Contrabass Digest

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list                           Mon, 3 Aug 1998            Volume 1 : Number 50

In this issue:


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 12:38:15 -0700
From: Frank D Diaz <>
To: "''" <>

Regarding USCMC stamps:

Timothy, I have the same kind of Eb clarinet in my collection. It doesn't have the stamp on it though. It used to belong to the San Francisco Unified School District. Cundy-Bettony, to my knowledge was a maker of student grade instruments only. I think mine plays O.K except that it is brighter than usual, since it's made of metal. I believe these instruments were sold under the name "Silvabet" in the early 1930's. I have an old catalog from 1930 for them at home.

I do have a Cundy-Bettony Conservatory system (not Heckel system) bassoon that has the USQMC stamp on it though. (Have to have at least 1 bass instrument on this list !)

Frank Diaz


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 17:32:16 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Timothy Tikker's Cundy-Bettoney Eb clarinet

That's probably a very good find.  I recently bought a silver-plated Bb
soprano clarinet, the "Silver Bet" model, made by H. Bettoney of Cundy-
Bettoney.  I asked about it on this bulletin board:
The Clarinet Bulletin Board
There's a little bit of info about Cundy-Bettoney in the databases on that
site, but I can't remember exactly where.  Fish around in the listings at the
top of the bulletin board, including the Klarinet List Archives (the indexes
are organized somewhat...nonintuitively).

People who e-mailed me from the bb told me that this was probably the best
metal soprano clarinet ever made, that Cundy-Bettoney of Boston was the first
company to make metal clarinets, and that their highest grade instruments are
among the very few pro-quality metal soprano clarinets, with some collector
value.  Although clarinetists generally disdain metal soprano clarinets,
several people offered to buy this one.  (I intend to keep it and have no idea
of the fair market value.)  They said conflicting things about when Cundy-
Bettoney was in business.  It may have started up as early as about 1890, but
by all accounts was making good metal clarinets from the 1920s through at
least the early 1940s.  Evidently the company made many clarinets specifically
for outdoor use in military marching bands.  Sounds like you've got one of
those.  (I later heard of two silver- plated Bettoney alto saxophones.)  "US"
or "USA" stamped or engraved on a sax means that it was made for the US
military.  These horns are often top-of-the-line models.  Someone from the
clarinet bb directed me to this site, where there's information about various
manufacturers, with serial numbers and dates for some of them:
 Lars Kirmser's Music Trader, Index (serial #s, info)
That link is to "home" on the site.  The webmaster is currently updating it.
Last time I checked, his Cundy-Bettoney link was still down, but keep checking
it, because evidently it will include serial numbers with dates.  If anyone
finds Cundy-Bettoney info elsewhere, could you please let me know?



Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 18:11:33 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Wickford, R.I. Tuba Fest

Just got my flyer in the mail for the Wickford, R.I. Tuba Fest brought to you
by the same folks that put together the Wickford Tuba Christmas every year.
The flyer reads as follows. Pass it on!


Saturday, 22 August 1998, 4 PM.
Wickford's Free Summer Tuba Fest will be held on the village green at Updike
Park in North Kingstown, R.I. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy a massive tuba
orchestra performing good old fashioned American music. Info:: (401)295-9145
Sponsored by the N. Kingstown Arts Council, the Harvey Phillips Foundation and
the R.I. State Council on the Arts.

NOTICE TO ALL TUBA PLAYERS: All tubas and other low brass conicals (baritone
horn, euphonium, serpent, ophicleide, cimbasso, etc.) welcome and encouraged
to play. Rehearsal and FREE EATS at the Wickford Elementry School at 1:30 PM
on August 22. Registration is $5 and goes for scholarships. Bring your stand.
We have loaner music. World reknowned tubist Gary Buttery will conduct and
there will be spectator involvement and demonstrations of various instruments.
Pass the word to other big brass. For more info, contact Skee Bullock at

Media Information:
Joe Thompson
185 Brookhaven Road
North Kingstown, RI, 02852-1973

So follow your bass instincts, but stay outta treble!


Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 21:33:40 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Re:  Wickford, R.I. Tuba Fest

In a message dated 08-03-98 8:19:06 PM, you wrote:

>NOTICE TO ALL TUBA PLAYERS: All tubas and other low brass conicals (baritone
>horn, euphonium, serpent, ophicleide, cimbasso, etc.) welcome and encouraged
>to play.

Is this open to intermediate players?  Did you post a copy to the TUBAEUPH list?




Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 18:26:20 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Updated Archives!


You can now find more current updates of the digest at  I listed the list at Liszt
(try saying *that* out loud...), and they now provide archives of the
digests, updated more frequently than I do.  I'll still continue to update
my own site ( as time
permits, but in the meantime, you should be able to find digests at Liszt
within a few days of posting.



