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Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 19:47:56 EST
Subject: Brausenfindzig: Leblanc Contraalto Case

While I was out I found:

Around $50.  ish

From: "J. Daniel Ashton" <>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 22:01:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Induction of bug-eye syndrome...

"CS" == wrote:
CS> I think my band director loves brass instruments to much. The first
CS> year, when I played the school's Eb contra he said, "that's nice",
CS> and the second year, when I walked in with my personal Bb contra
CS> with low C he said "that's nice". And not another mention of my
CS> existance, even if I blast a low C when everybody is quiet!

I can empathize with you! For those of us who love these low reeds,
it's disappointing and painful when the director just ignore us.
-- J. Daniel Ashton       ICQ# 9445142 <<-- NeXTMail PGP key available

From: "J. Daniel Ashton" <>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 22:07:34 -0500
Subject: Re: old guy plays contrabass clarinet

"JAM" == James A. Moore wrote:
JAM> This fall I purchased a restored Vito BBb
JAM> contrabass clarinet from Charles Fail (just North of where I
JAM> live). It is in brand new condition and I have really, really
JAM> enjoyed playing (or attempting to) this monster of the deep. I
JAM> still have some trouble getting C,D, and E in the staff (2nd
JAM> register) to sound instantly all the time - they seem to have a
JAM> mind of their own and sound instantly sometimes and sometimes not.
JAM> Other than that I can get it to play up to E above the staff, but
JAM> E and D are not as loud as high C.
JAM> I took the contrabass to the community band a couple of times but
JAM> since I am the only one who played the bass clarinet, without the
JAM> bass, the contrabass didn't seem to sound as good. So I have been
JAM> writing some things (very amateur) for all 3 clarinets and
JAM> recording them ala clarinet choir.
JAM> I was wondering how many persons have played or own a Vito BBb
JAM> contrabass? I wonder how many have been made. They (and
JAM> contrabasses in general) seem kinda of rare. Also, does or has
JAM> anyone had the same trouble I seem to be having with the upper
JAM> staff notes sounding easily all the time?

I'm presently borrowing a Leblanc 340 paperclip that plays to low
written C. I played a Vito straight for a few weeks.  I've also played
a number of alto and bass clarinets. I ALWAYS have a problem with B
natural and C just about the break.  Must be my technique.

I can also sympathize with your plight in the community band. I've
been playing with the Cobb Wind Symphony (near Atlanta, GA) and find
the low clarinets to be sparsely populated. In addition to myself we
have two other bass clarinets, who are quite good. However, there are
no altos or contras.  I can borrow both. The school where we rehearse
has the Vito, and one of the other basses plays that. Which leaves me
playing alto, making one player on each part. The CWS has a slew of
good soprano clarinets: I wish two or three of them would switch to
alto so I could play contra. Oh well. The school doesn't seem to have
any altos available for borrowing - they say they made a bonfire of
them some years ago.
-- J. Daniel Ashton       ICQ# 9445142 <<-- NeXTMail PGP key available

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 23:23:18 -0500
From: Katherine Thompson <>
Subject: Re: reply to Jim Moore

Replying to Jim Moore:
I too have a Vito BBb contrabass clarinet, which I obtained fairly recently
through ebay. I think my instrument probably used to be a school instrument, but
it came in pretty good shape. It played much as you describe, with C, D and E
above the break performing inconsistenly-- coming out sometimes but not others.
I took my contrabass to a top-notch repair man, who immediately identified poorly
sealing keys and a couple of bent rods. One hundred dollars got it all fixed up
and adjusted. I was really amazed how much easier it was to play! All of the notes
speak consistently now, and I can easily play to D two ledger lines above the
staff. It was definitely money well invested.
I'm  immensely enjoying playing my contrabass. I'm using it in a clarinet choir,
and I'm hoping to find time to play it in a band this summer. I'd like to do some
small clarinet workshops at the local middle and high schools, taking the whole
clarinet family to introduce to the students.
I wish you luck with your Vito contrabass.
Katherine Thompson


From: "Dr Guy Grant" <>
Subject: RE: Swedish Ice Orchestra
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 19:45:31 +1100

Gday Wayne

Yep saw that piece. Thought it might have been a sarrusophone...but I'm not
an expert on these instruments. This question was also asked of the oddmusic
list but only a couple of us saw it.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of wayne grimm
Sent: Saturday, 22 January 2000 12:06
Subject: Swedish Ice Orchestra

Hello all-
New to the list and hopin' someone out there might have some info for me-
While watching the PBS coverage of events around the world on New Year's Eve
I saw maybe a minute's worth of a performance from up above the arctic
circle in Sweden (Lappland).  There were a dozen or so percussionists, all
playing instruments made entirely out of ice-the sound was incredible-and
driving the whole thing was a guy playing what looked to be a contrabass
clarinet (the bent metal "paperclip" variety-maybe a subcontra?!?--that
sucker was huge)
I was wondering if anyone else saw this, could maybe clarify for me what
that instrument was-who the player was, maybe even-and if there's a
recording or video of the performance in full somewhere.
It's a long shot, but I figure if anyone else on this list saw that clip on
PBS, they would have sat up and taken notice, too.
Thanks for yr comments-
* wayne.


From: (lawrence johns)
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 10:30:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: bass saxophone

Perhaps i should have said the least common saxes. Sure a bass sax is
around,but can you just go out and get one of them anytime you want to
from your local music store? Not here. bye

-Lawrence "Larry" E. Johns-

lawrence johns wrote:
> very good my point exactly-if i had my way i would have in my collection
> the rarer saxes in the world-let me see starting with the saxello,the
> sopranino sax,
Both are available and not uncommon, available for less than $3000.  I
paid $800 for one of my sopranini

>the one handed  tenor sax,
VERY rare!  Paul COhen has (the only?) one!

>the c melody sax,
vulgarly common

>the f
> baritone sax,
never proven to have existed

>the bass sax

>and the contrabass sax.
One sold in Manhattan last month, new, for $35,000.  Not to me, sadly.

>oh yes one of those
> acrylic alto saxes,too.
I just sold my second one, if you want one I can get you one.  They were
made in England and are common in British auctions.

How about really rare Saxophones, those made by Adolphe Sax himself in
Paris before 1870?  Would you have any of those in your collection?

Robert Howe
end contrabass list

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