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Subject: Re: [CB] Sub-tubax
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 15:03:04 +0100

I just made a big scan of this contrabasson extended to A flat, but after a lot of trial an orror I still can't get it perfect, maybe because the photo is old and very dark, and the musicians have white concert dresses. Still I have put this scan on a subdirectory of my page (with no direct link from index.html) on
You will also find a picture of the Paetzold F contrabass recorder (they now make 2 recorders lower than this, the biggest get the low F on the "contra" octave (low D on a contraalto clarinet)); Pinschof's Pinschophon, a contrabass flute going one octave below the alto flute in G; a colour scan from Leblanc's catalogue of 1983, with all instruments from Ab piccolo to the extended Bb octocontrabass.

(Grant, it's nice if you can put copy of this image on the contrabassoon page.)

Warning: These scans are very big, so if you just have a slow modem, it will take some tame to load.  leblanc.jpg is 2.24 MB and zwio.jpg is 1.71 MB. It is possible to go to a smaller page, with smaller poictures at

Terje Lerstad


Subject: Re: [CB] Sub-tubax, subcontrabass bassoon and lipping down
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 15:37:37 +0100

Sorry, I forgot to answer this. It was a long time since I had any contact with Werner Schulze, the last was when he did such a remarkable thing as playing my contrabassoon concerto in Kairo in june(!) 1987. Must have been quite hot!
According to his information, he then had bassoon, contrabassoon , Heckelphon and contrabass sarrusophone .  A strange thing is that he says that the sarrusophone and contrabassoon have "erweitertes Boehm-System"  ("extended Boehm system"), and I do not even think of the bassoon as a Boehm instrument.

Concerning lipping down: The latest years I have played both english and italian pieces with low Eflat on the Bb clarinet.  First I used an extension attached to a string whcich I could use to take out the extension with my foot. Later I have developed a tecnique for "lipping down" one half tone.  It is quite strange and takes a time to control: The lip rests on the tip of the reed with no pressure and the air flow must come from the upper part of the mouthpiece (not from under the reed).  This really works fine, and as long as you don't have to slur from the E or make a trill (!), it is possible.
You can even use this tecnique to play in tune those hopeless low E's on a cold A clarinet (f.ex. last scene of Romeo & Juliet): Take the extremely cold A clarinet, finger F and lip it 3/8-tone down to a perfect E.
More difficult is getting low B natural (sounding A below the bassoon register) on a bass clarinet, but it's possible and quite useful in some of  Scönbergs orchestral pieces.
I suppose lipping down on a saxophone is easier, since it's a lot more flexible.
Only a pity that the "Pièce the concours" was written for an Eflat tuba (saxhorn
basse en Mib).
Terje Lerstad

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