ophicleide


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ophicleide

(ŏf`ĭklīd) [Gr.,=serpent with keys], brass wind musical instrument of relatively wide conical bore, largest of the keyed buglesbugle,
brass wind musical instrument consisting of a conical tube coiled once upon itself, capable of producing five or six harmonics. It is usually in G or B flat. Its principal use is for military and naval bugle calls, such as taps and reveille, and, in earlier times, for
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; invented in 1817 by Jean-Hilaire Asté of Paris. It had from 8 to 11 keys and a full, loud tone; since its intonation was deficient, however, it was soon displaced in the orchestra by the bass tuba. Many composers scored for it before the tuba was available.

Ophicleide

 

a wind instrument patented in 1817 by the Parisian master craftsman Halary (J. H. Asté). The ophicleide is a horseshoe-shaped, conical pipe with a cup-shaped mouthpiece at its narrow, spirally bent end. The bass ophicleide was sometimes included in symphony orchestras. (There were also alto and baritone ophicleides.) Although it was replaced by the tuba in the second half of the 19th century, the ophicleide is still used occasionally in France, Italy, and South America.

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Rasping horns, narrow-bore trombones and a sturdy, compact ophicleide (ancestor of the tuba) cut through the textures, and the athletic chorus, meticulous in its diction, delivered the text almost as a gripping page-turner narrative.
Almeida, who performed on ophicleide and trombone, played with some of the great players of choro during the early decades of the twentieth century, including Anacleto de Medeiros and the father of Pixinguinha.
A clearer and more extended view of the ophicleide and serpent are presented in the video of Gardiner conducting his original instrument orchestra in the Symphonie fantastique).
Although the (by then Cuban) nineteenth-century contradanza was initially performed by an ensemble called tipico (two violins, two clarinets, one double bass, one trumpet, one trombone, ophicleide, Cuban pailas, and guiro), this ensemble was gradually replaced by the charanga francesa, based on the "French" trio to which Cuban percussion instruments, three violins, one flute, one 'cello, and one double bass were added.
Ratner's survey of the opera's instrumentation reveals a remarkably large brass section, including two natural and two chromatic horns, two chromatic trumpets and two cornets a pistons, four trombones, and two ophicleides, as well as a large percussion ensemble, including timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, glockenspiel.
Instruments played in other bands included flutes, bassoons, key bugles, French horns, ophicleides, serpents, bass horns, tenor and bass drums, cymbals tambourines and triangles(1).
The central slow movement, Scene in the Fields, has never seemed so compact (wonderful cor anglais playing again, complemented later by a songful clarinet solo), and the grand guignol of the two concluding movements was enhanced by the fruity contributions of a pair of ophicleides and delightfully whole-hearted trombone pedal-notes.