Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ophicleide, a bass wind-instrument of metal, developed from the old wooden Serpent (q.v.) towards the close of the 18th century. It has a tube of conical bore with a. bell resembling that of a horn, a cup mouth-piece, and (commonly) eleven keys, which control vents in the side of the tube, giving it a compass of over three octaves.