Serpent (musical instrument)

From Academic Kids

A serpent is a Wind_instrument in the "brass" (in the sense of using the lips of the player instead of a reed) section that plays low frequencies, much like a tuba.

Contents

Selecting notes

There are usually six holes in the serpent, the holes being grouped into two groups of three holes in each group.

The mechanism for change in resonant frequency of the serpent is similar to a tin flute or recorder, in the sense that there are no valves or levers or actuators over the holes, and instead the holes are covered or uncovered directly by the fingers of the user.

History of the serpent

The serpent is the predecessor of the ophicleide, which itself is the predecessor of the tuba. Thus many view the serpent as an obsolete version of an obsolete version of a tuba. Serpents are difficult to play well, in the sense of getting good sound, as with many direct (valve-free) instruments. However, there has been recent renewed interest in serpents.

Making serpents

Modern-day serpents are often made of PVC pipe by joining different sizes of pipes together, each one being heat tapered, using a propane torch especially designed for bending and shaping PVC pipe.

Types of serpents

There are two main types of serpents: curved serpents, and military serpents (straight serpents).

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