Have you ever wondered how some musical instruments, particularly the brass family, can create their beautiful, loud sound? You may think that it is mainly due to their unique construction and shape. In truth, there are other factors involved. One that is particularly influential is the type of metal the instruments are made of.
Brass instruments are made, obviously, from brass. While other metals, including aluminum, tin, and copper, have almost the same level of malleability as brass, they are not suitable for this application. It’s easy to understand why by looking at the unique properties of brass.
Perfect for Acoustic Resonators Consisting of Long, Narrow Tubes
Here are some of the most common brass instruments—trombone, tuba, trumpet, cornet, baritone horn, euphonium, tenor horn, and French horn. Most modern student-model flutes and piccolos are partly made of brass as well, even though they belong to the woodwind family. Each of these instruments need to have resonators to be able to produce loud sound of varying tones.
A resonator is a device that naturally oscillates at some frequencies with great amplitude. It reacts to a driving force, which in the case of brass instruments is the wind introduced through the mouthpiece. Brass happens to be a natural resonator. Not very many metals have the same quality. Gold and silver have the same property but they are too expensive to be used for making resonators. Brass is a relatively cheaper material.
Brass Looks So Elegant
Brass is prized in many other applications because of its elegant color and sheen. Many even mistake it for gold simply because its shades are almost identical. With its beautiful appearance added to its great acoustic properties, it makes a perfect material for musical instruments. And because brass instruments are usually played in corporate occasions, it’s just right that they look shiny and elegant.
Marching bands play in the streets and other outdoor venues. In most cases, they’ll play even when the weather is bad. The instruments may be exposed to all sorts of elements. Luckily, brass is resistant to corrosion. Unlike steel, it will not rust. However, brass is prone to tarnishing, although the tarnish only affects the metal’s appearance and not its acoustic quality. Simple cleaning and polishing can restore its original sheen.
There are many other reasons why brass is the best material for making musical instruments. By understanding the properties that are unique to brass, you’ll be able to discover its potential use for other even more practical applications.
Not all brass sales, however, are made from the highest quality brass supplies. To make sure that the materials you’ll be using for your project are superior quality, get them from a reputable supplier, such as Rotax Metals.
What Are the Different Parts of the Trumpet?, thevault.musicarts.com/
The Brass Family, orsymphony.org