Vol. 2, No. 1


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19 March 1997

Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 12:59:45 -0500 (EST)
From: contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com
Subject: contrabass-list Digest V97 #1
X-Mailing-List: <contrabass-list@contrabass.com> archive/volume97/1
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com

contrabass-list Digest Volume 2: Issue 1

Today's Topics:

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 19:39:36 -0500 (EST)
From: "Fred B. Ringel" <fredr@joshua.rivertown.net>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
cc: Scott Hirsch <ww@windworld.com>, contrabass@contrabass.com
Subject: The Contrabass-list-digest

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Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 10:00:37 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: rheald@hearst.com Cc: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: Contrabass

> Dear Grant,
> In response to my posting you wrote:
> " Ah, the Renaissance rackett!...Some would probably say that they
> died out centuries ago due to their "unrefined" timbre, but they
> probably aren't any worse than many modern timbres."
> I have a follow up question. I've also read about an instrument called
> a Baroque "ranket" that was similar to a rackett (9 parallel bores). I
> read that it had a bell on it. I would guess this would change the
> timbre (even overtones as well as odd, perhaps?) Have you ever seen
> and/or heard this instrument? Does it have a "nicer timbre". Not that
> there is anything wrong with the timbre of the rackett.

The baroque ranket (also spelled rackett or rankett) is very similar to the Renaissance variety, but has a conical bore rather than a cylindrical bore. The consequences of that are

In fact, the baroque ranket is often referred to (when it is referred to at all) as a "pocket bassoon." The timbre is "rounder", and less hollow and buzzy. Frankly, I like both timbres. Unfortunately, baroque ranketts seem to cost much more than the renaissance variety, possibly because it is more difficult to drill a bunch of parallel conical bores.

The difference in octaves is due to the stopped pipe acoustics, i.e., the same reason that a clarinet plays an octave lower than an oboe or flute of the same length: a cylindrical bore stopped at one end (the reed does that) sounds an octave lower than a conical bore stopped at one end (like an oboe) or a cylindrical bore open at both ends (like a flute).


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