Here are the key benefits and uses of a double bell euphonium

Originating from early 20th century America, the double bell euphonium, or Duplex is attracting increasing attention in recent years thanks to Wessex Tubas reintroducing with our model EP105P. Once considered a rarity, the double bell is currently one of the hottest topics in the brass world. So, here, we’ll go through the key uses of a double bell euphonium. 

History of the double bell euphonium

The double bell euphonium was first produced in the United States in the 1880s, with production reaching its peak between the 1890s and 1920s. 

The 40 years that followed, 1920s - 1960s, unfortunately saw the popularity of the double bell euphonium decline, with the last one produced in the 60s. 

Simone Mantia, a double bell euphonium virtuoso at the turn of the twentieth century and most famously composed ‘Priscilla’ specifically for this instrument.

Benefits and uses of a double bell euphonium

Fitted with either 4 or 5 valves, a valve is used to switch between bells, with the larger of the 2 valves being the default. 

The larger bell produces the traditional euphonium sound; warm and mellow, whereas the smaller bell produces a brighter, trombone-like sound. 

With this in mind - the double bell euphonium providing the player with a way to easily switch between 2 very different sounds - what are the benefits and uses of a double bell euphonium?

Achieving a more appropriate tone: due to the fact this euphonium has a smaller bell that produces a brighter, higher sound, that smaller bell can help the player achieve a contrasting tone which works particularly well in the higher range of the instrument. 

Playing a wider range of music: the lower and more mellow tone of the larger bell and the brighter, higher tone of the smaller bell enables the player to play a wider range of music with just one instrument.

Sound effects: because the double bell euphonium so easily interchanges between the 2 bells that produce 2 very different sounds, this unique brass instrument can be used to create sound effects such as echoes. 

Call and response: the 2 distinctly different tones of the bells can also be used to create the effects of call and response. 

Yes, the double bell euphonium is a distinctly unique brass instrument with a fascinating history and a plethora of benefits and uses, leading to the rebirth of its popularity in recent years as brass musicians crave more from their instruments. 

To learn more about our Duplex Bb Euphonium EP105 P please click here or browse our range of euphoniums & baritones.

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