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list Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Volume 1 : Number 81
In this issue:
- Re: Baß Klarinetten?
- Re: list V1 #80: G clarinet
- low freq <--> human body
- Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
- subwoofer menace and harmonic resonance
- Re: Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
- Re: Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
- Re: list V1 #80
- Re: list V1 #79
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 23:47:49 EDT
Subject: Re: Baß Klarinetten?
- I think so, a contra friend in Whicita Falls(sp?) in Texas also has a Bundy
- At first it was in pitch but then I discovered I had the bell on wrong :)
- Vandoren doesn't make Eb contralto reeds... just Bb contra reeds. A couple
days I box a box of Bb contra reeds and although they are HUGE they make the
contra sound more like a clarinet. And yes, the Bb contra reeds does hang over
the sides of the contralto mouthpiece but that's no drawback from tonal
quality or airyness.
- I'm 14, a freshman in HS and live in Sanford, FL.
- Eb Alto sax
- Bb Bass clarinet
- EEb Contrabass clarinet
>>Hey everyone, I just got my Eb contra from the school today and it plays
>>great! It is a Selmer Bundy USA
> Aren't they all?!! It seems like that's the only kind a school owns,
>besides the rosewood.
>>The only thing I've noticed is that
>>the difference between low E and low Eb isn't very great; what could be the
>>readon for this?
> Do you mean in tone quality or in pitch?
>>Right now I'm using Rico bari sax reeds number 3 but hopefully I'll
>>be getting a box of Vandoren contrabass reads number 2...
> I don't think Vandoren makes any contra-alto reeds. Many people on the
>list say that a reed made for a contrabass isn't also fitted for a
>contra-alto mouthpiece; this must be true, because a contra-alto
>mouthpiece is way too small to fit into the neck of a contrabass. There
>are frequently new people to the list who bring this issue up, but I
>don't know what the resolve is.? I guess Grant needs to make a seperate
>webpage dealing with the issue!!
> How old are you, anyway, and where are you? I'm 16 in Odessa, TX.
>>- Alto sax
>>- Bass clarinet
>>- Eb Contrabass clarinet (YES!)
> You'll probably end up with so many on that list that you'll need to
>just say Saxophones, Clarinets, Flutes, etc...!!
> Well, REPLY PEOPLE!!!!!!
> -Gregg Bailey
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 08:51:06 -0200
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Timothy Tikker)
Subject: Re: list V1 #80: G clarinet
Someone asked about the Turkish G clarinets available from Lark in the
Morning. I've played a few of these.
They're Albert system, and made of metal. They're quite crudely
manufactured. I tried a used one on approval (not from Lark, but bought by
its owner in Turkey), and a key broke! The repairman then pointed out how
crude the instrument was. They're pretty seriously out-of-tune with
Actually, the price is rather high considering the low quality, and I
understand that the actual price in Turkey is far, far lower -- import
costs and retailer mark-up then get added over here.
The G clarinet (pitched a whole-tone below the standard A, a minor thrid
below the standard Bb) is highly-regarded for Balkan (Greek, etc.) and
Middle-Eastern music. Albert system is standard. Higher-quality wooden
ones are made, and used by high-class performers. Offhand, I don't know
who makes these, though I understand an Italian firm makes a G
"Mezzo-soprano" (Albert or not?).
Here's an excellent recording of a Turkish ensemble including a G clarinet
(though, oddly enough, the player never uses the lowest range which would
distinguish it from a Bb clarinet!):
Tzigane: The Gypsy Music of Turkey; the Erkose Ensemble; CMP Records CMP 3010.
Barbaros Erkose here plays a wooden G. Note that the playing style is very
different from Western classical practice, yet quite musicianly and
virtuosic in its own right: a looser embouchure and somewhat more
saxophone-like tone; much vibrato, but carefully controlled and modulated;
use of quarter tones; much heterphonic ornamentation and solo
improvisation. Again, a superb disc, highly recommended!
- Timothy Tikker
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 07:39:56 -0700
From: "Paul C. Sheldon" <Paul.Sheldon@SheldonWorks.com>
Subject: low freq <--> human body
Automobile companies have done good research on low frequencies' effects on the human
body. When they design car bodies and suspensions they pay particular attention to
the resonant modes of the bags-of-guts we carry ourselves in. Makes for a more
pleasant ride. I once had an old car with the shocks shot and an out-of-balance
wheel. At around 40 mph my earlobes would vibrate. Most disconcerting and
I've been told that the engineers at Cadillac have a great reference manual on
the subject. Any sub-contra automotive engineers out there?
