Baritone vs Euphonium
As Euphonium and Baritone are two musical instruments which often cause confusion among many with regard to identification, this article attempts to clarify the difference between baritone and euphonium, and make it easy for the reader to distinguish one from the other. Due to the apparent similarities between the two instruments, both names are generally used interchangeably which is a common faulty practice by some people. Despite their striking similarities, the number of differences between the two musical instruments, baritone and euphonium, can be noticeable to a careful observer. However, both the baritone and euphonium belong to the brass family and produce low-pitched sounds with variations.
What is a Euphonium?
The euphonium is a brass musical instrument which falls under the classification of brass, wind and aero-phone. It is rather large in size but smaller than a tuba. Hence, it is called a mini tuba. The euphonium is a valved instrument having three main valves upright and a smaller fourth valve on the side.It is conical in the shape of the bore and offers a mellow sound. The key of the euphonium is a concert B♭andit has a playing range from B0 to B♭5, from bass clef to treble clef. The top three valves are played with the first three fingers of the right hand whereas the smaller fourth valve, which is found midway down the right side of the instrument, is played with the left index finger. The exact sound of the euphonium is said difficult to be described.
What is a Baritone?
The baritone too belongs to the family of brass instruments and it also falls under the classification of brass, wind and aero-phone. It is similar to the tuba and the euphonium in shape, but is smaller than both the tuba and the euphonium. The shape of the bore of the baritone is cylindrical and it is narrower and smaller than that of the euphonium. The baritone has only three valves and rather occasionally one can find a baritone with four valves. The baritone too is pitched in concert B♭and it ranges from concert third low E of the bass clef to the concert F at the top of the treble clef and sometimes even higher than that. The sound produced by the baritone lies somewhere in between the bright sound of the trombone and the mellow sound of the euphonium.
What is the difference between Euphonium and Baritone?
• Euphonium has three main valves upright and a smaller fourth valve on the side whereas the baritone only has three upright valves at the top.
• The bore of the euphonium is a conical shape while that of the baritone is cylindrical.
• The bore size of the euphonium is larger than that of the baritone.
• The bore of the euphonium is wider and the bore of the baritone is narrower.
• The sound of the euphonium is darker and mellower than the sound produced by the baritone.
Taking these differences into consideration, it is comprehensible that the euphonium and the baritone are two distinctly different musical instruments of the same brass family. They basically differ in the number of valves, the sound they produce and the size and shape of their bores.
Photos By: Hidekazu Okayama ( CC BY-SA 3.0), User:RWFanMS (CC BY-SA 3.0)