Euphonium Vs Baritone: What Is The Difference Between Them?

euphonium vs baritone
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Euphonium vs baritone – these two musical instrument definitions might confuse you a lot. But if you really consider having a professional musical career, knowing these two is really important. Don’t worry, today PM Dawn will give you the most detailed information about euphonium vs baritone, from the difference between Baritone and Euphonium to which one you should buy. Let’s get started ! 

What is a Euphonium? 

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Such a sweet voice or well-sounding brass instrument

It is commonly seen that not really many people hear about the Euphonium, they don’t even know about it. The Euphonium is a medium-sized brass instrument that has a conical bore. The Euphonium name was taken from a Greek word, and guess what ? That word means sweet voice or angelic sound. Generally, it is a piston-valve musical instrument. 

The Euphonium’s bore and bell are bigger than the Baritone. Its tubing does have a conical rather than cylindrical shape. This means that the tubing diameter increases as it approaches the bell. Because of its special and unique form that nothing has, it produces a deeper, mellower, and more powerful sound than a baritone. That might be one of the most special things about Euphonium. 

If the instrument has four valves, the player will use three of them, which are top action) with right fingers. .And the fourth valve is mid-way down on the right section of the instrument, and this one is the one that is usually played with the left hand. 

What is a Baritone? 

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This brass instrument has lower register of the voice range

The Baritone, as we have seen, is more commonly seen than the Euphonium. The Baritone is a type of male singing voice, which one is typically on the lower register of the voice range. For your information, it is also a type of brass instrument. A Baritone is also known or called the Baritone horn. And this Baritone horn is also a brass instrument in the low-pitch range. 

About the Baritone, this musical instrument is included in the saxhorn family, which is a group of piston-valve brass instruments with cup-shaped mouthpieces and conical bores. The sounds are normally produced by any member of the saxhorn genre, but it can blend well with other brass instrument genres. 

The sounds produced by this straight tube shape are reported to be lighter and brighter. The majority of baritone saxophones have three valves, although some have four. A Baritone’s horn is wrapped more tightly than a Euphonium’s one. The Baritone is highly compact, easier to wield, and carry because of its lower bell.

So what are the differences that we have seen between Euphonium vs Baritone ? In this next paragraph, we will give you the more detailed answer of what is the difference between a Baritone and a Euphonium, but now, just look at the sounds and its impact. Broadly, the Baritone has a smaller bore and bell compared to a Euphonium. And the Baritone has an almost cylindrical tubing. So it comes up with the result of producing a lighter and brighter sound. 

Similarities between the Euphonium and the Baritone

Since both the Euphonium vs Baritone instruments have some similarities, many band members and bandleaders are confused. In what ways do they like each other? Here are some similarities that we have found. Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we? 

They are both brass instruments

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These two instruments both come from the brass family

The very first similarity between the Euphonium and the Baritone is that they are both brass instruments. This fact also means that they are all made of metal, mainly brass. They also appear with a name of wind instrument, which means that they produce sound when an instrumentalist blows wind into their mouthpieces. And what a coincidence, both Euphonium vs Baritone were invented in the same time period, which was in the 1840s. 

And yes, the Euphonium and the Baritone both belong to the low-range brass family. Most of their normal music sheet reading is set in a bass clef. Both of these instruments look quite similar to a tube. The similarity does not end at that, both the Euphonium and the Baritone also have the same fingering styles. 

Therefore, both of them are often thought to as “the same person”. Kinda not surprise, to be honest. It is important that you should know one other thing about these two instruments – Euphonium vs Baritone is that you can also play the other when you learn to play. We all think that this is kinda a great choice for you. 

Both of the Euphonium and Baritone are played in Brass Bands but not in Orchestras

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British Brass Brands Showcase

Here is another similarity, which is a fun fact about the Euphonium vs Baritone. The lack of orchestral works with euphonium and baritone parts is due to the fact that both of these two instruments were only recently invented musical instruments. Both the Euphonium and the Baritone instruments were created in the 1840s.

Well, because of that, all of the greatest composers who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries chose to compose their music in that way.As soon as they were invented in the time period of 1840s, they immediately became one of the most preferred instruments of brass bands, especially in England. Later on, they became widely used in every single concert band all over the world. Brass bands, as you may know, are made up entirely of percussion and brass instruments, with no stringed instruments.

Concert bands, on the other hand, include woodwind instruments as well as brass and percussion instruments. In concert venues, it is commonly seen that professional music players use them to mainly perform pop melodies, lighter music, and classical compositions written for concert bands. Military and marching bands employ both instruments.

Two baritones and two euphoniums make up a conventional brass band in the United Kingdom. They are frequently performed by professional instrumentalists who usually sit together and play the same parts. However, you will hear a variety of sounds from each due to variances in bell and bore size.

