Robin Hayward

Tuba player, composer, researcher

The Microtonal tuba

'Hayward's microtonal tuba makes possible a huge range of pitch and timbre... an instrument assigned too often to the lugubrious low end of the spectrum, Hayward's tuba is discursive across five octaves.'
- The Wire (from review of Tables and Stairs)

Originally conceived by Robin Hayward in 2003, the first fully microtonal tuba was developed in 2009 together with the firm B&S, with support from B&S and the Berliner Senat. The new system makes it possible to play every conceivable pitch throughout the instrument's five-octave range. All tuning systems, both tempered and non-tempered, thus become readily available. The microtonal fingerings follow a clear logic which makes them easy to learn and use intuitively, and a detachable valve mechanism makes it possible to alternate between the standard and microtonal systems on the same instrument. This gives the player time to grow accustomed to the new fingerings whilst maintaining the option of using the standard system.

The 'Hayward System' has so far been adopted on B&S F tuba models 3100 (PT-9) and 3100/W-G (JBL Classic), a B&S C tuba model 4097 (PT-20), a Rudi Meinl 3/4 C tuba, and a historical Schmidt F tuba from around 1880. In principle it should be possible to equip most tubas with the fully microtonal tuning system.

For further enquiries please contact: info AT robinhayward DOT com

Relevant articles

The Microtonal Tuba: Capabilities and Opportunities
A player-oriented introduction to the microtonal tuba published in the ITEA Journal Winter 2013

Pitches Treated as Noise
Interview with Arie Altena published in Travelling Time in February 2012.

The Microtonal Tuba
Extensive article on the recently developed fully microtonal tuba tracing its history back to the original tuba patent of 1835, published in the Galpin Society Journal in March 2011. Winner of the 2012 ITEA Clifford Bevan Award for Excellence in Research.

Kommende Veranstaltungen
20.06.2024, Potsdam
25.05.2024, Berlin

Concerning microtonality

The Just Intonation Primer
Excellent introduction to the subject of Just Intonation.

Genesis of a Music
Classic polemic on microtonality by composer and instrument maker Harry Partch.

Hayward Tuning Vine software
Downloadable interface for learning about and exploring Just Intonation.

B&S
Musical instrument manufucturer and co-developer of the microtonal tuba.

If Wet Radio Show
Radio Show featuring a different instrument on the last Sunday of each month. The first show, from 28.12.2014, includes a section on the microtonal tuba and music by the tuba trio microtub.

Technical University Berlin
Department of Audiocomminication where acoustic research into microtonal tuba is currently being conducted.