Scaling of brasswind instruments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Brass instruments are often considered to be made in families of similar instruments in different sizes, either developed over a period of time (such as trombones) or created together (such as saxhorns and cornophones). Instruments in a family usually have in common some external features and overall appearance, and are often considered to have timbral features in common.

This paper examines the meaning of a 'family' of musical instruments. Based on measurements of a large number of museum examples, parameters are presented which are constant for all sizes of a family of brasswind instruments. Finally, limitations on family range and reasons for one family member being more successful than the others are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiranimus
EditorsPatricia Bastos
Place of PublicationLisbon
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Brass instruments; instrument families; scaling


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