A baritone horn is essentially a saxophone horn tuned with a tenor sound in the key of B flat. It looks like a small tuba and a euphonium, as it also features a medium-sized mouthpiece, a conical bore, several pistol valves, and a bell that faces either forward or upward. Considered mellow instruments, baritone horns produce ‘bright’ sounds in between the sound created by trombones and euphoniums. They are popularly used in brass bands and campus musical bands in Europe; however, they are already gradually being replaced by the euphonium.
Types of Baritone Horns
Kinds of Baritone Horns include the following:
Three-valve baritone horn
A three-valve baritone horn uses three front-action piston valves to produce a bright, focused, and versatile true baritone sound. It has a fixed bell that can face forward or upward, and a medium-cup mouthpiece that does not require too much blowing effort. Three-valve baritone horns can come in compensating or non-compensating design, and can have either lacquer or silver plate finish.
Four-valve baritone horn
A four-valve baritone horn has an added valve for producing a wider variety of low tones. It produces a rich sound, an excellent tone, and an accurate intonation. It has a fixed bell that can face forward or upward, and can either be compensating or a non-compensating. Four-valve baritone horns are usually made of high-quality brass that provides outstanding response and long-lasting durability.
Choosing Baritone Horns (Buying tips)
Valves: Choose a baritone horn with honed valves that ensure a perfect fit to the casings and pistons. Honed valves also prevent air leakage that affects sound production.
Tubing: Choose a baritone horn with a pressure-formed tubing system to reduce turbulence and resistance, and add smoothness to the airflow.