Saturday, October 24, 2009
The immediate ancestor of the modern-day tuba...the "ophicleide." [Gr.,=serpent with keys], brass wind musical instrument of relatively wide conical bore, largest of the keyed bugles ; invented in 1817 by Jean-Hilaire Asté of Paris. It had from 8 to 11 keys and a full, loud tone; since its intonation was deficient, however, it was soon displaced in the orchestra by the bass tuba. Many composers scored for it before the tuba was available.
[Now you can see why they called it the 'serpent.']