The first Tuba was patented by Prussian bandmaster Wilhelm Wieprecht and German instrument-builder Johann Gottfried Moritz in 1835. This instrument was soon adopted by British brass bands.
Tubas come in a number of keys: BB flat (most common), CC, E flat, F, and GG, though the tuba is what is called a “non-transposing” instrument, as its music is read and played in concert pitch.
There are many design configurations for the tuba. The compensating valve design allows the playing of true, pure pedals that are in tune; Miraphone’s tuba, held almost in the transverse position, has four rotary keys; the bell can be forward facing or up; they can have up to five valves, either in-line or with the extra two strategically placed for the left hand; bell diameter can vary from 37-74 cm (15-30 inches); they can be built of brass that is often electroplated with silver, nickel or copper, or they can sometimes have bells of plastic or fiberglass; the bell tubing can we wide and open like a funnel, or relatively small, ending in a large bell.
Though the tuba has a conical bore, its profile is not that of the bass Saxhorns, which are members of the cornet à pistons (cornopean) or valved bugle family. The tuba has a wider conical bore profile and deeper cup mouthpiece.
The original Wieprecht\Moritz instrument, like its Bombardon (helicon) analogue, was an F instrument.