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What Orchestral Instrument Will You Learn ? The Brass Section

Updated on February 3, 2015

Playing An Orchestral Instrument

Playing an instrument in an orchestra is very stimulating , whether it be as an amateur or professional. You get to play wonderful music in a large group of like minded people and maybe have performance opportunities depending on the orchestra you belong to. Of course, if you play in an orchestra professionally, you get paid to do what you enjoy. If you are thinking of learning an instrument to play in an orchestra then you need to check out the four sections of orchestral instruments to help you decide which orchestral instrument to learn.

1. Woodwind Section

2. String Section

3. Brass Section

4. Percussion

This lens covers the Brass Section

The Brass Section

You can enjoy playing in a chamber group with these brass instruments.

Brass Instruments are musical wind instruments that consist of a mouthpiece and long pieces of coiled tubing that opens out at the far end. The tubes need to bent and coiled so thay are easier to handle. The mouthpiece ( cone, cup, or funnel ) and body vary in shape depending on the instrument. They can be made of brass and other metals like silver and gold, wood, tusk, horn, or shell and even plastic in some parts of the instrument.

The sound is produced when the player presses their lips on the mouthpiece and blows air through the tubing thus creating the air to vibrate and produce the crisp, bright, vibrant sound. The lips pressed together create a buzz and act much like the reeds of the woodwinds.The player changes the pitch by altering lip tension and by changing the length of the tubing with use of slides or valves depending on the instrument.

A typical orchestra consists of the trumpet, the horn, the trombone, and the tuba. The orchestra usually has one or two of each of these instruments, and sometimes more.

Brass instruments are loud and their tone carries a long way. For this reason, they are often used in military bands, which play outside much of the time.

Here are the four types of orchestral brass instruments in more detail.


The trumpet is the highest member of the brass group.

Music is written with notes and rests on the treble staff using the treble clef.

Trumpet Sounds

How do you get a trumpet player to play fff?

Write mp on the part.

Trumpet Shopping

You may find something for yourself or someone else as a gift.


Trombones are brass instruments that come in varying sizes.

Trombone players read music using a variety of clefs.

In orchestral music, the trombone is not a transposing instrument . Music is written with notes and rests on the bass staff using the bass clef.

Occasionally the tenor clef is used.

In band music, it uses treble clef and is a transposing instrument, sounding a major 9th lower than written.

Trombone Sounds

Trombone Shopping

Find something trombone related for you or someone else

French Horn

The French Horn is the second highest sounding brass instrument.

Music is written with notes and rests on the treble staff using the treble clef. But it is a transposing instrument with notes sounding a 5th lower than written. occasionally there is music written on the bass stave using the bass clef.

French Horn Sounds

French Horn Shopping

Take a look at these french horn items for yourself or someone else.


Tubas are the lowest sounding instruments in the brass family.

Music can be written using both the treble and bass clef. However most orchestral music is written using the bass stave and bass clef.

Tuba Sounds

Tuba Shopping

Here are a few tuba items to tantalise your taste buds. Splash out on a gift for you or someone else.

Time For A Choice

Which Instrument Will You learn?

These four types of brass instruments feature in orchestras and other groups. If you like the orchestra and the idea of playing a loud, wind instrument then give a trumpet, trombone, french horn or tuba a chance. Make sure you try it for at least a year to decide if you would like to continue playing or try another instrument. It is possible that you may find breathing and note production difficult- in which case a string instrument could be a better option. Anyway, which instrument will you learn?

Will You Be Learning A Brass Instrument?

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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Hi! *SquidAngel Blessed and featured on "Musical Instrument Angel"! =D