Grant D. Green             Just filling in on sarrusophone
Contrabass email list:   


Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 18:45:54 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Re: contrabass sarrusophone

At 02:47 AM 8/1/98 EDT, you wrote:
>       After 15 years of working at it I have finally acquired a Conn contrabass
>sarrusophone serial # v-242 marked usqmc.  It has the original case, but lacks
>the lyre which I assume came with it originally as there is a place for one in
>the case.  It came with an old reed which still plays, but the horn is quite
>flat.  The end of the bocal looks like it has had an additional piece added on
>to it, perhaps to narrow the bore diameter further for a reed?

Hey, congratulations!

It could be that the bocal was lengthened to bring the pitch down, or to
make the bocal narrow enough for contrabassoon reeds (have you tried
contrabassoon reeds on it?).  You may want to have Keith Loraine make you a
new bocal (which he would custom fit to your instrument), or check the
dimensions with other Conn sarrusophone owners.

>       I know that Jack Spratt still makes contra sarrusophone reeds; I e-mailed
>Vandoren to see if they have them and have tried to contact Glotin to no
>avail.  I spoke with Mme. Glotin at the Phoenix IDRS convention and she said
>she would send one out, but so far nothing.  Everytime I try to visit their
>web site it crashes my Mac.  Anyone ever ordered a reed from Glotin or
>Vandoren?  I have a reed from Jack Spratt but it is quite unfinished so I'll
>try to get it working.  How many people on the list have Conn sarrusophones
>and what the ends of their bocals look like?   What reeds are you using and
>what's your intonation like?

The Vandoren site ( works OK on Win95/Netscape, but
they don't list any sarrusophone reeds (not that I'm surprised...).  The
Glotin site ( apparently requires some sort of player
plugin, which may be what's crashing your Mac.  If you go straight to (avoiding the title page), you
may be able to load it and avoid the plugin.  The site lists tube and
gouged cane for oboe, d'amore, EH, bass oboe, bassoon, and contra, but no
sarrusophone.  Or, you can email them at

>       I have had 2 bass sarrusophone gigs lately; one it Tacoma and one in
>Sandpoint , Idaho.  Hope to have photos soon and a videotape was made as well.
>A friend has access to a digital camera and we will take better photos of the
>bass and get them on his web-site.  As I have the contrabass restored, we'll
>post photos of that as well.

Hey, congrats again!  Hope you got some *sound* recorded!


Grant D. Green             Just filling in on sarrusophone
Contrabass email list:   


Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 18:52:50 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Re:  list V1 #47(Contrabass Sarrusophone)

At 04:18 PM 8/2/98 EDT, Jonathan Carreira wrote:
>these three notes, I would love to hear it.  Also, the fourth line (written) D
>is very difficult to produce.  The instrument has the right hand thumb third
>register key on it, which plays all other notes which use it just fine.
>However, the D can't make up it's mind which octave to be in no matter what I
>do.  If anyone out there has a solution to this, I also would be interested to
>here it!

On the Gautrot Eb contra, I find that the fourth line D works best fingered
   LH123 | RH123 RT-D

Actually, on the Gautrot I have, the RT D opens a pad the same size as the
altissimo D (RH1 key), and you can play the high D (above the staff) with
either the RH1 key or the RT D key (plus the high octave key).  For the
middle D (4th line), opening either D key is by itself sufficient to sound
the note, but the timbre is best fingered 123 123 RTD.  It acts like an
octave key for that single note - it won't play a decent Eb with the RT D
key open.

Let me know if that helps!


Grant D. Green             Just filling in on sarrusophone
Contrabass email list:   


Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 18:57:54 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
To: <>,
Subject: Bouncing posts?

At 03:20 AM 8/2/98 +0100, you wrote:
>Mike, my postings to the Contrabass list are always rejected, so I would
>appreciatd your forwarding this there.  I have a Conn Eb CB
>Sarrusophone, with 3 playing reeds.  These are not here now but I will
>be happy to send you dimensions etc, they are substantially bigger than
>c-bassoon reeds.  The Early Music Shoppe in England sells a contrabass
>sordune reed which can be used.
>Enjoy, Robert Howe

Robert, are you posting to the new address?  The current address for
posting is


It *used to be* - the address changed the
last time we rebooted the list.  Please let me know if that doesn't work: I
*usually* receive an error message if someone tries to post and is bounced.



Grant D. Green             Just filling in on sarrusophone
Contrabass email list:   


Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 22:48:14 -0500
Subject: List issues

Hi Grant, did this come thru?



End of list V1 #50

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