Oscar Abella - Tuba and early brass instruments
serpent instrument

Premiered at the Paris exhibition of 1823, it is most likely one of the most successful upright serpent models at the time, a large number of them having preserved. It is named after its Parisian inventor, Forveille. Played similarly to the Military Serpent, it commonly contains three keys. Its particular morphology separates the conicity of the tube into two parts: a wooden one that extends from the bell to the bottom where the holes for the right hand reside; and the other brass-made one, in the form of a "gooseneck" for the holes in the left hand (to which small sort of chimneys are added) and the lead-pipe. There are also some versions where this last part is made of wood.

One of its peculiarities is its system to expel the water: it has a receptacle in the lead pipe, where the water is deposited. This avoids the water bubbling while the musician is playing. At the time of emptying, it can easily be disassembled using a thread system.

Serpent Forveille water Detail of the water receptacle.

M. G. Hermenge, known for his method for keyed Serpent, also wrote an original method for the Forveille-Serpent, with a final chapter that includes etudes and 6 very elaborate duets composed of several movements. Aside from this method, there are no specific works for this type of Serpent, at list known to the public.
hermenge Serpent Forveille Illustration of the M.G. Hermenge method.
serpent forveille Oscar Abella Forveille Serpent (unreadable signature, ca. 1830). Oscar Abella Collection.
Serpent Forveille sideSide view.
Serpent Forveille bellView of the bell.
Serpent Forveille music holderMusic holder in the bell.
Serpent Forveille bottomBottom view and F# key.

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