Brass is a commonly used non-ferrous metal that is an alloy of two other metals - copper and zinc. The proportions of these metals variy and can be influenced to create differing types of brass each with distinct properties. Though in essence it is an alloy of copper and zinc (while bronze is copper and tin), it actually contains small amounts of other elements such as arsenic, phosphorus, aluminium, manganese, and silicon. Though there are a variety of brasses, the distinction is basically just historical.
Coveted for its bright gold appearance and the fact that it creates little friction, brass is often used for decorative items, as well as locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition cases, valves, etc. It is also notable for its use in the manufacture of brass musical instruments like horns, trumpets and trombones.