Why Johnny can’t read music

In the book He Bear, She Bear, the musical instrument identified as a tuba is clearly a sousaphone.

(For those who are wondering what the title has to do with the topic of musical instrument identification: It's a reference to the classic book Why Johnny Can't Read.)

Comments (9)
  1. Mitosis1000 says:

    I said "sprocket", not "socket".

    -Steve Martin, plumber joke, late 1970s

  2. GWO says:

    How d'ya fix a broken tuba?

    Tub'a glue

  3. Jack B Nimble says:

    A sousaphone is commonly known as a marching band tuba. So…

  4. Random User 20943753 says:

    While they can be played somewhat interchangeably (similar/same fingerings, clef, etc), they are distinct instruments with their own properties and sound.

    Another example would be a "standard" baritone (a.k.a. euphonium; looks like a small tuba) versus a "marching" baritone (looks like a big trumpet). They play similarly, but the tone quality is quite different, among other things.

  5. 12BitSlab says:

    People use the incorrect name for instruments all the time.  I can't tell how many times I've heard people call a viola a violin, a fluglehorn a trumpet, a marimba a xylophone, etc.  I was a professional musician for 15 years — played electric bass.  During that time, I bet I had 100's of people ask me what kind of guitar I played.  It's just the way it is.  

  6. dave says:


    If the maker refers to an instrument as a guitar, I say it's a guitar.


  7. 12NBitSlab says:

    @ dave, did you see that Fender calls it a "Bass Guitar"?  They did not call it a guitar nor did they call it a bass.

    BTW, I have two "bass guitars" — both originals that I purchased.  A 1964 Hofner 500/1 and a 1976 Fender Jazz.  The Jazz bass is well worn, but in good condition, but my Hofner is in pristine condition.

  8. Matt says:

    @Random User 20943753

    It's even more complicated than you describe: baritone and euphonium are two distinct instruments.  The distinction is in the

    ratios: the baritone's tubing is smaller in diameter and stays cylindrical longer than that of the euphonium.  The distinction

    has largely blurred in the US, but the British Brass Band utilizes both the baritone and euphonium for different functions within

    the same ensemble.

  9. foo says:

    Well then clearly Stewie makes allowances for his audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch

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