Yamaha Bass tuba YFB-822.tif
A bass tuba in F
Brass instrument
Hornbostel–Sachs classification423.232
(Valved aerophone sounded by lip movement)
Inventor(s)Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Moritz
Playing range
Tuba range.svg
Related instruments

The tuba (ə/;[1] Italian: [ˈtuːba]) is the largest and lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family. As with all brass instruments, the sound is produced by lip vibration into a large mouthpiece. It first appeared in the mid-19th century, making it one of the newer instruments in the modern orchestra and concert band. The tuba largely replaced the ophicleide.[2] Tuba is Latin for 'trumpet'.[3]

In America, a person who plays the tuba is known as a tubaist or tubist.[4] In the United Kingdom, a person who plays the tuba in an orchestra is known simply as a tuba player; in a brass band or military band, they are known as bass players.


Tuba by Wieprecht & Moritz as described in Prussian patent No.19.

Prussian Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz (1777–1840)[5] on September 12, 1835 for a "bass tuba" in F1. The original Wieprecht and Moritz instrument used five valves of the Berlinerpumpen type that were the forerunners of the modern piston valve. The first tenor tuba was invented in 1838 by Carl Wilhelm Moritz (1810–1855), son of Johann Gottfried Moritz.

The addition of valves made it possible to play low in the harmonic series of the instrument and still have a complete selection of notes. Prior to the invention of valves, brass instruments were limited to notes in the harmonic series, and were thus generally played very high with respect to their fundamental pitch. Harmonics starting three octaves above the fundamental pitch are about a whole step apart, making a useful variety of notes possible.

The ophicleide used a bowl-shaped brass instrument mouthpiece but employed keys and tone holes similar to those of a modern saxophone. Another forerunner to the tuba was the serpent, a bass instrument that was shaped in a wavy form to make the tone holes accessible to the player. Tone holes changed the pitch by providing an intentional leak in the bugle of the instrument. While this changed the pitch, it also had a pronounced effect on the timbre. By using valves to adjust the length of the bugle the tuba produced a smoother tone that eventually led to its popularity.

Adolphe Sax, like Wieprecht, was interested in marketing systems of instruments from soprano to bass, and developed a series of brass instruments known as saxhorns. The instruments developed by Sax were generally pitched in E and B, while the Wieprecht "basstuba" and the subsequent Cerveny contrabass tuba were pitched in F and C (see below on pitch systems). Sax's instruments gained dominance in France, and later in Britain and America, as a result of the popularity and movements of instrument makers such as Gustave Auguste Besson (who moved from France to Britain) and Henry Distin (who eventually found his way to America).[6]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Tuba
Alemannisch: Tuba
العربية: توبا
asturianu: Tuba
azərbaycanca: Tuba
български: Туба
Boarisch: Tuba
བོད་ཡིག: འཁྱིལ་ཆེན།
bosanski: Tuba
català: Tuba
čeština: Tuba
Cymraeg: Tiwba
dansk: Tuba
Deutsch: Tuba
eesti: Tuuba
Ελληνικά: Τούμπα
español: Tuba
Esperanto: Tubjo
euskara: Tuba
فارسی: توبا
Frysk: Tuba
Gaeilge: Tiúba
Gàidhlig: Tiùba
galego: Tuba
한국어: 튜바
hrvatski: Tuba
Bahasa Indonesia: Tuba (alat musik)
Kabɩyɛ: Tiibaa
қазақша: Туба
Latina: Tuba
latviešu: Tuba
lietuvių: Tūba
Limburgs: Tuba
македонски: Туба
മലയാളം: ട്യൂബ
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကျူဗာ
Nederlands: Tuba (instrument)
Nedersaksies: Tuba
日本語: チューバ
norsk: Tuba
norsk nynorsk: Tuba
polski: Tuba
português: Tuba
română: Tubă
Runa Simi: Tuwa
русский: Туба
Scots: Tuba
Seeltersk: Tuba
sicilianu: Bassu tuba
Simple English: Tuba
slovenščina: Tuba
српски / srpski: Туба
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Tuba
suomi: Tuuba
svenska: Tuba
Tagalog: Pakakak
ไทย: ทูบา
Türkçe: Tuba (çalgı)
українська: Туба
Tiếng Việt: Tuba
中文: 大号