Contrabass Digest

To subscribe or unsubscribe, email



Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 23:10:35 EDT
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

In a message dated 4/9/99 5:42:22 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<< Not to mention looking stupid and deadening the overall instrument, there
 would be no point. Once you get to low Bb (as you wish), why not just make
 the sax in a lower key (meaning forget a low G bari and get a low Bb bass).
 The bass clarinet can get awhile with the low C as being useful since there
 is such a difference in pitch until the next size, the Eb contralto.
actually there isn't an extreme amount of difference between the bass and
contralto clarinet...almost the same difference as the bari to the bass.
keep in mind the big clarinets do not cost as much as the comprable big sax.
plus if they make low clarinets with all these low extensions then why not
make the fellow saxophone with such extensions?  i would imagine it would
make bari have a more powerful lower register.

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 22:35:59 -0500
From: arehow <>
Subject: Re: Bass oboe doubling

I have much bass oboe experience (mine is Loree HW13), although I cannot
afford a Hecklephone.  Not until my stock doubles....

> It's interesting that in Strauss's "Alpine Symphony" (IIRC) the English horn
> player plays the English horn the whole time whereas the Heckelphone player
> doubles on a regular oboe.

This is in fact the best arrangement of parts.  Holst uses it in the
Planets, too, and Delius in the Mass of Life.  It allows the bass and E
horn to play simultaneously.  Also, the E hn player is a regular
soloist, whereas most of the time the bass oboe is played by whoever is
willing.  So why displace the Ehn player as well?

Robert Howe

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 14:26:12 EDT
Subject: Fwd: [Contra digest]

hey whats wrong with them talking about low saxes steven? I enjoyed reading
the Emails!

Matt (Bari sax player)
end contrabass list


From: "Gregg Bailey" <>
Subject: Clarinet key designation
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 17:12:18 CDT

> This is because the Clarinet is really two different instruments.  The
>register key converts the horn from an Eb instrument (in the lower register)
>to a Bb instrument in the upper; just like a Double Horns 4th rotary valve
>changes the pitch of the instrument.  Also like the double horn; composers
>and players alike found it easier (sensibly so...) to write for both keys of
>the instrument in the same key...  This becomes the instrument dominant key;
>in the case of the clarinet Bb; or with the Horn... typically F.

  Why is the Clarion register the dominant one, rather than the
chalumeau?  Bb clarinet would become Eb clarinet; Eb alto would become
Ab alto, and Ab sopranino would become Db sopranino.
 Actually, the clarinet is in THREE keys:  Eb, Bb, and G (altissimo

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

From: "Gregg Bailey" <>
Subject: Lipped-down Bari
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 17:24:12 CDT
>Very fine Baritone saxophone players like Howard Johnson lip down to the g.
>The Ab (g#) and g are on the horn you just have practise hearing it.

 How can these lipped-down notes have any sort of decent tone??

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

From: "Gregg Bailey" <>
Subject: Misc.
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 17:41:35 CDT

>You must be a Spartan or actually enjoy difficulty! The saxophone is much
>easier than the clarinet--- all fingerings are the same note, and you jump
>octaves by hitting a single key, compared to a clarinet--- the same fingering
>is two different notes, and you jump octaves by hitting a key, completely
>changing your embouchure, and overcoming the nasty break.

 What I mean is that maneuvering the keys on clarinet (in a single
register) is much easier than on sax or flute; you don't have to slide
any fingers on clarinet because there are so many alternate keys,
especially down low, which the sax and flute don't have.  Just try
playing a trill on flute between low B and low C#!!  All I mean is that
the keywork for clarinet seems the most logical of all, so why don't
all woodwinds incorporate it, disregarding the throat keys.?

>Plus, you couldn't
>omit the throat keys since the clarinet cyndrical tubes jump the 13th, so you
>wouldn't have any notes between G and B.

 I am talking about putting clarinet keywork on other woodwinds,
which DON'T jump the twelfth.  Not only does this seam easier to me,
but it would be one less thing multi-instrumentalists would have to
worry about, if all woodwinds had clarinet keywork.

>Why do you think the saxophone is

 Conical = even numbered harmonics;
 Cylindrical = odd numbered harmonics.
 Darn; if only somebody could invent a closed flute--a panflute as
a single tube!

>You are thinking of the
>clarinet, which makes perfect since, but using that method on saxophone, the
>alto sax would become the soprano, the tenor alto, bari would be bass, bass
>would be contralto (an octave below the new alto) and the contrabass would
>still remain the same.


>Keeping the saxophone system, if you renamed the
>octocontrabass sax to contrabass,

 Why would you want to do that??

>Why don't more people play the pipe organ?????  One has total
>control of everything, and the low notes are the best of any mouth-
>blown wind instrument.
>Difficulty, expense, size, timbre...

 DIFFICULTY:  learning to play it is most rewarding; also, you
don't have to worry about reeds not working!  Actually, learning how
the impressive (confusing at first) console works is part of the fun!!

>-Sax (Soprano/Alto)
>-Clarinet (Eb/Bb/Bass/Contras)

 Gloating, are we?
  -flute (piccolo, flute)
  -sax (tenor, bari)
  -clarinet (Bb, alto, bass, contralto, contrabass)
  -pipe organ (Yes!!)

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

Next Digest ->
Previous Digest <-