September 24, 2018

What’s the difference between a bugle and other brass instruments?

The Rocketeers brass line plays on Kanstul three valve bugles. They are related to and play very similar to their concert/marching band counterparts except for being pitched in the key of G. Most brass players adapt very quickly. The biggest difference, for most people, is adjusting to the key of the instrument. If you’re a trombone player you’ll also need to adjust to using valves instead of a slide, but that’s not a difficult transition.

Here’s a list of our bugles and their concert band relations:
Soprano Bugle – The Soprano voice of the bugle choir. Most closely related to the trumpet/cornet and uses the same mouthpiece as a trumpet.
Mellophone Bugle – This is part of the Alto voice of the bugle choir. It’s very closely related to the mellophones used in marching band. Typically it’s a substitute for the French horn as it uses a mouthpiece similar to a trumpet but with a deeper V-style cup/bowl. It has a darker sound than the soprano, and the large bell gives it a big sound.
Baritone Bugle – This is the Tenor voice of the bugle choir. Its closest relative would be a concert baritone horn. It uses the same small-shank mouthpiece as most baritone horns or trombones.
Euphonium Bugle – This is also part of the tenor voice of the bugle choir. It’s closely related to a concert euphonium. It’s different from a baritone bugle in that it has a larger conical bore and larger bell. It use a large-shank mouthpiece and produces a nice dark, rich, deep sound.
Contrabass Bugle – This instrument provides the Bass voice in the bugle choir. It’s closely related to the concert Tuba but is placed on the players shoulder with the bell facing front while being played.

All of the bugles use the same fingerings as a trumpet or treble clef baritone horn. Music is usually written in treble clef; however, we provide bass clef versions for our low brass brethren.