Contrabass Digest

To subscribe or unsubscribe, email




Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 18:33:06 -0800
From: bitwise
Subject: [CB] A Contra-alto question

I've been having a problem with my Bundy 1440 contra-alto
clarinet. Every so often, it will refuse to speak the lowest notes
(Eb and E), and their clarion counterparts (Bb and B - primary
fingering). At the same time, many other notes are muffled, and
the throat tones go out of tune. Try again seconds later, and
everything is back to normal. Local repair guy and myself have
been over this thing with leak lights to little avail. Repair guy
replaced some questionable pads and adjusted several cork
silencers - every time it looks like the problem is solved, it returns.

Repair guy thinks (as do I, since I don't see how any problem
could remain in the horn itself) that it might be the mouthpiece
or the reed. Mouthpiece is a Geo. Bundy #3, and the reed I have
been using is a Rico 2-1/2 for bass sax / contrabass clarinet.

Any help - including a source of better reeds - appreciated.

Craig Durham


From: "Merlin Williams"
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 21:49:49 -0500
Subject: Re: [CB] A Contra-alto question

I would definitely ditch the mouthpiece.  Get a Selmer D or so, and try
using something a little more substantial in the reed department.

I'm testing the Legere bari reeds in the next week - they may be just the
ticket for contra alto.

Visit Merlin's Mouthpiece
A member of the Duke Ellington Ring, the Sax Ring, and
the Single Reed Webring.


Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 22:08:05 -0500
From: Paul Lindemeyer
Subject: [CB] Carillons!

> From: "Peter Hurd"

> Dear Grant,
>         In the realm of really big bass instruments, one often =
> overlooked is the carillon. I am currently engaged in completely =
> re-engineering and rebuilding the carillon at The Riverside Church in =
> N.Y.C. (58 new bells by Whitechapel, all new stainless steel mechanism =
> and clavier). The "bourdon" bell is a C zero weighing just shy of 21 =
> tons, about 11 ft. diameter, c.13'  in height. This is (still) the =
> largest tuned bell in the world, cast by Gillet& Johnston (England) in =
> 1929. It is actually quite a good bell, and a delight to listen to, even =
> at close range. I t is played from the clavier, but is also part of the =
> 5 bell swinging peel ( most impressive to stand by when this much =
> tonnage is swinging through c.120 degrees of arc. I believe that photos =
> of this are posted on The Riverside Church's website.
>          Sometime, if you have interest, I can provide more information =
> on carillon (in my abundant spare time).
>         Ever yours,   Peter

Yes! Carillons are the mightiest instruments on this planet (at least in
sheer size) yet some of the least known. It's about time someone spoke
up for them. I have seen and heard the Riverside instrument up close and
it is an experience I will never forget.

Especially the awesome Bourdon Bell. You don't *hear* the C it is tuned
to. (At least I don't -- perhaps because you hear and see it only from
above, on a catwalk.) Instead you are aware of a rich, soul-filling
chorus of overtones, a sound that is not loud, simply BIG. I am not
overly religious, but in the voice of this gentle giant I felt
incredible majesty and peace.

You can (if renovations aren't underway...?) walk thru the carillon on
Sundays for the price of a $2 ticket. It is far and away the best
entertainment value in New York.


Orchestras   Ensembles   Graphic Design
    C.G. CONN & BUESCHER Saxophones
 Paul Lindemeyer <>

From: "Merlin Williams"
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 12:17:56 -0500
Subject: Re: [CB] Carillons!

My goodness Paul, how Shirley Maclean of you!

Visit Merlin's Mouthpiece
A member of the Duke Ellington Ring, the Sax Ring, and
the Single Reed Webring.

***End of Contrabass Digest***

Next Digest ->
Previous Digest <-