, pitched in C or B-flat; (referred to as CC and BB-flat tubas respectively, based on a traditional distortion of a now-obsolete octave naming convention).
Tubas are considered to be conical in shape as the bore of their tubing steadily increases in diameter along its length, from the mouthpiece to the bell.
The tuba (usually bass tuba pitched in E?) would provide a walking bass similar to that of a double bass, but with a larger range.
Some believe that the external finish of the tuba can play an important role in the tone production, though this has never been objectively measured.
Within the brass section, the four voices consist of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tuba.
Tubas are found in various pitches, most commonly in F, E?, CC, or B? in "brass band" pitching.
The tuba has also played a large role in ragtime music, and in big band music.
Tubas are also used in concert bands, marching bands, and in drum and bugle (and drum and brass) corps.
The sixth valve is commonly tuned as a flat half step, allowing the F tuba to play low G as 1-4-5-6 and low G-flat as 1-2-4-5-6.
The euphonium is sometimes referred to as a tenor tuba, and is pitched one octave higher (in B-flat) than the BB-flat contrabass tuba.
Many jazz bands actually use a sousaphone, commonly but technically incorrectly called a "tuba" in this context.
The French C tuba was the standard instrument in French orchestras until overtaken by F and C contrabass tubas since the Second World War.
Tubas come in both piston and rotary valve models.
Bass clef music for tuba is usually in concert pitch.
Drum and bugle corps players, however, use marching tubas, which in this context are referred to as contras.
Rotary valves are based on a design that is derived from the Berlinerpumpen used on the very first bass tuba patented by Wilhelm Wieprecht in 1835.
Tubas generally have from three to six valves, though some rare exceptions exist.
Most marching bands opt for the sousaphone, an instrument which is easier to carry and almost always cheaper than a true marching tuba.
Another notable group is the Modern Jazz Tuba Project, founded by R. Winston Morris, which consists entirely of tubas and euphoniums with rhythm section.
The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched of the brass instruments.
In British style brass bands, both E? and B? tubas are used and are normally referred to as basses.
The term "tenor tuba" is often used more specifically, in reference to B-flat rotary-valved tuba pitched in the same octave as euphonium.
The tuba represents the bass "voice" of the traditional brass section.
Consequently, the tuba is generally treated as a transposing instrument when it is written for in the treble clef, but not in the bass clef.
Some tubas are capable of being converted into a marching style, known as "marching tubas."
Some piston-valved tubas have a compensating system to allow accurate tuning when using several valves in combination, simplifying fingering and removing the need to constantly adjust slide positions.
Hence, in orchestral composition, the tuba, along with bassoons (reeds) and contrabasses (strings) are the instruments that provide the harmonic underpinning for triadic harmony.
The third valve is long enough to lower the pitch of a B? tuba by three semitones, but it is not long enough to lower the pitch of an A? tuba by three semitones.
Later, in the 1950s, British musician Gerard Hoffnung commissioned the London firm of Paxman to create a subcontrabass tuba for use in his comedic music festivals.
One much-debated example of such application for orchestral tuba players in the U.S. is the Byd?o movement in Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Among more advanced players, four and five valve tubas are by far the most common choices, with six valve tubas being relatively rare except for F tubas intended to be used by European orchestral performers.
Some marching tubas are made only for marching, and cannot be converted into a concert model.
Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz was the first major work orchestrated for tuba.
In CC tubas with five valves, the fifth valve may be tuned as a flat whole step or as a minor third depending on the instrument.
The tuba is then usually rested on the left shoulder (although some tubas allow use of the right shoulder), with the bell facing directly in front of the player.
Various concertos have been written for the tuba by numerous notable composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Gregson, John Williams, Alexander Arutiunian and Bruce Broughton.
An orchestra usually has a single tuba, serving as the bass of the brass section, though its versatility means it can double as reinforcement for the strings and woodwinds, or increasingly as a solo instrument.
Tubas have recently found popularity with the rise of Tex-Mex and similar music, where they compete with the bass guitarrуn and electric bass guitar.
Standard tubas can also be played while standing, with the use of a strap which is joined to the tuba using two rings.
Tubas are usually featured in a supporting role, although it is not uncommon for them to take solos.
Tubas are generally finished in raw brass, lacquered brass, or silver-plated brass.
The next smallest tubas are the bass tubas, pitched in F or E-flat (a fourth above the contrabass tubas).