Post by Andy McKeown

The term compensating is one that is often referred to but not always fully understood. It is normally used with reference to lower brass instruments (eg. Euphoniums & Tubas) which are either 'compensating' or 'non-compensating' models. There is a common misconception that if an instrument has a 4th valve* it is compensating, but that is not necessarily the case. I'll try to explain exactly what it means as clearly and concisely as possible, although that's easier said than done!