'The Denis Wick tuba mute is a favourite amongst professional tuba players for its wide dynamic range and excellent intonation. Why do tuba players need a mute? It is essential for performances of works such as the Mussorgsky arr. Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Strauss’ Don Quixote, Britten’s War Requiem and many other important works from the orchestral repertoire. It is also widely used nowadays to create interesting tuba sounds in every kind of musical genre.
'The DW5518 is designed for 4/4-size tubas, and will work in larger instruments if the extra corks (supplied free with each mute) are used. It is made from high quality aluminium spun by hand, and will play a really good fortissimo, making it ideal for use in large orchestras and bands. The latest version comes with a neoprene bumper strip at the top of the mute to prevent any noise when putting the mute in the instrument. It also has ‘resting’ corks so that the mute does not roll around when laid on the floor. The base is indented, which gives extra stability to the sound, especially in the high register. The DW5518 is equipped with a handle, which makes it very easy to take in and out of the instrument.'
Straight mutes are by far the most widely used mutes for brass. They are cone-shaped with narrow corks to hold them in the bell. Sound emerges from the gaps between the corks. Straight mutes generally reduce low frequencies and accentuate high, giving a more nasal, reedy sound. Aluminium straight mutes have a brighter sound than those made of softer materials like plastic, fibre or wood.
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