Here is an introduction to members of the brass family found in a symphony orchestra, from highest to lowest: trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba.

These instruments’ history comes from the military; they were used to sound fanfares outdoors, often across battlefields or cities. They’re still quite loud instruments, and they project across an entire ensemble.

Trumpet (or cornet)

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Flight of the Bumblebee (1900) & Mexican Hat Dance (trad.), performed by Rafael Mendez

 

Miles Davis, So What (1959), performed by Miles Davis

 

French horn

Richard Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11 (1883), performed by Marie-Luise Nuenecker

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, II. Andante cantabile (excerpt, 1888), horn solo played by Stefan Dohr

 

Trombone

Jean-Baptiste Arban, Fantasie and Variations on The Carnival of Venice (1912), performed by Hakan Bjorkman

 

Duke Ellington & Juan Tizol, Caravan (1936), performed by Wycliffe Gordon

 

Tuba

Vittorio Monti, Czardas (1904) performed by Øystein Baadsvik

 

Brass mutes and sound production

Sound production: Buzzing

 

Mutes

 

Right hand position: French horn