Brass
  • made of copper and zinc
  • doesn't become brittle at low temperatures like mild steel
  • has a range of colors
    • red
    • gold
    • yellow
    • silver
  • pathogens that can be spread by touch cannot survive on brass for more than a few hours

Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
relatively resistant to tarnishing
excellent thermal conductivity

electrical conductivity ranges from 23%-43%
that of pure copper

density: 8.36g/cm3

melting point: 865 degrees Celcius

luster: metallic

very malleable

has low friction
Why is brass used to make musical instrments?
  • brass is very malleable
    • ‍‍‍‍‍‍this helps in making the instrument, for it is easy to form and shape into tubes and bells‍‍‍‍‍‍
  • brass has a metallic luster
    • it makes the instrument look as good as it sounds
  • brass is relatively resistant to tarnish
    • this means that the instrument won't rust
  • brass has high acoustic properties
    • this is a benefit towards the sound of the instrument

Brass Instruments
  • French Horn
  • Baritone Horn
  • Mellophone
  • Trumpet
  • Cornet
  • Tuba
  • Trombone




Sterling Silver
  • 92.5% pure silver, 7.5% mix of other metals
    • commonly mixed with copper
    • they add the other metals because silver is too malleable to work with
  • though it is stronger than silver, it is still highly malleable
  • has high antibacterial quality
    • pathogens don't survive long on its surface
  • scratches easily
  • careful not to over-polish
    • polish and cloth must be non-abrasive
    • over-polishing wears it away
  • is not magnetic
  • easy to solder

Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
less prone to tarnish than silver
ductility: can be drawn into wire
reacts with newspaper, rubber bands, and
plastic wrap to cause discoloration
malleability: harder than pure silver

melting point: 961.93 degrees Celcius

luster: metallic

high electrical and thermal conductivity
Why is sterling silver used to make musical instruments?
  • sterling silver is very malleable
    • this helps when forming instruments
  • sterling silver has a metallic luster
    • this makes it pleasing to the eye
  • sterling silver has high antibacterial quality
    • pathogens will die quickly on the instruments
  • sterling silver is easy to solder
    • this assists in making the instruments

Sterling Silver Instruments
  • professional flutes
  • saxophones

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Fun Facts
  • Thought it is a woodwind instrument, the saxophone is actually made of brass.
  • Some instruments that are classified as "brass" instruments are not actually made of brass.
    • They can be made of other materials such as wood.
    • One of these instruments is the alpine horn.
  • The only form of silver that won't tarnish is a plated form such as rhodium plated.


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