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list                           Thu, 10 Sep 1998           Volume 1 : Number 84

In this issue:


Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 18:38:44 EDT
Subject: Re: list V1 #82: Bass clarinets to low C

I'm just wondering... if a band director wants a bass clarinet w/ low C so
much, couldn't he just buy a student model Eb contra? I mean, it's much less
($1400) and will play a Eb below the the low C, so wouldn't this be
sufficent(with some transcribing)? And this would be better for the bassoon
part *in case* the part goes to a low A plus no transposing is needed. The
only thing bad about the Eb contra mixed with basses is that they might be out
of tune together (as the Bb contra & Eb contra are, noted by Grant). Please
respond with your thoughts.

        - Eb Alto sax
        - Bb Bass clarient
        - Eb Contrabass clarinet

>I was surprised to read about the band director wanting a bass clarinet
>going to low C.  Is there any standard band literature which has parts
>going that low for the bass?  Or does he want to use transposed bassoon
>parts (thus going to that pitch, low concert Bb) for it?...
>- Timothy Tikker


Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 17:02:02 -0600 (MDT)
From: Shouryu Nohe <>
To: Contrabass-list <>
Subject: Re: list V1 #83

I'm afraid I must disagree with those of you who state that there isn't
much repertiore for extended bass clarinet - last year alone, in my wind
ensemble, I encountered SEVEN pieces that required the instrument.  The
year before that, five.  And so far into this semester, two.  Believe me -
there's plenty of literature out there that calls for it.

J. Shouryu Nohe
Professor of SCSM102, New Mexico State Univ.
"I should NEVER kiss to pass time!" - Sohryuu Asuka


Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 19:51:46 -0400
From: Michael Cogswell <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: Bass clarinets to low C

I should clarify that my daughter's band director isn't withholding school
instruments from my daughter and demanding she buy her own.  Her school has
three bands (not counting the marching band) with my daughter being a member
of the highest of the three levels.  In addition to her personal instrument,
he has provided her with a resin Bass Clarinet for marching (yes, they march
bass clarinets) and both a contra-alto and contra-bass.  (Which also
disposes of the suggestions that he provide her a contra for those
situations where he wants her to hit the low notes.)  He recently spent
enough money on a complete overhaul of the contra-alto for her use that he
could have bought a student bass clarinet.  She has been fortunate enough to
have had band directors in both middle school and high school who have not
only encouraged her in her playing of the bass clarinet, but have also
supported her with contras.  They have been pleased to have someone who was
enthusiastic about all three and in return have encouraged her by selecting
music that allows her to play the contras, sometimes requiring a change
during a selection.

However, virtually all of the highest level students do own their own
instruments.  I think his hints about getting a bass clarinet with low C
might also reflect an opinion that she has "outgrown" her Noblet.


Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 20:15:08 EDT
Subject: Tuba SOS

I'm sorry to hear about the stolen tuba.  That's a horrible thing to happen to
a musician.  Here's a URL for a site that keeps a listing of stolen
instruments. Lars Kirmser's Music Trader, Index (serial #s, info)
If your friend knows the serial number of his horn, he should post it there,
and on the Tuba-Euph list, and let us know it here on the contrabass list,
too, so that the bottom-feeders amongst us can keep an eye out for it at the
flea markets and so forth.  Like a lot of pickers, I keep in my take-along bag
a list of reported stolen merch in the categories I hunt.  Most pickers and
dealers have boulder-sized chips on our shoulders about the bad reputation of
"the po' folks' stock market" as a tax shelter for "robbin' hoods," so if we
see something that's not right, we warn our friends about who's playing the
monkey games and we call the cops--anonymously.  (If I see something that
looks bad, I don't go taking out my list in front of the dealer.  I memorize
the serial number and move out of sight to check it.  We may be dumb but we
ain't stoopid, or at least not stupid enough to let some crackhead know who
ratted him out.)  All the regulars in my territory (Washington, DC area) know
which pawn shop guys have done time around here.  Probably the thieves had no
idea they were getting some extra metal in the back of that car. They know
where to fence a car, but I'll bet the only place they'll think of to unload a
tuba is a pawn shop, a flea market or a "junktiques" shop.  A pro kit stands
out like a parrot in a flock of pigeons in those places, where mostly we see
cheap student instruments and filthy old "garage horns" in unplayable (usually
unrepairable) condition.  Besides, something the size of a tuba stands out
anywhere, so your friend shouldn't give up hope that he might get his
instrument back.  Please tell him to put the Internet to work for him.  And
tell him to check out the local junk yards.  If a smash-and-grab thief gets
stuck with something big and obvious that he can't move right away, he'll dump it.

Good luck--hope the thieves get caught.

"Every true man's apparel fits your thief."
                           --William Shakespeare


Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 06:33:13 -0500
From: Chip Owen <>
Subject: Re: list V1 #83 - Low C Bass Clarinets

There's a very good reason why that band director insists on low C bass
clarinets.  He's defending his ignorance.  I see this same phenomenon on a
regular basis, although this is a slightly different variation of the theme.

Fox Products has a rather long list of bassoon models.  Institutional buyers,
such as universities, military bands and government units are consistant in
always buying the expensive models even when a less expensive model would serve
better.  Purchasing agents can't be knowledgeable about everything they're
ordered to buy.  When directed to make certain they get a good instrument they
cover their butts by using the only criteria for quality that relates well to
their normal activities:  price.  Buying the most expensive model is the best
defense when an artistic disagreement arises later.

For a band director to insist that an individual must purchase on that same
basis, however, is taking this concept to an unconscionable level.  If he has
more than one bass clarinetist in his band it might be appropriate for the
school to own a low C instrument to cover the rare needs for one.  Individuals
should not be required to spend excess money just to cover his ignorance.
Getting a high quality instrument should not require spending excess money for
unneeded features.

Chip Owen
Columbia City, IN


End of list V1 #84

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