The euphonium’s sound is typically mellower than that of the baritone, which is a little brighter. However, the tones of Euphonium as well Baritone are usually seen mixed together in the band’s middle tonal range. 

Both instruments are written as B-Flat Instruments in Treble Clef

difference between baritone and euphonium
B-Flat Instruments in Treble Clef

Once they were firstly invented, music composers started writing music for both of those instruments, the Euphonium and the Baritone. And yes, fortunately, it is a great option musical professional players were very happy with. 

As a downward extension of the Tenor Horn section, they frequently composed unique work for the baritone. Meanwhile, the euphonium section’s music was created as an upward extension of the Tuba (Bass) section’s melody. As a result, music for the euphonium and baritone was composed in treble clef. 

Differences between the Euphonium and the Baritone

As we said before, in this paragraph, we will dig into the differences between the Euphonium and the Baritone. There are quite many differences between a Baritone and a Euphonium, but in this article, we will share with you 5 main differences between the Euphonium and the Baritone. So what are those differences 

what is the difference between a baritone and a euphonium
What are the differences between Euphonium vs Baritone? 

Sound quality 

The first, and the most important difference, we think is sound quality. Once you listen to the sound, you will hear the difference in sounds that those two instruments produce. Despite the fact that they are both pitched or tuned in B flat, they generate very different sounds. The harmony component of an ensemble, orchestra, or band is frequently played by instruments with pitches in B flat.

Even though both the Euphonium and the Baritone have the same pitch, the fuller sound would come from the Euphonium. This is mainly created by the conical shape of the Euphonium tube. While the shape of tubing is used to harmonize, it can also be used to do melody, counter melody or maybe even a fifth part.

And to describe, it is that a euphonium’s sound is rounder and gentler and quite smoother than a Baritone. The Baritone’s voice, in our opinion, is generally described as brighter and more assertive.

The size of bore and shape

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A closer look at the differences in size between Euphonium vs Baritone 

Another great difference that we would mention is the size of bore and shape. The shape of the tubing of the euphonium is conical. The size of the tube would get bigger since it extends from the mouthpiece to the end of the ball. Meanwhile, the Baritone’s tube shape is quite cylindrical all the way through. 

From the mouthpiece to the bell, the tube has approximately the same size or diameter. This is also the major reason why the Baritone’s tube can generate such a brighter tone than the euphonium. The euphonium’s bore, as you can see, is quite darker and it definitely has a more forceful tone, which is mostly due to its greater bore size and conical form.

To be more specific, we have made a table that shows the differences between the bores of Euphonium and Baritone with some reference sources. 

ReferenceThe EuphoniumThe Baritone
New Harvard Dictionary of MusicBigger bore which is tapered as a flugelhornSmaller bore which is tapered as a cornet
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Tuba tenor with a deep-cup mouthpiece; wide bore with a warm, powerful tone; tuba tenor with a deep-cup mouthpiece; tuba tenor with a deep-cup mouthpiece; tubaHas a narrow bore
New Oxford Companion to MusicWide bore It is hornorly called Baritone in the USAHas a narrower bore
International Cyclopedia of Music and MusiciansHas a bigger semi-conical bore; larger tone; with some mouthpiece and 3 to 5 valvesHas smaller bore and tone; with semi-conical mouthpiece cat and three different valves

Difference in the shape of tubing

It is clear that both the Baritone’s tube and the Euphonium’s tube are the same, in general. And this means that the primary difference in their shapes is just in one criteria: the widths. In a Euphonium’s tube, the shape of it is in the form of a cone. 

Once it goes to the top of the ball, it will gently and rapidly get wider and bigger, which is considerably bigger than where it started at the mouthpiece. At the same time, the Baritone’s tube shape also gets widened when it extends to the bell. But luckily, the main tube body of the Baritone still keeps being cylindrical. 

Number of valves

Many people believe that all Baritones have limited valves. And there are three different and single valves , however the Euphonium always has four valves in number.In general, this assumption is quite true. But this is not a fact, it is not always true for all Euphoniums and Baritones. 

In the Euphoniums, there are a total four, or maybe five valves, while in the Baritones, the number of valves ends up with number four. Well, it is quite a difference between Euphonium vs Baritone, however, it is not a really great deal. 

Manner of playing

Another difference that we found about the Euphonium vs Baritone is the way people play it. Indeed, playing the Euphonium is quite different from playing a Baritone. With its special conical shape, the Euphonium’s tube needs you to have more power from lungs to play it and create quality sounds perfectly. 

