The euphonium is from the brass family of instruments and is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character and agility. The euphonium name derives from euphonos meaning "well-sounding" or "sweet-voiced". Colloquially, the instrument is often referred to as the eupho or euph.
As with the other conical-bore instruments such as the cornet, flugelhorn, horn and tuba, the euphonium's tubing gradually increases in diameter throughout its length, resulting in a softer, gentler tone compared to cylindrical-bore instruments such as the trumpet, trombone and baritone horn. The euphonium is sometimes confused with the baritone since the 2 have an identical ranges however the baritone offers a much brighter sound against the euphonium's more mellow tones.
The euphonium will be found in brass bands, military bands, marching bands and more recently in orchestras as more and more contemporary music is written for the euphonium.
An orchestra usually has a single tuba and serves as the bass of the orchestral brass section. It can also be found in brass bands and military bands where several will be employed to provide the bass sound, often employing several E♭ and B♭ tubas. Brass quintets and other ensembles may also adopt the tuba although some will use a euphonium or bass trombone to play the lowest parts. Tubas are also
used in marching bands, drum and bugle bands and in many jazz bands.
Most music for the tuba is written in bass clef in concert pitch, so tuba players must know the correct fingerings for their specific instrument (E♭ and B♭) however, British-style brass band music written for the tuba is written in treble clef and transposed so that both instruments can retain the same fingering.