►Strange instruments, reloaded

I swear it’s not my fault 😉 that I had to do a follow-up to the first post, no, it’s all the “fault” of Facebook and a friend and follower of this blog (Luis HenriquesAtrium Musicologicum) who happens to have interesting acquaintances who seem to have even more interesting connections. So, he commented on a photo showing something I’d never seen before:

The Ophicleide

It’s another historic brass instrument, invented in 1817, played in the nineteenth century until it was basically made redundant by the Euphonium and the Tuba.

Its name means something like “serpent with keys”, remembering a renaissance instrument called “the Serpent”.

It wasn’t produced anymore and disappeared, today it’s only found as a museum piece, except for one, which is being played, with great virtuosism and musicality by Nick Byrne, who even has a CD recorded with music on Ophicleide and runs a website, which probably is the best ressource about the instrument available: here is the link.

Oh yes, this one does sound very nice indeed, don’t worry, it’s not like the sarrusophone, here’s an example of Nick’s recordings:

Preview of Oblivion – Astor Piazzolla (played by Nick Byrne on Ophicleide)

( it actually sounds REALLY great… hope I manage to become famous one day (lol), so I could write a song for it and invite him to record for my project… Sigh…. Guess I have to stop day-dreaming and get back to reality. Yes, definitely. )