And yes, you will also need to be much stronger and have a deeper breath if you want to play this instrument since the Euphonium is slightly wider and heavier than the Baritone. Besides, we highly recommend newbies and younger players not play the Euphonium at a very first stage. It is much more difficult to play, and you must have some experience as well as time of practice before playing the Euphonium. In this case, a Baritone is quite a good choice. 

The differences between Euphonium vs Baritone in summary

In conclusion, there are a few differences between the Euphorium and the Baritone. To make it easier for you to understand, we have made a table that summarizes all the differences that we just talked about above. 

FactorThe EuphoniumThe Baritone
Shape of tubeConical Cylindrical
Quality of the soundDarker, mellower and largererBright sound
The size of a boreSlightly largerSlightly smaller 
Number of valves3 or maybe 4 Only 3
MouthpieceBigger cutStandard cut

Are the Baritone or Euphonium Horns more popular?

About the history of how people had made it, both Euphonium vs Baritone were first made in 1828. However, the Euphoniums have gradually become more popular in the modern time. 

It is commonly seen that, when it comes to the very first stage of learning, beginners usually start learning on a Baritone. Then, once they’re more skillful and have more experience, they will switch to the Euphoniums as they transition into an intermediate player. Baritones can be easier to play, but once you become a professional player, many people have such a rich, deep sound that Euphonium can generate. 

In general, composers love to use Baritones as well as Euphoniums in their compositions because of their unique sounds that they create. Although they are both in the same family, each of them produces a different timbre. 

Well, to conclude, Euphoniums have a mellow and warm sound, while the Baritones have a light and bright tone. 

Remember, Baritones can more easily cut through the different sounds of an ensemble. However, Euphoniums are featured in solos instead. Professional composers usually prefer the tone color that a Euphonium can create.

The difficulty for beginners

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Euphonium is always a difficult choice

Both the Euphonium and the Baritones are in the brass band family, but the Euphoniums are commonly seen to have more complicated music. That is why the Euphonium is for the professional players, not the beginners or newbie who just learnt the Euphonium. However, the Baritones are reported to provide a unique timbre to the tenor voices. 

Like we just said before, most of the music teachers always recommend that beginners should start on Baritones. Euphoniums are much bigger and you need to be strong to carry them. The Euphonium also requires much more air, so professional players, or someone who has experience usually choose it. 

Beginners can easily make their first notes with a Baritone, while the Euphonium takes more of a learning curve. And yes, when the players have practiced enough for a few years, they are likely to transit to the Euphonium. The ages as well as the experience will make it easier to learn how to play Euphonium. 

Valves and range between the Euphonium vs Baritone

They have been designed specifically to increase intonation and range. With regular euphoniums, certain notes will be out of tune, but the fourth valve solves this problem.

Compensating those musical equipment are euphoniums with four valves. Since they can adjust low and deep notes so that they can be in tune, compensating euphoniums are popular among professional musicians. This can be incredibly helpful in a group setting.

Beginners should not worry about the low sound quality of the Baritone, but professional players who are experienced in the music area really consider it. Trying to compensate for Euphoniums with four separate valves will make it simpler to play more sophisticated music. 

Which is easiest to learn? 

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And now the winner is Baritone

For beginners, as we just have said above, the Baritone is a perfect choice. Beginners ought to start learning the Baritone rather than jumping the process to play Euphonium. Euphoniums, with its shapes and tube size, can be wider and heavier, which will make it much harder to play. Beginners are newbies, and they just started to learn, so they should have lighter instruments. Because the Euphonium are slightly heavier, it can be quite difficult for a student to lift, carry and transport them. 

It is said that both the Euphonium vs Baritone instruments are both lighter than tubas. It can take time to get used to it, but all students can get used to heavier instruments. That’s the passion we are talking about ! 

The cylindrical bore of the Baritone makes it slightly simpler to play. The instrument will not require as much air because the tubing is the same size throughout. Even though both Euphoniums and the Baritones usually have four valves, Euphoniums are more common.

For beginners who just started to learn, using a Euphonium compensated with a fourth valve can be overly difficult.

Baritones are frequently chosen by beginners as their first instrument because they are easier to play as well as lighter, and get a more straightforward design. 

Ending

And that’s the most detailed information about the Euphonium vs Baritone instrument that we can give you. In this article, we have shared with you everything you should know about Euphonium vs Baritone, from what definition they are, how to play it to the similarities as well as the differences between Euphonium vs Baritone. 

We hope that with our sharing, you can choose the best one that fits you perfectly. If you are a beginner, or someone interested in playing wind instruments for classical music, the Baritone will be the best choice for you. But when you are experienced enough, the Euphonium would help with some advanced musical skills. And the most amazing thing we have found in studying those two instruments, Euphonium vs Baritone, is that you can study how to play one and when you are mastered at it, you will know how to play the other one. 

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