Teaming with Companies to Locate, Originate and Exploit Strategic Technology
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 11:02:45 EDT
Subject: Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
Gregg Bailey wrote,
>>I don't think Vandoren makes any contra-alto reeds. >>
Vandoren makes reeds in the regular "blue box" line that are labelled for use
on either bass sax or contrabass clarinet. Rico makes "plain old Rico" reeds
that are labelled for bass clarinet, contra-alto clarinet and bass sax (i.e.
the same reed for all three instruments). The Vandoren and Rico reeds aren't
exactly the same size, but they're close enough that I can use either on my
bass sax. Therefore I would guess that you can also use either of those reeds
on a contra-alto clarinet mouthpiece. See if your music shop has an open box
and will let you buy just one reed as a trial, since mouthpieces vary in size.
n my experience, the Vandoren reeds give a considerably brighter tone than the
Ricos and are more consistent in quality. What I would really like is
consistent quality with darker tone. Oh well.
"Darkness is more productive of sublime ideas than light."
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 11:08:05 EDT
Subject: subwoofer menace and harmonic resonance
Gregg, thanks for the info about the organist's reaction to the 64 ft.
Diaphone rank on the Atlantic City organ. I'd love to have the URL if you
ever run across it. You asked about U. C. Berkeley. That's my alma mater,
the University of California at Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco.
It's a fine school generally, with a well-regarded Dept. of Engineering, but
someone else will have to tell you which schools are particularly good for
acoustical engineers. I majored in English.
>>During the 1930's there was a famous bridge collapse when the wind caused
the bridge to vibrate at its resonant frequency.>>
I think you're talking about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse in Washington
State on November 8, 1940. Interesting phenomenon. Some bass sax and organ
notes make my sheet music rattle on the stand. This is an audible, not just
visible, rattle, so it's not due to twitchy eyeballs. On the "Organ + Old
Organ Combination" setting, down to 16' pitch, my digital keyboard (88-key
Yamaha Clavinova 811) begins to produce a wah-wah-wah decibel (not pitch)
fluctuation if I hold a note anywhere in the bottom octave for several
seconds. The wah-wah throb increases in intensity the longer I sustain the
tone and increases a great deal more if I hold a bass chord instead of just
one note. Within a few seconds, I can make small objects clatter and "walk"
off the top of the console. (Cheap thrills for anyone who wants to play
Captain Hook with the toy soldiers: "Extend the plank, Smee! Over the side
with the scurvy lot of 'em!" Cue sinister chord.) But this effect becomes
far more pronounced if I hold a loud bass organ chord with my foot on the
middle pedal (which sustains the organ at the initial volume indefinitely,
even with no fingers on the keys) while simultaneously playing a long tone,
anything from low D down, on bass sax. Things all over the room start hopping
around. The cat loves it when I do this, but I killed a small chalk gargoyle
that fell off a shelf and smashed.
I'm no engineer--in fact, I'm a mathematical moron--but unless I'm much
mistaken, that wah-wah effect illustrates the fact that the amplitude of a
harmonic resonance increases over time, even in the absence of any increase in
volume or change of frequency in the stimulus. This is why the Tacoma Narrows
Bridge, aka "Galloping Gertie," collapsed in a steady wind of a velocity
theoretically well below the fail-safe tolerance. In fact, higher winds
produced less undulation. Only winds of certain speeds caused the deck of the
bridge to pitch and roll. Authorities closed the bridge in time to prevent
major loss of life. Someone--I think it was the chief engineer--went out
there to measure the wave, which expanded slowly at first. Then the bridge
suddenly started lashing up and down violently, like a whip. He barely
managed to scramble out of his car and off the bridge on foot before the
structure shook itself to bits and plunged itself and the car 190 feet down
into Puget Sound. I've seen a TV documentary that reproduces a movie of the
event (which took some time to develop to the point of critical mass, while a
crowd gathered to watch) and it's most impressive. The cameraman, a news
reporter, started out in mid-span and filmed as he managed to scramble himself
and his camera out of there before the collapse.
Increased amplitude of resonance probably accounts for the way low bass notes
develop that throb that's not quite like a vibrato. This increases (on bass
sax), even if I deliberately try to avoid producing vibrato with mouth or
diaphragm. I think it's the acoustical equivalent of the reason soldiers are
taught never to march in cadence across a footbridge.
LeliaLoban@aol.com (Lelia Loban)
"By harmony our souls are swayed;
By harmony the world was made."
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 10:18:30 -0500
From: Matthew Hanson <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
No, Vandoren does not make CONTRA reeds that fit most Eb contra
mouthpieces. They will however, fit the mouthpieces of the Leblanc and
Vito Eb and Bb contra clarinets, as they use the same mouthpiece and are
what those reeds were designed for in the first place. The Bundy and
Selmer (Paris) mouthpieces have narrower rails and that is why the reeds
overlap the sides of your mouthpiece.
