English Bass Horn in B-flat

Frederick Pace British, born Ireland

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 680

The bass horn evolved from the serpent around 1800, and was a popular band and orchestral instrument until the 1830s when it was displaced by the ophicleide ("keyed serpent"). The application of valves to low brasses made these awkward keyed instruments obsolete, though some remained in use in Italy until the early 20th century. Today their function is served mainly by tubas.

English Bass Horn in B-flat, Frederick Pace (British, Dublin, Ireland 1805–1835 London), Brass, British

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Playing position