Although on the heavier side of instruments, it is still perfectly possible for the tubist/euphonist to move around with their instrument. This includes general movements that arise naturally out of performance as well as specially-directed and theatrical movements. Since the tuba and euphonium both have a rather imposing stage presence, their use as props for specialized movements can be very effective.

Necessary information

            The main caveat was already touched upon above—it is perfectly possible to move around with the euphonium and tuba, but especially with the latter instrument it can be a little cumbersome if not approached sensibly. The contrabass tubas in particular can weigh up to 30 pounds, and given their immense size, it can be tiring to move too far away from the normal playing position.

            The other issue which must be brought up is the fact that too much extraneous movement can lead to a situation where the player is injured, either through muscle strain or through hitting the embouchure area with the mouthpiece.

            Specially prescribed actions, such as the pulling of slides, moving the bell around in space, and changing the orientation of the instrument may be met with varying levels of compliance, (as discussed in the preceding entry on Stage presence).

            As with many of the techniques inscribed in this guide, it is best to consult with either the tubist/euphonist you’re writing for or someone representative to assess the feasibility of any specific physical movements.


            There is a myriad of notation styles for theatrical movement—any of the more-or-less standard ways of notating movement are acceptable for the tubist/euphonist. Because of the nature of this technique, there is no notation sample given. The notation guidelines for the section on Stage presence also apply here.

Relative Difficulty

            Intermediate to Professional

Works to consider (bolded titles are particularly representative examples of this technique)

            Jonah and the Whale – Garth Knox

            In Freundschaft – Karlheinz Stockhausen

            Tuba Mirum – Trevor Wishart