Ophicleide

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Ophicleide (Mus) A large brass wind instrument, formerly used in the orchestra and in military bands, having a loud tone, deep pitch, and a compass of three octaves; -- now generally supplanted by bass and contrabass tubas. It developed from the older wooden instrument called the serpent.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ophicleide A metal musical wind-instrument, invented about 1790, having a large tube of conical bore, bent double, with a cupped mouthpiece. It is essentially a development of the old wooden serpent, and has sometimes been made partly of wood; it is the bass representative of the keyed-bugle family. The tones produced are the harmonics of the tube, as in the horn; but the fundamental tone may be altered by means of keys which control vents in the side of the tube. Eleven such keys are employed, so that the entire compass is over three octaves, beginning (in the usual bass variety) on the third B below the middle C, with all the semitones — all obtainable with exceptional accuracy of intonation. Its resources are therefore considerable, and as its tone is highly resonant and pungent it is an important orchestral instrument. The alto ophicleide is pitched a fifth higher than that described above, while lower varieties also occur.
    • n ophicleide In organ-building, a powerful reed stop with a trumpet-like tone.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ophicleide of′i-klīd a large bass trumpet, with a deep pitch.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. ophicléide, fr. Gr. 'o`fis a serpent + , gen. , a key. So named because it was in effect the serpent, an old musical instrument, with keys added
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.; coined from Gr. ophis, a serpent, kleis, kleidos, a key.

Usage

In literature:

Until nightfall, the ophicleides will bellow, the fifes tootle and the cornets bray.
"The Life of the Fly" by J. Henri Fabre
Neither saxophone nor ophicleide was necessary for him to fill the soul with awe.
"Chopin: The Man and His Music" by James Huneker
OPHICLEIDE, a keyed brass wind instrument of recent invention, of great compass and power, and of which there are two kinds in use.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
The wooden serpent has gone out of use in military bands within recollection, the ophicleide from orchestras only recently.
"Scientific American Supplement No. 819" by Various
I do not fail to notice that The ophicleides are playing flat.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 7th, 1920" by Various
Louder than the loudest trumpet, harsh as harshest ophicleide, Nasal respirations answer the endearments of his bride.
"The Bon Gaultier Ballads" by William Edmonstoune Aytoun Theodore Martin
The shrieks and groans of that brutal ophicleide would have penetrated the walls of the Tower of London.
"The Adventures of a Three-Guinea Watch" by Talbot Baines Reed
Ophicleide 16 Swell Unison to Solo.
"The Recent Revolution in Organ Building" by George Laing Miller
Louder than the loudest trumpet, harsh as harshest ophicleide, Nasal respirations answer the endearments of his bride.
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
Neither saxophone nor ophicleide was necessary for him to fill the soul with awe.
"The Pianolist" by Gustav Kobbé
***