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If you are curious what the euphonium is, don't worry. You aren't alone. While most people have heard of trumpets, or trombones, very few have heard of the euphonium. No one really knows why there is such a lack of knowledge about this instrument. It may be because it is rarely used in our instrument world today. But why would it not be used? An instrument with such a glorious velvety sound deserves a place in music, right?
To be honest, the euphonium is a relatively young instrument. The euphonium was developed in the mid 1800's by Adolph Sax. The original model, although many claim it to be an entirely different instrument, was the Saxhorn. Rumor has it that this invention was created to provide a darker sound in a brass ensemble, yet it was felt unneccessary for orchestral productions. For years the euphonium was used in England primarily as a solo instrument in british brass ensembles, and wind bands. However, in London during 1921, Gustav Holst was premiering his Symphonic Suite, The Planets, which happened to call for a Tenor Tuba part. One rumor is that the reason Holst referred to the part as tenor tuba was that he felt that the usage of a heavy vibrato, very common with euphonium performers, was unneccessary, for it was important to have a nice, clean, tone quality which provided much flexibility. However, he had intended to use the euphonium for that role. This was an outbreak for the euphonium, making it very probable to use this instrument in the orchestra. It was not the first time the euphonium was used in the orchestra, however, it was the first time it had been given such a promising part.
Today, the euphonium is used widely throughout the world, participating in Wind Bands and Brass bands from around the earth, and even being used in orchestral pieces. Though there are such euphonium greats as Brian L. Bowman, or Steven Mead, the euphonium is awesome taken up by those of other brass instruments, and used as a secondary instrument. The euphonium has come a long way since the mid 1800's, and despite the criticism many choose to have towards this instrument, it still is very unique, and that's the reason it is still appreciated in the world.