Definition and background:
An obsolete, conical bore, brass instrument of the bass range, belonging to the keyed bugle family. Tall and narrow, the ophiclide had nine to twelve woodwind -like keys on the side and was designed to be the lowest member of the brass family. The bass ophiclide was the most successfull. It has been replaced in the modern orchestra by the tuba. a brass wind instrument, the bass member of the keyed bugle family. It replaced the serpent in the early 19th century as was superseded by the tuba
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary