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From: "Sarah Cordish" <>
Subject: Online music stores.
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 02:16:07 +0300

Has someone one the list bought music from one of the online classical
sheet music stores?  Is there one to recommend for prompt, ethical
sevice?  Conversely, are there ones to avoid?

Appreciate your help.


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 00:26:36 +0100
From: David Bobroff <>
Subject: Octocontrabass trombone in F

In the "dream" orchestra an octocontrabass trombone in F was mentioned.
Has anyone actually built such a device?

David Bobroff

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 21:16:14 -0400
Subject: Monster Instrumentation
From: Michael J Effenberger <>

One main reason for not making a tenor sax equivalent to a soprano part
in an orchestra is that the sonorities would be all messed up.  If you've
ever played on an organ or piano, you know that there really aren't a lot
of ways to play exclusively in the register of middle C and below and
have it be musical.  Acoustically, the lower instruments' harmonic series
tend to produce some clearer, more audible harmonics, and when you have a
chord where all the notes lie in a register where the harmonics are
conflicting, you get mud at best and true dissonance at worst.  This is a
problem I encountered when I tried to arrange Samuel Barber's Adagio for
Strings (really famous piece at the end of Platoon) for tuba octet, with
four tubas and four euphoniums.  All that really happens is that you get
muddled, unconvincing harmonies, unless there are some tricks that I
don't know about.
There's my two cents..

 -Mike (Low brass & strings)

On Sat, 12 Jun 1999 17:44:48 -0400 (EDT)
(lawrence johns) writes:
>music in the lowest sense i guess-
>i believe i know more about saxes let people who play the instrument of
>choice put their two sense in first before thinking about the whole
>first-let me give you an example while i say what i think should be in
>the sax section someone else who knows more about sarrusophones,etc.
>this is my input and it is limited to only the sax section.a good
>starting sax section starts with 2 alto,2 tenors and 1 baritone.ok if
>that is what we usually have we need to work on the higher pitched saxes
>as well as the lower pitched saxes for balance. so here goes my input
>1 Eb sopranino
>1 Bb straight soprano sax-oboe sound
>1 Bb curved soprano sax-more jazzy
>1 Eb 1st alto sax
>1 Eb 2nd alto sax
>1 C-melody sax-section leader
>1 Bb 1st tenor sax
>1 Bb 2nd tenor sax
>1 Eb baritone sax
>1 Bb bass sax
>1 Eb contrabass sax
>1 Bb subcontrabass sax
>1 Eb octsubcontrabass sax
>My thinking is that if a picculo should be heard still even with a bunch
>of other horns on stars and stripes forever ,then why do we need more
>than two of any horn? 10 alto saxes and no tenors is completely off the
>thinking process,but maybe someone can convince me i am wrong here. here
>is another thought why dont we just work with nothing higher than the
>tenor sax for this project to occur ok. perhaps the sax section would be
>1 tenor-equivalent to sopranino
>1 bari-equivalent to soprano
>2 basses-equivalent to alto
>2 contrabass-equivalent to the tenor
>1 subcontrabass-equivalent to the baritone
>1 octsubcontrabass- equal to the bass
>why do we put higher horns in an ensemble if we want a low sounding
>orchestra? think about it thank you
>-Lawrence "Larry" E. Johns-

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 22:55:37 -0400
From: RJ Carpenter <>
Subject: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

For some reason; the Blacksburg Community Band has a Bass Sax...   See for
yourself at
(Center; back Row; right of tuba) I don't know; but that seems odd to me!:)


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 05:53:00 +0200
From: Drake Mabry <>
Subject: Re: Basso Profondo

    For anyone interested in contrabass singing there is a great record that just
came out here in France. The title of the CD is "Basso Profondo from Old Russia"
and features a Russian male chorus called The Orthodox Singers conducted by Georgy
Smirnov. The unique aspect of the record is that besides tenors, baritones, and
basses, there are also "basso profondo" singers with a range one octave below the
normal bass register. Similar to the Tibetan monks I imagine but with melodic
lines. There are lots of low C's (the lowest low C on the piano) and a few
astounding low G's just below the lowest  A (the end of track 6 for example). The
repertoire is Russian popular and sacred songs. Does anyone know of other "basso
profondo" records?
    I looked for the CD at several US sites without luck. Maybe it can be ordered
from (fnac is reliable and a kind of French
    The CD catalog number is Saison Russe RUS 288 158 (distributed in Germany by
Harmonia Mundi).
    I wonder if there was ever an opera "basso profondo" singer.



Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 23:56:45 EDT
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

In a message dated 6/12/99 10:49:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> For some reason; the Blacksburg Community Band has a Bass Sax...   See for
>  yourself at
>  (Center; back Row; right of tuba) I don't know; but that seems odd to me!:)
>  Tristan

I heard a high school band in a parade today that had no tuba but they used
bari sax and bass clarinet and played some very funky tunes. Turned all the
adult players heads in our band!

Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 00:23:52 -0400
From: arehow <>
Subject: Re: Basso Profondo

The posting about Russian basso profundo singers calls to mind one of my
most remarkable musical memories.

In August of 1985 I was driving from New Brunswick NJ towards Manhattan,
listening to WQXR.  The announcer announced a song sung by  Russian
basso profundo, and mentioned that the song we were about to hear was in
the key of g minor.  The man sang this ditty, and the end of each phrase
ended (V-I), with the notes d-g.  The song began with the d above the
bass staff as a pickup, and the first stanza ended with d in the bass
staff to g on the fourth line.  The end of the second, d in the bass
staff to g bottom line.  The third, the entire verse was down 8ve,
ending d below the bass staff to g bottom line.  Then he sang a fourth
verse, and (using the logic of what had gone before) I drove on, not
believing what I was about to hear--and he did it.  He sang down from d
below the bass staff, d-c-Bb-a----g--and held and held that g.  It was
fabulous.  This is the g below the bassoon, mind you.

So there are some FABULOUS Russian bassi profundi out there!

Robert Howe

Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 00:25:44 -0400
From: arehow <>
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

I have performed on the Bass Saxophone in community bands, playing tuba
parts.  It works really well on oompah and fast passages, but held low
notes get a bit overpowering, at least in my hands.

Robert Howe

Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 00:24:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Monster instrumentation

In a message dated 6/12/99 5:46:24 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> 1 Eb octsubcontrabass sax

I assume you'll be playing to whales and elephants and the stone deaf and
that you would hire a Sasquatch to play this instrument for his enormous lung
"Call in Dr. Seuss!"

From: "Chip Owen" <>
Subject: Re:  Monster Instrumentation
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 08:27:13 -0500

The amount of interest aroused by a subject originally labeled as "long and
pointless" is fascinating.  It's amazing how much more fun we can have if we
don't let reality intrude too much.

The idea of getting the head of a major instrument maker interested in
making  these unusual instruments won't get very far.  They got to their
positions because they know how to run a business, which includes keeping
indulgences in such pursuits to a minimum.  Of course, there is always room
for an occaisional "just for fun" project.

I run the contrabassoon production at Fox.  I must admit to thinking of a
huge contrabassoon, permanently set up outside the factory, hooked up to an
air compressor and serving as a noon whistle for the entire town of South
Whitley.  Of course at the low frequency (about 14-15hz) the sound would be
felt more than heard and we'd probably be blamed for problems with the dairy
cattle across the road!  (I wonder if low frequency sound of sufficient
amplitude can be used to disrupt tornadic weather.)

Chip Owen
Columbia City, Indiana

> From:
> Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 00:32:56 EDT
> Subject: Re: Monster instrumentation

>    Well, in my defense, Piccolo Heckelphones and Octocontrabass Clarinets
> aren't that common either. My instrumentation was more of a "Dream
> Orchestra".  Something that would never happen, but would sound great. (Well,
> maybe, i'm not sure).  But, i do wish they made Double Subcontrabass Flutes,
> and Subcontrabassoons, and <DROOL> Octocontrabassoons.  Too bad the head of a
> major instrument manufacturer isn't on this list.


