If you’re just embarking on your brass instrument journey - deciding which one is right for you or wondering whether you should switch to learning a different one - you may be curious about pitch; which of the brass instruments has the highest pitch, and which has the lowest. With this blog, we’ll set out the brass instruments in order of pitch.

Brass instruments in order of pitch

Firstly, we all know that there are lots of different types of brass instruments, like:

  • Tuba
  • Euphonium
  • Cornet
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Flugel
  • Horn

And many more.

However, to appropriately and concisely answer this question, we’ll focus on the main four brass instruments that every other instrument in the brass family is essentially spawned from.

The four main brass instruments are:

  • Tuba
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn

And, in order of pitch (highest to lowest), these instruments can be listed as follows:


Considered the oldest brass instrument in existence, the Trumpet was first created in around 1500 B.C. Not only this, but the Trumpet is also the highest pitched instrument of the brass family.


Originally known as the Sackbut until the 1700s, the Trombone was derived from the Trumpet in the 15th century, and hold second place in the order of pitch.

French Horn

Contrary to its name, the French Horn is, in fact, German and dates back to at least the 1600s and has evolved considerably since the earliest incarnations all those years ago.


The largest and lowest instrument in the brass family, the humble Tuba is also one of the youngest; invented as recently as 1835, and introduced into the orchestra to replace the Ophicleide.

Of course, there are many more brass instruments we could incorporate into this list, but the Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, and Tuba - in that order - are the main contenders!

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