For these mouthpieces, I suggest their Baritone Saxophone reeds, as they
are cut very similar, but narrower. A good Rico reed can be hard to
find for picky players, but they are a more "all around" cut and fit
most all contras fairly comfortably.
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 12:14:15 -0500
From: Jean Adler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Vandoren reeds for contra-alto
> Gregg Bailey wrote,
> >>I don't think Vandoren makes any contra-alto reeds. >>
> Vandoren makes reeds in the regular "blue box" line that are labelled for use
> on either bass sax or contrabass clarinet. Rico makes "plain old Rico" reeds
> that are labelled for bass clarinet, contra-alto clarinet and bass sax (i.e.
> the same reed for all three instruments). The Vandoren and Rico reeds aren't
> exactly the same size, but they're close enough that I can use either on my
> bass sax. Therefore I would guess that you can also use either of those reeds
> on a contra-alto clarinet mouthpiece. See if your music shop has an open box
> and will let you buy just one reed as a trial, since mouthpieces vary in size.
> n my experience, the Vandoren reeds give a considerably brighter tone than the
> Ricos and are more consistent in quality. What I would really like is
> consistent quality with darker tone. Oh well.
I have several boxes of contrabass clarinet reeds that I purchased
through the Woodwind/Brasswind. They were sent by mistake, schould have
been for bass clarinet. The brand is from France. They are Charpen
brand and I use them almost exclusively. If anyone is interested in
them I would be willing to part with them for a reasonable amount.
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:41:06 EDT
Subject: Re: list V1 #80
In a message dated 9/6/98 10:35:10 PM EST, email@example.com writes:
<< Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 15:34:52 -0500
From: "Paul S. Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: bass singers
> Secondarily, I've been wondering about just how far a human's vocal cords
> can go. I've heard of Russian sub-basses singing down to A (equivalent
> to the A string on a double-bass) and still retaining good tone and
> volume. Anybody verify or top these? Better yet, anybody actually able
> to sing that low?
Isaac Freeman, the bass singer of the Farfield Four (a capella gospel
group), sings a nice growlly low B (N.B.: gleaned from a radio show I
captured on cassette so I don't know if the pitch is exactly on). I also
caught their show recently at the Minnesota State Fair. I didn't get a
chance to talk to him but have always been curious how low he can go. He
is certainly within striking distance of a low A. I bet it is a godsend
to be a first tenor and sing with him because tunes can be pitched lower
because of his extended range and keep the high tenors off the ceiling.
BTW, the pool of true basses and altos is shrinking worldwide for some
Hey, I also caught frequent contrabass-list contributor Mark Rubin
backing up Texas honkytonk singer Dale Watson on string bass at the MN
State Fair. I also recently spotted him playing tuba in the film "The
Newton Boys" just out on video. Check it out. Mark was music supervisor
for the film. Nice work Mark.
Paul S. Johnson
Thurl Ravenscroft is a GREAT bass vocalist. His name makes for an easy word
search on the web, so check him out! He did/does a lot of work for Disney,
sang backup for Elvis, and is most famous as Tony the Tiger and also for
singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!" Chere are some nice sound bytes on
the web...check him out! You could start at
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:49:40 EDT
In a message dated 9/6/98 10:44:43 PM EST, email@example.com writes:
<< >Does anyone know of any reports of extremely low-pitched sounds causing
>physical harm to people?
I once went to a website that a teenage girl put together; she is a
theatre organist, and one of her webpages was of her visit to the
monster organ at the Atlantic City Convention Hall--you know, the one
with the 64' Diaphone? Anyway, she says that she tried that stop all by
itself, and the lowest note starts out sounding like a windy air
conditioner, and then you all of a sudden start feeling the slow 8 Hz
vibration; she says that she felt naucious after that! I wish I had the
URL for that webpage; I think I can get it for you soon.
A friend who does light and sound work for film companies and theatres has
install sound systems for the "Earthquake" flick that used Sensurround (P)
which was basically a 12hz tone thas was cranked through a sound sytem that
utilized ElectroVoice 30 woofers. (I gotta get a system like that so I can
play electric helicon tuba on "Brontosaurus Stomp"!)
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 20:45:10 -0700
From: "Jason Hsien" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: list V1 #79
:From: email@example.com (M Rubin)
:BTW: How can I get a digest of this here list??
I have been trying to figure out the exact opposite.
I'm on Digest, but want to get listmail the standard way.
If anyone can help, please let me know.
firstname.lastname@example.org / ICQ UIN 191252
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