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 09:54:43 EDT
Subject: Sousaphone (?) FS at Georgetown flea

There's a big brass bass instrument for sale at the Georgetown Flea Market in
Washington, D. C. today (Sunday).  The market is across the street from the
Safeway, on Wisconsin.  There was no marked price on the bass, but the dealer
offered it to me for $120. I know nothing about the maker, can't guess
whether the horn is modern or old (although it doesn't look new), and have no
idea whether it's any good, so I wasn't willing to risk my own $120 on it.
(I'm a reed player.)

I saw the dealer setting this horn out as I was leaving.  She had it
disassembled (bell off), on the asphalt, with some other stuff leaning on it,
so I'm not sure whether this thing is a helicon or a sousaphone, and I wasn't
able to find the serial number on it.  It's marked

Made in England

on the bell, with an engraving of a lyre.  There's a little bit of decorative
engraving around the lyre, but it isn't a heavily decorated horn.  The valves
are all there, but not working properly.  There are a lot of small dents
along with some dents large enough that they may need to be removed.

If you can't make it to the market, the dealer's name is Anna and her phone
number is 301-588-5804.  That's a Maryland number.  She said to leave a
message if she's not there.  Dealers generally break down their booths
starting around 1 p.m. at that market.  Good idea to get there ASAP, because
a dealer in brass instruments haunts that place and usually scarfs anything
that's not outrageously priced.  This morning, however, I saw him leaving
with an old-looking cornet case under his arm and a cat-with-canary-feathers
look on his face, *before* the dealer arrived with the bass horn, so he may
have found something great and decamped.  (Or he may have put the cornet in
his car and come back to look for more.) Good luck--


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 12:03:03 +0000
From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

Tristan wrote:
>For some reason; the Blacksburg Community Band has a Bass Sax...   See for
>yourself at
>(Center; back Row; right of tuba) I don't know; but that seems odd to me!:)

 Well, that's me.  Can't believe you found that page.
 I play tuba parts on the 3/4 of the pieces that don't have
 bass sax parts.  Transposing bass clef concert parts to Bb
 isn't really my idea of a good time but its becoming (sorta)
 The bass sax in a section with a few tubas sounds pretty good
 (IMHO   %-).   The sax adds a sharper attack than we get from
 tubas alone. And having a front edge on the bass notes helps
 everybody with the time.  (again IMHO)
 I get all the contrabassoon cues, too.


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 13:30:34 +0000
From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

lawrence johns wrote:
>Hi Bob-do you remember what kind of bass sax you were
>playing-buescher,keilwerth,conn or something else? Was the bass sax  a
>school horn? I would guess it was
>a school horn? The reason I am asking you is because I am going to buy a
>bass sax soon. I played in a military band at school and I played the
>baritone sax and alto sax.In the pic where is the baritone sax player
>anyway? well I will stop asking you questions. Do you play bass sax now?

 Its my sax. Buescher - I assume ca '20s. I haven't looked up the
 serial #.   Its ugly as sin, but it is mighty :^)
 I sit with the tubas rather than the sax section since, even when
 I have an honest to goodness bass sax part, I'm still playing with
 the basses.
 Blacksburg is in the southwest corner of VA (on the gorgeous
 Blue Ridge)  The community band has a moderately active summer
 concert schedule:
 If any of you bassic folks are traveling down I-81 at the right
 time, come sit in.  A section of bass saxes is almost too cool
 to contemplate.

Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 15:35:45 +0100
From: Jim Katz <>
Subject: Movie Music Instrument spotting

Isn't most of the low stuff people have been hearing in these movies
actually keyboard-synth generated? I read the posting about low notes by
the Gungan warrior in Star Wars One just before going to see the film so I
had my ears on for it. It seemed electronic to me, or so manipulated that
if it had an organic origin, it was pretty far away.

Jim Katz,DSB
(Distant Second Bassoon)
I Medici di McGill
Physician Orchestra
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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