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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 20:22:52 EST
Subject: Re: stupid notation conventions
In a message dated 1/11/00 3:07:59 PM, writes:

>OK, I can deal with playing bass clarinet from concert bass clef parts,
>Bb bass clef parts, and A treble clef parts, but playing Bass Clarinet
>in A in bass clef is a royal pain!

Are we talking about a semitone?  You have a Bass Clarinet in A?? Is it
Albert system or before that? Or is the part in A and you're transposing to
Bb? But if you had an A Bass and you are reading from concert bass.... Hmmmmm
I see... speaking of C I thought that would be easier than putting up an
imginary c-clef with crazy 8's. I would almost dread reading solo string bass
parts where the tenor cleff keeps dodging in and out with the bass cleff then
you might have to place a c cleff over each one of them just to transpose. I
suppse you might get lucky and get read from the F.H. parts. Then sombody
hands you "Horn in D" and were back to square 1... depending if your clarinet
is in A or Bb.

What bugs me is people take the time to write out changes on jazz charts expec
ting you to read chord changes without full-figured harmony while expecting
it to come out the way they hear it. Bitonal arpeggios come out to be either
a transmutated arabian scale, a min/maj, alt, a diminished whole tone,
aumented 7 with a raised 9 and/or augmented 5 or +4, or you might use  a
Major 6th chord, or keep the 6 and add the b13th not but just dont't call it
a M7 in cycle of a third--your choice...  I wish they would just write what
they want, or decide on a way to make ALL the chord symbols to a uniform
code, or just use simple conservatory style figured harmony specified to each
part...  I'm having nightmares with + signs and the numbers 9,5, and 4 while
trying to figure out if there are suspended semitones or does the + sign mean
"add" whatever's in the harmonic progression... what ever happened to b9, #9
and good old add9 but which key, the new one or the tonicisation that we're
into? Hopefully any semitone, disonance will resolve with an appogitura,
pitch-bend or resolve in time for the airstream to come out of the bell.


Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 16:33:23 -0500
From: John Howell <>
Subject: Bb Subcontrabass Recorder

Take a look at the instrument at  Of course, like
paintings of angel bands, we don't actually know how tall the player is,
but it's still pretty impressive.  (Of course since recorders functions as
open pipes, that low Bb would actually be only the Bb below bass clef
(contra Bb in Helmholtz terminology), but for a recorder that's low indeed!


John & Susie Howell
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411   Fax (540) 231-5034

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