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list                           Mon, 4 Jan 1999            Volume 1 : Number 74

In this issue:


Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:23:19 -0500
From: (Michael J Effenberger)
Subject: Bass pipes

I've made plans to construct an instrument that is essentially a set of
bagpipes, with a few additions, and an octave lower.  My first question :
Has this been done before?  Secondarily, anybody on the list have
experience with building pipes in this context?  Also, I went ahead and
lost my calculation of relationship of length and pitch (i.e, I know a
fifth is 2/3 the length of the root pipe, assuming a constant diameter
and no weirdness).  Does anybody have a hold of those?  That would be
handy if anybody has any answers.

 -Mike Effenberger (tuba + such)


Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 00:20:41 -0800
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Scored for Sarrusophones...

I was just reading through the "Cambridge Compendium to the Clarinet", and ran across an interesting illustration.  It shows a score for an arrangement of Puccini's "Turandot", arranged for the Direttore del Corpo musicale del Governatorato di Roma, notable not only for the fact that it calls for *2* Ab sopranino clarinets and 2 Eb soprano clarinets (along with Bb soprano, Eb alto and Bb bass), but also an Eb baritone sarrusophone and
a Bb bass sarrusophone.  I've posted a small fragment of the illustration at, for anyone interested.


Grant Green
Just filling in on sarrusophone.......


Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 00:21:31 -0800
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Adolphe Sax: Contrabass Maniac...

Just finished a short biography of Adolphe Sax.  We all know that he designed a few huge instruments in his time, from the improved bass clarinet down to BBBb bourdon saxhorns and very large saxophones.  Apparently, some of his contemporary critics were less enamoured of his larger creations, as evidenced by some of the editorial cartoons that appeared.  I've posted a few at (linked to the contrabass sax page,, all old enough to be out of copyright...



Grant Green
Just filling in on sarrusophone.......


Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 00:22:02 -0800
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Concert Announcements

SAN JOSE WIND SYMPHONY under the baton of Darrell Johnston will perform
at the Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Concert Association’s second program
of the season on Sunday January 10, 1999 at 2:30 PM.  Featured with the
SJ Winds will be Mr. Craig Heimbichner, piano soloist, performing George
Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.   Other musical selections on the program
will be from such composers as John Williams, Antonin Dvorak, Ronald Lo
Presti, Norman Dello Joio, Robert Jager and more Gershwin -- something
for everyone!   For ticket information call 408-377-1106 or
408-356-7014.  For information about the SJWS, please call 408-927-7597
or visit our new web site at

PR  January 12, 1999

SAN JOSE WIND SYMPHONY with founding conductor Darrell Johnston will
perform a joint concert with the Lynbrook High School Orchestra on
January 12, 1999, at 7:30 , 1280 Johnson  Ave, San Jose, CA 95129.  The
Lynbrook Orchestra took Grand Prize , highest rating of all musical
groups involved, in the April ‘98 New York Performing Arts Festival.
Miss Lori Jensen, will be featured violin soloist in the Mendelssohn
“Konzert fur Violine"  with the Lynbrook Orchestra and members of the
Wind Symphony.  Tickets may be purchased at the concert.  For more
information, please call 408-927-7597 or visit our web site at

Contact:  Jan Turnage
Ph/Fax 408-927-7597

Grant Green
Just filling in on sarrusophone.......


Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 08:07:48 -0200
From: (Timothy Tikker)
Subject: Re: lower limits of audibility

I got this response from a friend re a forward on this topic:

>Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 20:48:12 -0800 (PST)
>From: Dr H <>
>Subject: Re: from contrabass-l
>On Sat, 26 Dec 1998, Timothy Tikker wrote:
>}>In a message dated 12/20/98 7:09:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>}> writes:
>}>> Apparently, the bottom limit for human hearing of a pure sine wave is
>}>>  just below 32' C (16 Hz).  Does anybody know anything more specific
>}>>  about that?
>}>I got a friend who installs and maintains sound systems for movie theatres
>}>among other things who was telling me about "Sensurround" around the time that
>}>"Earthquake" came to the theatres. "Sensurround" was done by the movie
>}>triggering an oscillator that played a 12Hz tone at a fairly loud volume
>}>through a bunch of Cerwin Vega 30 inch woofers. The effect was that of the
>}>building rumbling like an earthquake and can be felt in your whole body but
>}>not your ears (unless you're a whale! or an elephant).
>About 20 years ago I worked as a research assistant (/guinea pig) in a
>psychoacoustics lab at an engineering school.  My hearing was tested
>down to 8.3Hz with sine tones.  While that was not the average for subjects
>tested (which was 12-14Hz) neither was it unique.  Nearly 300
>subjects, male and female, aged between 18-27 were tested, and several
>got down into the 8-10Hz range.  A higher amplitude was necessary for pitch
>perception in that range than an octave or two higher, and pitch
>discrimination below 16Hz was poor, (though it was better in musically-trained
>That said, I must point out that determining the lower limits of human
>hearing is a bit more problematic than determining the upper limits.  For
>upper limits you can just keep increasing the frequency of an acoustically
>isolated sine-tone and at some point the subject simply can't hear it any
>more.  Going lower, however, other factors come into play, and acoustical
>isolation becomes more difficult.  The term "psychoacoustic" comes from
>the fact that our perception of many of the information-bearing aspects
>of sound (ie., pitch, speech, et al) are not simply physical phenomena,
>but depend on a complex interaction of our sensory organs and interpretation
>of their input to our brain.
>There is a phenomenon called "fundamental tracking," for example, by
>which we will *perceive* the fundamental pitch of a complex sound even
>though that fundamental pitch is *not physically present*, provided we are
>presented with a sufficient array of frequencies which would be the natural
>overtones of such a fundamental if it were indeed present (I am simplifying
>this description for sake of space & potential boredom).
>This is one reason for testing hearing with sine-tones:  if more complex
>tones are used it can make the bottom limit appear lower than it actually is.
>This is definitely a form of pitch *perception*; whether it constitutes
>"hearing" depends on how one defines 'hearing' in this context.
>A problem arises even with the use of sine-tones to test lower hearing
>limits, however.  When frequencies dip below about 12Hz they begin to
>enter the range of resonant frequencies for various tissues in the human
>body.  A strong 8-9Hz sine-tone can cause various organs in the ear to
>begin to resonate, which produces overtone frequencies in those organs,
>which in turn can (theoretically) provide the complex of higher frequencies
>necessary for fundamental-tracking perception.
>Thus, if one defines 'hearing' as strictly the physical ability
>of our ears to *directly* react in a certain way to certain frequencies,
>one might not be physically "hearing" an 8Hz tone, but the secondary
>effects of that frequency of vibration on our sensory systems can lead
>to the psychoacoustic *perception* of a tone in that general frequency
>>From this point it becomes something of a philosophical "tree-falling-
>in-the-woods" kind of debate.  My own view is that, for aesthetic
>purposes, a perceptual experience likely to be interpreted by the
>average listener as "hearing" is as good as the real thing, at least
>for many applications.
>YMMV.  :-)
>Dr H


Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 16:41:17 -0200
From: (Timothy Tikker)
Subject: alto clarinet observations

This from a composer friend who considers the alto clarinet his favorite instrument:

>Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 19:34:30 -0800 (PST)
>From: Dr H <>
>To: Timothy Tikker <>
>Subject: Re: more
>}Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 22:00:44 EST
>}Subject: Re: Albert Alto Clarinet?
>}My director will not allow alto clarinets in 'his' band... he says the main
>}problem is that companies don't make good ones (meaning bad sound and trashy
>}tuning)... although I think his request for an Eb soprano *might* have more
>ARGH!  I've heard the "bad sound and trashy tuning" arguments before--
>many times.  Here's my take on it:
>Young clarinet players are rarely asked if they WANT to play alto; rather
>one poor unfortunate is MADE to play alto in the elementary school band.
>Consequently, clarinetists grow up with the idea that the alto is somehow
>an inferior, undesirable instrument.  Coupled with the relative lack of
>regularly-performed serious solo literature for the instrument, the net
>result is that it is the rare clarinetist who actually spends a significant
>amount of time -practicing- on the alto.
>As anyone who has specialized in the less-maligned bass clarinet can
>confirm, the low clarinets are different animals from their higher-pitched
>cousins, and require considerable practice in order to develop a good
>technique (well, duh).
>So I submit that the "bad sound" of the alto is much less a problem of
>the instrument, than it is of the *instrumentalist*, who is under-
>practiced, and more likely than not is playing the horn under duress
>rather than by choice.
>As to the allegedly poor intonation of the alto, I offer a personal anecdote:
>When I palyed alto with various college bands at various times it was my
>experience that in the literature chosen for performance the alto clarinet
>spent 80+% of the time doubling either the alto saxophones, or the (usually
>3rd) clarinets.  It has further been my experience that in the heat of
>performance sax players have a tendency to lip DOWN (ie. play a little flat)
>whereas soprano clarinet players have a tendency to lip UP (ie. play a
>little sharp).
>Thus the unfortunate alto player was in the position of continually having
>to readjust intonation, often in the space of a few beats, to match that
>of two opposing forces, neither of which was playing at the concert-pitch
>to which everyone had originally tuned.
>I leave you to draw your own conclusions from that data...
>Dr H


End of list V1 #74

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