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Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 14:43:50 -0800
From: Grant Green
Subject: Re: [CB] Reed contrabasses and Rothophones

>Hi, Peter Koval here.
>Although I have done a fair amount of woodwind research, I have never found
>an "original" document that terms these instruments "rothphones" or
>"rothophones" (such as a maker's catalogue or an exhibition catalogue or
>report). Since recent literature calls them by these names, there must be a
>point of origin. I do know that the instruments were patented by the Bottali
>brothers in Italy and then France in around 1911/12 (I don't have my
>documents with me to give exact dates) and no specific name was used for the
>instrument family in the patent document ( it only mentions "a new
>instrument, etc.") although a baritone "saxorusophone" or "rothphone" was
>illustrated and the family described. Orsi subsequently bought out or

I've gone mainly on the writings of Günther Joppig (e.g., and the New Langwill Index.  Langwill's entry on Fredrich Roth says, in part: "1911 invented 'Ròthfono' (rothophone) family of double-reed WWIs of saxophone-like construction 'a complemento del Contrabasso ad ancia', patented 1912 by Bottali; according to Mang, they were introduced at a Music Congress in Roma." citing, Mang in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau 59.235.  The Langwill's entry for Fratelli Bottali says "1912 built family of 'Ròthfoni' (rothophones), invented by Friedrich Roth. *** Writings: Amedeo Bottali, 'Piccolo metodo pratico per ròthfono [copy at I-Milano-C]."  I-Milano-C is the Conservatorio 'Giuseppe Verdi'.

>inherited the Bottali brothers' business--it seems unlikely from all this
>that the name "saxorusophone" was merely a dodge to avoid calling the
>instrument a "rothphone". The Orsi factory in the early 1980s (and probably
>still) had prototypes of baritone and bass "rothphones", and was quite keen
>to make me one, but the cost was prohibitive in view of the limited use

I hadn't realized that Orsi was the successor of Bottali and Roth. Perhaps there was some other reason for them to distance themselves from the Roth name?


Grant Green
Professional Fool ->

Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 15:02:23 -0800
From: Grant Green
Subject: [CB] Today's puzzle

Or maybe this week's puzzle: what is a barrusophone?  While looking for rothophone information, I ran across one (and only one) cryptic reference, in the title of a talk by Günther Joppig about how to distinguish a barrusophone from a rothophone.  Anybody have the collected works of GJ handy?


Grant Green
Professional Fool ->
***End of Contrabass Digest***

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