The "Golden Age" of Euphonium Playing c. 1880--1930

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Richard Perry

Advisor Department



The "Golden Age of Bands" c. 1880-1930 is a time in music where brass playing came into the forefront of the musical world. Technological developments and improvements, allowed this family of instruments, formally regulated to harmonic accompaniment within compositions, to be given melodies and solo passages in the new wind band repertoire. One instrument specifically, the euphonium, was an instrument able to find its home in these new ensembles. This dissertation examines the euphonium during the "Golden Age of Bands." The paper begins with a discussion of the development of the euphonium and more specifically the double bell euphonium, the instrument used most often during the "Golden Age of Bands." The paper also contains a collection of biographies of euphonium players from this era. In the final section is a discussion of how, during the "Golden Age of Bands," composers wrote for the euphonium both within the band and as a solo instrument, and how writing for the instrument has changed in the past fifty years, with the advent of modern band music.