Vol. 1, No. 17

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| Contrabass-L: a list for discussion of contrabass *anything*|
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Vol. 1, No. 17 11 July 1996

EDITOR'S NOTE: Another new subscriber! Everyone say hello to Trevor N. Teuscher. We're now up to 20 subscribers, not counting me.

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 03:08:00 -0400

From: TTeusc2202@aol.com

Subject: Sub-contra-bass flute

I just recently heard a CD from a German Guy named Michael Heupel who plays a variety of flute from piccolo to sub-contra-bass flute. I had never heard of this instrument before but I loved it. I just happened across your web page in the process of looking up information on this wonderful instrument. Unfortunately, I have not been too successful at finding anything on the subject. I was hoping that you could at least point me in the right direction if you could not help me personally. Also, I am interested in anything about Michael Heupel if there is anything. I am (unfortunately) a trumpet player, but I love the larger, lower instruments. It is strange, but I might even like the monsterously low instruments better than my own. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

My email address is:


Trevor N. Teuscher


Funny you should mention Heupel. I think if you scan through the first few issues of contrabass-L you'll find some discussion of MH and his double contralto flute (in GG), as well as the other big flutes (like Kotato's double contrabass in CC).

Which CD did you find? Is it the PATA music, with Norbert Stein?


From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>

Subject: Jazzophon

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96 10:04:00 BST

Grant, here is the gen about the Jazzophone together with an attached TIF file. Specimen illustrated patented by Franz Xaver Hueller in Markneukirchen date D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchs-Muster) of 1926 date 26th August. Made in Saxony and the U.S> from 1920 to 1940. The second bell is for muted effects. Many other instruments were known as Jazzophon including a Selmer clarinet with an upwards facing bell (presumably like a small version of an alto clarinet?) The specimen shown is from the museum in Bad Saeckingen, while the Normaphon on the right is privately owned.

here is a list of the instruments covered in Dullat's book:

Albisiphon; Antilopenhorn; Balladhorn; Baroxyton; Bassalt; Bassetthorn; Bass - Euphonium; Bathyphon; Bimbonifono; Bombardon; Buccin; Chromatic Basshorn; Clarina; Clavicor; Contrabassophon; Cornophon; Duetton; Echocornet; English Basshorn; Fagottserpent; English Flageolets; Giorgi Flutes; Glicibarifono; Harmonic Trumpet; Heckelphonklarinette; Helicon and Herculesophon; Hibernicon; Jazzophon; Keyed Bugle & Keyed Trumpet; Klaviaturklarinette; Klaviaturkontrafagott; Melonie; Muellerphon; Musettenbass; Neophon; Oktavin; Omnitonic Horns; Ophibariton (Serpent Bassoon); Ophicleide; Orpheon; Pelittone; Phonikon; Rohrkontrabass (Contrabass ad Ancia); Rothphone; Russian Bassoon; Russian Horns; Sarrusophone; Saxhorns; Saxtrombas & Saxtubas; Schediphon; Swanneckclarinet; Sechszehnfuessiger Orgelbass; Serpent; Serpent droit; Serpent Forveille; Sonorophon; Walkingstickinstruments; Stopped Trumpet; Sudrophone; Tarogato; Tritinikon; Tuba-Dupre; Valved Ophicleide; Quarter-tone clarinet; Violoncel-Serpent; Slide Trumpet.

From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>

Subject: Holbrooke

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96 10:36:00 BST

The Holbrooke use of the Sarrusophone is famous because of Sir Thomas Beacham's comments on this instrument in his Memoir which is called, I think, A Mingled Chime. According to the New Grove article on Sarrusophone Beacham's wind band included bass and contrabass instruments. The work, Apollo and the Seaman is a Symphony but not recorded as far as I know. It was commissioned by Herbert Trench, whose poem of the same name was projected by magic lantern onto a screen during the premiere conducted by Beacham in 1908. However, this may change as the Marco Polo label has already relesaed some CDs of other Holbrooke works, including extracts from his operas. Incidentally, Joseph Holbrooke was the father of the famous bassoonist Gwydion Brooke.

BTW the octocontralto flute TIF shows Michael Heupel and Uwe Kropinski from their Africa Notebook album.

Francis Firth


From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>

Subject: Albisiphon; Octocontralto Flute

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96 10:23:00 BST


I attach TIFs of these 2 instruments.
[[ ALBI.TIF : 2620 in ALBI.TIF ]][[ OCTCTFL.TIF : 2621 in OCTCTFL.TIF ]]



P.S. I don't know if I put my name at the bottom of the Jazzophon message.

I also suppose that all of these images are copyright.


Thanks for the images and info! Fascinating! I think I'll have to get a copy of the Dullat book. Is it still in print?

Regarding copyright: depends on how old the pictures are. Copyright lasts for (in the US, anyway) life of the author plus 50 years, or for 75 years total if it was a work "made for hire". Photographs included in books are typically "works for hire." Prior to 1976, copyright attached only to published works, and was good for 26 years (but could be renewed for another 26 years). The copyright (at least, copyrights in the US) for this book may have already expired, especially if it wasn't published in the US.

Would you mind if I post the images for a limited time (say, e.g., a week) so that the other subscribers can take a look. I'd link the images to the copy of this digest in the archive, and erase the images after a week. I think we'd have a good argument that we are only making a "fair use", by using the images in a non-profit, educational manner.


Just heard from Paul Cohen. PC is apparently one of the world's contrabass sax players. He said he's aware of 15 still in existence, and that the survivors were all made by Evette, Kohlert, and Orsi (his is an Evette). Evette apparently made about 25 between 1900 and 1925, but only 8 or 9 can now be found. He also mentioned that he played the contra on a CD that is soon to be released (Cowell's Hymn and Fuguing Tune #18 for soprano and contrabass saxes).

I also asked if he would mind recording a minute's worth of contra that I could post on the web page. We'll see what he says.


End Contrabass-L No. 17

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