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Bugle Horns

History of Drum and Bugle Corps

Our horns - Soprano, Mellophone, Baritone and Contrabass

United Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps only play G Bugles horns. This means that the horns are pitched in the Key of G, not B flat or F like marching or concert style bands. Most junior corps (membership under the age of 21) now use B flat and F bugles along with some all-age corps.  Most Alumni Corps like United Alumni are staying true to our Drum & Bugle Corps roots and have no plans to switch to B flat and F horns.

Our G Bugles also have a larger percentage of conical tubing as opposed to cylindrical tubing. This allows the horns to be played much louder without sounding strained.  Our Bugles are designed to be played outdoors and project in a way that most brass instruments can not match. All of the horns owned by United Alumni are fully chromatic with 3 valves.  If you would like more information on the bugle see our History of Drum Corps page.


Bugle Fingering Chart

Soprano, Mellophone, Baritone, Contrabass

Soprano Bugle

The Soprano is the soprano voice in the bugle choir.  It was the first bugle in the bugle family evolving over the years from single tubing to one valve to the current 3 valves.  It's closest cousin in the marching or concert band world is the more commonly known Trumpet.  A typical full size horn line the soprano will be broken up into 3 parts.

Soprano Bugles


Mellophone Bugle


The Mellophone is the alto voice in the bugle choir.  It's closest marching or concert band cousin is the F Mellophone, or B flat French Horn. The Mellophone is the primary mid-range voice in most modern corps. There are typically two and sometime three separate parts for a Mellophone used in the horn line.

Mellophone Bugle


Baritone Bugle

The Baritone is the tenor/baritone voice in the bugle choir. It's closest marching or concert band cousin is the Trombone and of course Baritone.  However, the Baritone Bugle is much darker and richer than a Trombone. In a typical bugle line there will be 3 separate baritone parts.

Baritone Bugles


Contrabass Bugle

The Contrabass or more commonly known as Contra and is the bass voice in the bugle choir. It is also the largest instrument. It's closest concert or marching band cousins are the Tuba and Sousaphone. The Contrabass Bugle, which was developed in 1959 by the Canadian instrument manufacture Whaley Royce, is the only bugle class instrument that was never produced in a valve-less style.  The Contra has an incredibly rich, dark bass sound.  Typically a contra line will have 1 possibly 2 parts.

Contra Bass Bugles

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Bugle pictures are supplied by Dynasty Brass

January, 2008

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PO. Box 845, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada  N3Y 4T2


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