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Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 17:07:58 -0700
From: Grant Green
Subject: Re: [CB] stroh basses?

At 09:55 PM 5/28/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>         TW: Well, you know, there were stroh basses, and there were stroh
>         violas, stroh cellos. Have you ever seen one?


>anyway, I have seen stroh violins and violas but I don't think I have ever seen
>anything lower - any links or knowledge?
>Dave Richoux

Music Treasures had a Strohviol quartet for sale last year, including two violins, viola and Stroh cello.  I've seen pictures of the bass (the horn of which is truly huge).

The instruments originated in response to problems with early recording techniques.  Prior to electronic amplification, records were made by having the musicians play directly into a large horn (the recording version of the old Victorola horn).  Sensitivity wasn't great, so everyone had to crowd as close to the horn as possible.  The Strohviol (and its siblings) were much louder (or at least more directional) than the standard versions, so that one or two musicians with Strohviols could replace an entire violin section (and compete effectively with the saxes and brass).  I'm sure the hinge mechanism on a Stroh bass or cello was probably intended for use in aiming the instrument's output at the recording horn.

I'm not really familiar with their timbre, but I suspect that the timbre is different enough that most musicians dropped them as soon as electronic amplification was available for that reason.


Grant Green          
Sarrusophones & other Contrabass Winds


From: "zhenya"
Subject: Re: [CB] low sounds on Lawrence Welk
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 15:42:09 -0400

I don't remember the episode.
It sure seemed interesting as you described it.
(future bass hurdy-gurdy owner)

<<<may 26th: Did anyone see the latest Lawrence Welk re-broadcast on PBS?
The show was hosted by Big Tiny Little, and featured an old black and white show from 1958.
 I'm not a woodwind player, but one of the songs gave a good shot and some
nice sounds of what I think was a contrabass sarrusophone.  Another song
featured a solo (combination singing and playing) by the string bass player.
And finally, Larry Hooper did a vocal that showed off his amazingly low bass
voice better than any other song I've ever heard him sing.  I recommend this
episode, especially because I'd like someone to verify (or correctly identify)
what I think is a sarrusophone.  There was also a (regular) bassoon
prominently playing in some pieces, which is an instrument I don't recall
him using in his later shows.>>>

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