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tuba(to͞o`bə) [Lat.,=trumpet], valved brass wind musical instrument of wide conical bore. The term tuba is applied rather loosely to any low-pitched brass instrument other than the trombone; such instruments vary in size, and are known by various names. The contrabass tuba, which is most common, plays in the same range as the double bass. The helicon and sousaphone are contrabass tubas used in marching bands; they coil around the player and rest on the left shoulder. The baritone and euphonium are small tubas, mainly band instruments, pitched the same as the trombone. Wagner secured the tuba's place in the orchestra in the mid-19th cent. He called for three differently pitched instruments for his Ring cycle. The Wagner tuba is a narrow-bore tuba with a French-horn mouthpiece. Tubas appeared first in Berlin in the 1820s, soon after the invention of the valve. They were soon accepted into the band and orchestra, displacing the serpent, ophicleide, and other such instruments of poorer tone quality and intonation.
See C. Bevan, The Tuba Family (1978).
a river in Krasnoiarsk Krai, RSFSR; a right tributary of the Enisei. The Tuba is 119 km long and drains an area of 36,900 sq km. Formed by the confluence of the Kazyr and Amyl rivers, it is located in the Minusinsk Basin and branches before emptying into Tuba Inlet of Krasnoiarsk Reservoir. Fed primarily by snow, it has a mean flow rate of 771 cu m per sec. The river freezes from late October to early December, and the ice breaks up in April or early May. The Tuba is used to float timber and is navigable for 99 km from its mouth.
the lowest-pitched brass instrument. The tuba consists of cylindrical and conical curved tubes, a bell, a mouthpiece, and valves. The most common tubas are the E-flat bass and the B-flat contrabass.