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Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 19:14:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?

In a message dated 99-06-13 18:42:07 EDT, you write:

<< 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) automatic. 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. >>

A third alternative to playing bass sax and tuba parts would be to do what
contrabass clarinet players do when they don't have a separate part -- play
the bass clarinet part as written.  The contrabass clarinet also puts a reed
"edge" on the tuba sound and the horn is a heck of a lot easier to schlepp
than a bass sax.

Don Gross
La Canada, California

Contrabass Clarinet, Claremont Symphonic Winds

Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 21:41:47 EDT
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!:)

Bob Thomas wrote,
>>Well, that's me.  Can't believe you found that page.>>

I looked at that picture and am amazed not only that you found the page but
that you spotted the bass sax back there, Tristan!  On my husband's laptop, I
could only make out the bass sax because I already knew it was there.  Guess
you're living proof that playing heavy woofers that make eyeballs quiver like
Jello doesn't do any harm.  In fact, golly, maybe some quack could charge
megabucks for people to honk on a bass instrument for ten minutes and jiggle
their eyeballs as an eyesight restorative.... ;-)


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 22:03:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Bass Saxes in Community Bands!?<g>

 Guess  you're living proof that playing heavy woofers that make eyeballs quiver
like  Jello doesn't do any harm.

While somebody mentioned that, I have a question. Why, on contrabass
clarinet, do my eyes jiggle violently around 123 C#/C/B, but on notes below
that, they stagnate? It seems like it should shake more AN OCTAVE LOWER! It
does not. How come?


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 23:35:33 -0400
From: Robert Howe <>
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?
A PanAm, a Conn stencil and very beautiful at that.  Matches up with
200K series Conns part-by-part, except it is earlier looking, having
neither pearls, high E and F nor spit valve on the neck.  A credible
horn indeed, high E and F and F# are easily produced by Raschering using

E: 12-45 (this is the alto recorder fingering for the same notated note,
entirely coincidentally)
F: 12-4
F#: 12-4 side F#

You can, BTW, produce perfect high E F and F# on old high Eb baritones
with these fingerings, or with
E: 123 high Eb
F: 123 G# high Eb
F#: 12 G# high Eb

which do not work on my basso.

Was the bass sax  a
> school horn? I would guess it was
> a school horn?
No, it is mine, I bought it in 1990.  David Kee in West Chester PA did a
fabulous overhaul for me. It plays beautifully.  You don't know me very
well if you think I was using a school horn, I have a ton of horns.

>... I am going to buy a bass sax soon.
Go for it!, it's a great horn.  I did the Rascher seminar at Yale in
1993, we had 5 basso players, including Mark Aronson and the fellow from
Vermont who specializes in basso.  It was phenomenal.

>I played in a military band at school... Do you play bass sax now?
No, I only play it when the occasion arises.  My main ax is oboe.

Thaks for writing,
Robert Howe
> -Lawrence "Larry" E. Johns-

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 01:43:26 EDT
Subject: Re: Movie Music Instrument spotting

I read the post about Star Wars low notes just before seeing the movie too,
so I was listening.  The low notes being played by the Gungan warrior were
almost definitely being played by a didgeridoo (which is often mistaken for a
"synthesized" sound but it's real, baby!).  Also, an earlier post mentioned a
couple of Heckelphone solos, including one when Anakin says goodbye to his
mother.  Sorry to disapoint, but that was just our familiar friend the
English Horn.  Maybe John Williams could consider using a Heckelphone for the
next two movies.  It's sound would fit right in with the alien worlds of Star
Wars.  I'd even volunteer to play it on the soundtrack! (are you out there,
Mr. Williams?)

Jon Carreira
-Inspired to play the bassoon by Figrin D'an in Episode Four

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 05:35:29 EDT
Subject: optic puddin'

Last summer I posted nearly the same question. And we never came to one
concrete conclusion. But one of the most believable guesses about the cause
of this had to do with resonant frequencies of the eyeball or eyeball inners.
The same principle as one remote sound source or vibration setting something
else in motion or to sound itself. Resonant frequencies or harmonic
frequencies of the object would have an amplified effect on that object.

This could be false or only partially true. Perhaps the true effect is
directly to the nerve cells or the brain receptors responsible for light
perception. But the fact that my eyes tickle a bit during this event leads me
to side with the eyeball-or-it's-jelly theory.

I'm still curious though. Maybe someone else can shed more light.


Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 06:58:50 EDT
Subject: Re: optic puddin'

In a message dated 6/14/99 5:36:02 AM, writes:

<< But one of the most believable guesses about the cause
of this had to do with resonant frequencies of the eyeball or eyeball inners.
The same principle as one remote sound source or vibration setting something
else in motion or to sound itself. Resonant frequencies or harmonic
frequencies of the object would have an amplified effect on that object. >>


I read somewhere that research has been done on this.  It is my understanding
that resonant frequencies of body cavities depend on the size of the cavity.
Therefore, it is more likely that brain cavity resonance would be responsible
for the effect, rather than just eyeballs.

Fred McKenzie

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 11:20:19 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Bass Oboe FS...

It appears that at least parts of eBay are back up.  Just ran across an
actual bass oboe, listed at  The
seller is apparently new (no feedback rating), but the location is listed
as San Jose, CA, if anyone local wants to go take a look...  Opening bid is
$5K, and he takes Visa...

A double bell euphonium (5v Conn) at



Grant Green  

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 12:00:57 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: eBay Experience

While we're on the subject of eBay, I thought I'd mention an experience I
had a week or so ago.  There was a spate of Artley Eb flutes offered.  The
first one sold for around $650: I'm not sure what a new Artley lists for,
but a new Emerson Eb flute is now around $1400 @ WW&BW, so it seemed like a
decent price for a horn in good shape (and without the 12 month wait for a
new Emerson).  I bid on the second one that came up, but the auction was
terminated early.  I was the high bidder on the third auction, and at $305
thought it was quite a steal.

I was contacted immediately by the seller on Sunday, and said I'd get a
cashier's check on Tuesday (as I was going to be tied up all Monday).  At
the same time, I was contacted by two other bidders, who asked why I had
decided not to buy the flute.  They had both been told by the seller that I
had backed out of the deal: he offered each of them the flute at their bid
price.  The three of us suspected something odd.  Further investigation
revealed that the seller for the second and third auctions were the same
person, and that the listed address was for a third-party PO box service,
and that the telephone numbers were not connected.  At this point, I told
the seller that we'd have to do the transaction by COD, due to the
oddities.  Needless to say, I haven't heard from him since.

It turns out he was also running two or three separate accounts, with
different email addresses, and using them to bid up the prices on his
auctions.  I don't know why he didn't just set a reasonable reserve
price...  Also, even though he "won" most of his own auctions, he never
bothered to give his other accounts positive feedback: between the three
accounts, and dozens of auctions, he had a net feedback rating of about +3.
In any event, using multiple accounts for that purpose is strictly
prohibited, and all of his accounts were canceled.

I guess the caveat is: (a) check for sellers that have a substantial amount
of positive feedback, and check the sources of their feedback to make sure
it isn't just circular, and (b) don't be too quick to send in your payment
- use COD if possible, or an online escrow service (which I think even lets
you accept credit cards - buyer pays by Visa, escrow sends you a check).
Fortunately, none of us lost anything on this transaction: the seller's
greed (apparently trying to sell the same ficticious instrument to three or
more people) set off the alarms.  He could easily try it again, setting up
new accounts at eBay...

Enjoy carefully!

Grant Green  

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