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Related to ophicleides: Contrabass ophicleide, Quinticlave


(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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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How many other recordings are you going to come across where you can hear not only one but two different bass ophicleides, one 9-key and one 10-key version?
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.
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).