The Quiz: Some brass bands at Oktoberfest feature tubas, some sousaphones. What’s the difference?
A The sousaphone takes less practice
B The shape of the instrument
C The tuba is louder
The largest folk festival in the world wouldn’t be complete without brass bands playing traditional Bavarian tunes. The ‘oom-pah’ rhythm heard in many Oktoberfest songs and polkas is provided by the largest brass instrument, the tuba.
But the massive instrument is hard to carry when marching, so American composer John Philip Sousa commissioned the sousaphone in 1893. A sousaphone is a tuba shaped to wrap around the player so that they can ‘wear’ the instrument, which makes walking while playing much easier.
The correct answer to this quiz is The shape of the instrument.