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Subject: RE: String basses
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:28:47 -0000

Richard Strauss often askes for low B and Bb.  The lowest string should
really be tuned to B anyway in a 5 string bass, to help maintain the
fingering patterns as in a bass guitar.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Thomas []
Sent: 11 December 1999 00:37
Subject: Re: String basses

In some orchestral pieces, the string basses & cellos read the same part -
range to written C two ledger lines below the staff.  Bass sounds an octave
lower, but standard tuning goes only to written low E.
That's why you see low C extensions for the E string (either fingered or
mechanical) or a 5th string usually tuned to low C in orchestras.  Some
bassists think that the added pressure of the 5th string on the table
affects tone & volume.  But that's what the 3 string bassists said about 4
string basses in the last century.  And of course, violones have 6 (or
sometimes 7?) strings.

folks wrote:
>>What's the state of the art in a symphonic or chamber string bass?  I
>>know that a lot of Bach calls for notes below the common low E. I've
>>played at least one piece that, I thought, could have used a sixth low
>>When I finally get rich enough to buy my own string bass, what shall I
>>look for?
>I can't think of any works that call for anything lower than low C
>(written C below the bass clef).  I know there are 5-string acoustic
>basses around, but 6?

end contrabass list

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 07:20:59 -0400
From: "Robert S. Howe" <>
Subject: Re: String basses
Reply-To: wrote:
> =========================
> Richard Strauss often askes for low B and Bb.

Where?  Can you provide an example?  So far as I can recall, der
Strausser only writes basses down to C.

The low F# in the violins in Metamorphoses, written in his late 70s, was
not intended to be played, but merely to ensure that the fiddlers
phrased properly.

Robert Howe

From: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:12:08 -0500
Subject: Serpent Sighting

I first heard of the Serpent ( a couple
weeks ago from the Contrabass list.  I happened to be watching the latest
version of Scrooge ( starring Patrick
Stewart, and there was a dance scene featuring a Serpent in the band.  Now I
have to get this show on tape.  Awesome!

Also regarding the comment on String Basses, typically string bass players
that want to extend their range use either a 5-string with a low B string or
an extension (

Bob Patterson


From: John Fierke <>
Subject: China
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 10:17:55 -0500

>> The millenium begins 1/1/2001!!!

Well gee, since the event is in China, they don't even use our
calendar, and I don't believe this year or next are on any sort
of nice round number.

If the millennium were actually a 'real' thing, then you might have a
technical point. However, the millennium is just a joint agreement to
mark a point in time as particularly significant because it's a nice
round number.

If you want to get picky, the particular calendar we are working with
Is supposedly based on the birth of Christ, I'm not aware of any scholars
who actually believe he was born in year 1, generally somewhere between
3-7 AD seems to be the consensus.  So maybe the millennium doesn't
actually begin for another 8 years .......


From: John Fierke <>
Subject: recording
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 10:22:11 -0500

There is a great quote in this months RECORDING magazine the
list might enjoy. The particular article is about choosing microphones
to get a good recorded sound.

"The most important thing about picking a microphone is to use your
ears and not panic when confronted with a new situation.  (oh-oh,
I've never recorded a contrabassoon before ..... )

Unfortunately it's just a throw away line, they don't actually go on to
give any specific tips about contrabassoon recording .....


From: Grant Green <>
Subject: RE: Instrument stand
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 11:33:51 -0800

> << I use a K&M bassoon/bass clarinet stand, for both my straight
> contralto clarinet, and my bass sarrusophone (I pried the upper U
> apart a bit to take the bell).  >>
> Grant-
> I found K&M instrument stands at
> They list two models of Bassoon stands, both advertised as working with a
> Bass Clarinet.  They are the 150/1 and the 15040.  Which one do you have?
Mine both appear to be the 150/1 style


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