The sousaphone is among the largest of the brass instruments, potentially weighing as much as 50 pounds (although the majority of sousaphones weigh just half of that, or less).
If it were to be unrolled, an average sousaphone can be around 18 feet long! Sousaphones are typically made from brass or a brass-like metal. They can be finished in a variety of colors including silver, yellow, and gold. Some sousaphones may also have a lacquer or silver coating applied. This is common for many brass instruments.
In more recent years, sousaphones have been obtainable in durable fiberglass plastics rather than brass.
These days, the sousaphone’s fiberglass versions are mostly used for marching, while brass instruments are used for most other situations.
But how much does a sousaphone weigh? Here is an overview of sousaphones and their average weight.
Depending on the brand, the average weight of brass sousaphones is about 30-45 pounds, whereas fiberglass sousaphones weigh less by far (about 15 pounds).
While the latest sousaphones weigh around 30 pounds or potentially less, older instruments might weigh up to 50 pounds.
Table of Contents
- How Big Is a Sousaphone (Size)
- How Much Does a Jupiter Sousaphone Weigh?
- How Much Does a Yamaha Sousaphone Weigh?
How Big Is a Sousaphone (Size)
The most recent sousaphones are typically made in the key of BB♭; the majority of the past sousaphones were pitched with the key of E♭. Sousaphones in that particular key are limited these days.
The shape of the sousaphone is such that its bell is on top of the head of the tubist and projecting frontward.
Its valves face the musician, somewhat higher than the waist, and all of the instrument’s weight usually rest on the musician’s left shoulder. Its bell is usually removable from the body of the instrument in order to make transportation and storage easier.
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Apart from the general shape and appearance of the instrument, the sousaphone has lots in common with the tuba.
Even though sousaphones might have a more limited variety than their counterpart concert tuba (the majority of sousaphones have three valves instead of four in order to lessen the weight), they are typically capable of playing similar music, and generally have sections written in bass clef.
Early sousaphones had 22 inch diameter bells, with 24 inch bells prominent in the 1920s. However, from the mid-1930s on, sousaphone bells have been more uniform with 26 inch diameters.
As far as length, sousaphones are about 42 inches long.
How Much Does a Jupiter Sousaphone Weigh?
The Jupiter Fiberglass Sousaphone is among the more strong marching instruments that are presently on the market. It comes with a durable white fiberglass body and features a 26 inch bell for wonderful projection.
It also has an easily detachable valve as well as slide body for easy and trouble free maintenance. The detachable valve in particular is ideal for allowing complete access to the parts that would normally be inaccessible to a repairing technician.
The playing weight of a Jupiter sousaphone is 22.4 lbs, with a bore size and bell size of .688 inches and 26 inches, respectively (for the Jupiter JSP1000 sousaphone specifically). Jupiter sousaphones bring quality and value that are ideal for both performance and budget.
Fully featured and durably built, these instruments will provide many years of dependable service.
The Jupiter sousaphone’s weight makes it perfect for marching bands and jazz outfits.
How Much Does a Yamaha Sousaphone Weigh?
The Yamaha sousaphone is probably the most excellent sousaphone around these days. The manufacturer has done wide research when developing this improved low brass device.
The Yamaha full brass sousaphone is good for those who would like the sound quality of a brass instrument and don’t mind the weight of the sousaphone so much.
Popular Yamaha sousaphones weigh around 28 pounds.
Yamahas are great sousaphones which are capable of high sound quality at all volumes.
Beyond Jupiter and Yamaha, there are some other sousaphones on the market that have also earned high marks. These are 3 picks that earned top marks from Gadget Review.
What is a sousaphone?
A sousaphone is a type of brass instrument, similar to a tuba, but with a distinctive, wrapped shape that makes it easier to carry while marching in a band.
What is the weight of a standard sousaphone?
The weight of a standard sousaphone can range from 20 to 35 pounds.
What materials are sousaphones made from?
Sousaphones are typically made from brass or a brass-like metal.
What factors affect the weight of a sousaphone?
The weight of a sousaphone is primarily determined by the size of the instrument and the materials used in its construction.
Is a sousaphone heavy compared to other brass instruments?
Compared to other brass instruments, a sousaphone can be considered relatively heavy.
Is it difficult to carry a sousaphone while marching in a band?
Carrying a sousaphone while marching in a band can be challenging, due to its size and weight. However, the unique shape of the sousaphone makes it easier to carry than other large brass instruments.
How can a player support the weight of a sousaphone while playing?
Players can support the weight of a sousaphone using a shoulder strap or harness.
What is the difference between a sousaphone and a tuba?
The main difference between a sousaphone and a tuba is the shape and size of the instrument. A sousaphone is larger and has a distinctive, wrapped shape, while a tuba is typically larger and has a more cylindrical shape.
Are sousaphones still used in modern music?
Yes, sousaphones are still used in modern music, particularly in marching bands and military bands.
Related: How Much Does A Sousaphone Cost?