Vol. 2, No. 28


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Contrabass-list Digest Volume 97 : Issue 28

Today's Topics:

Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 11:34:37 -0600 (MDT)
From: Shouryu Nohe <jnohe@nmsu.edu>
To: Bass Peoples <contrabass-list@contrabass.com>
Subject: Contrabass Clarinets

>I know that the Leblanc contra alto clarinet that is doubled over has a
>range down to concert Eb, and that the Leblanc contrabass clarinet that
>is the shape of a bass clarinet only has a range down to concert Db--
>only 2 notes more! It seems like a waste compared to the mentioned
>contra alto. The contrabass clarinet I play is the one I have just

>Yep. That's why everyone should play a looped Bb contra, with range to
>lowest Bb. ;-)

Ah, but do you realize how hard it is to find such clarinets? Most high schools don't even carry Bb Contras, and if they do, they're either ancient (older than the directors) or in lousy condition. Here at NMSU, we have two Eb's and a Bb, (which I am grateful to play), and the Bb is in decent shape, just barely playable, mainly because they are rediculously expensive to maintain. A bent or twisted rod on a contra will cost nearly $60 dollars to repair. Now, I (having absolutely no experience in playing a looped contra) would imagine that looped contras are even harder to maintain, seeing as how things are maybe harder to get to. So, even if you're lucky enough to get ahold of a looped bass, you have to struggle to keep it in playing condition.

On the other hand, for people like us, it's usually worth the trouble, though, isn't it? ^_^


 ________________ Visit me at: http://web.nmsu.edu/~jnohe ________________
Shouryuzani Nohe, Musician, Writer, Hacker, Nabiki's PPE, and Jesus Freak
|________A Founder of the School of Improvised Night Martial Arts_______|
|"He's won greater battles before |
| What makes you think He won't fight now?"--The late, great P.F.R. |
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|__________________________Will you marry me??__________________________|
|_J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules_|

Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 09:45:00 EST
From: "Daryl Fletcher" <daryl@www.walker.public.lib.ga.us>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #26

On 22 Apr 97 at 13:34, contrabass-list-request@contr said:

> Hey!

> > Also, the major thing I don't like about brass instruments is that
> > they are inefficient, as far as making use of their last half of
> > tubing--they just don't use their lowest octave(I'm sure you know
> > that)!

> Hmmm. You must be hanging with the wrong tuba players ;-)
> Seriously, the reason tubaists don't make more extensive use of the
> last octave or so is because composers and arrangers rarely write
> for it! Any tubaist past the junior-high playing level has command
> of these notes, but is simply never asked to use them. As to these
> notes being "inefficient", I often play vocalises in that range,
> sometimes in octaves with other instrumentalists. The notes are
> there.

I agree. But even in the concert band music that I play, which I would guess is pretty conventional compared to the stuff that most people on this list are playing, it's not unusual at all to find notes in the tuba part written in the lower octave. Low F's, two below the staff and one below the CC the tuba is pitched in, show up all the time. I also have seen low Eb's and D's below that a time or two. Certainly not as low as it can go, but definitely low octave playing.

As for me, I like all kinds of instruments. It makes no difference to me how efficient or inefficient that someone else thinks they are. I just like the way they sound.


Daryl Fletcher

Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 11:10:04 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Digest format?


OK, I've tinkered with the settings some more. The digests should be a little larger now, if less often. The general consensus seemed to be fewer digests of somewhat larger size. Still open to "fine tuning".


Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 11:09:59 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: SJWS Concert

Well, I can't really review my own concerts ;-), but I think the last one went pretty well. I've started using stiffer reeds (Vandoren 3) on the contra: we'll see if it makes a difference when the concert tape comes out.

Our next concert is Saturday, 17 May 1997, 7:30 PM at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts (Castro Street, Mountain View). Guest soloist Charles Daval on trumpet. Program includes the Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto, "selected trumpet encores", Toccata Marziale by R. Vaughn Williams, Les Preludes by F. Lizst, "Gandalf" by Johan de Meij, and the Little English Girl by Delle Cese. Probably a few more, too.


Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 12:05:39 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: Alfredo Bonamini <tradab@mbox.vol.it>
Cc: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: Contrabass Oboe

At 05:42 PM 4/23/97 +0200, you wrote:


>I just want to inform you, that what we have in the company is in fact a
>sarrusophone and not a contrabass oboe.
>"The bore of the oboe is smaller than that of a sarrusophone. The fingering
>system of the sarrusophone is that of Böhm."
>That information refers to what Pierre-Louis Gautrot built in 1856.

Yes, I wondered if we were talking about the same thing. I'm familiar with the sarrusophone, as I play both the Eb contrabass and the Bb bass sarrusophone.

>I found that information in the book "Musikinstrumente - Von der Antike bis
>zur Gegenwart" published at Prestel-Verlag, M=FCnchen/Germany and written by
>John Henry van der Meer, who is a Dutch specialist of antique music
>instruments, who worked at the "Germanisches Nationalmuseum" in
>Nürnberg/Germany. The book is written in German. I do not know if an English
>version exists. I shall try to get in touch with Mr. van der Meer. I shall
>also ask for further information Mr. B=E4r, who takes care of the antique
>music instruments now.

>The contrabass oboe gets as low as the contra basoon.

Do you mean the contrabass sarrusophone? I think the range of a bass oboe descends only to B or Bb (second line bass clef), and would expect that the contrabass oboe would reach the first B or Bb below the bass clef (corresponding to the bassoon's range). The contrabass sarrusophone in C or Bb descends as low as the contrabassoon.

Is the instrument made by Orsi pitched in C?

>As soon as I get to it I shall contact the president of "La Scala" museum as
>well as consult the library of the "Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi" in order
>to see if they have good photos of the contrabass oboe as well as a
>recording since I didn't find one at Orsi.

Thank you very much! Your efforts, and your generousity with your time, are much appreciated.




Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 14:38:42 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars fans!

There is a new CD of Gavin Bryars works available. Unfortunately, it does not include his bass oboe concerto, but the works included are well worth hearing. The CD is "Farewell to Philosophy" (1996, Point 454 126-2), and contains:

  1. "Cello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy)": dedicated to and performed by Julian Lloyd Weber (yes, brother of Andrew Lloyd Weber)
  2. "One Last Bar, Then Joe Can Sing": this is for percussion ensemble, dedicated to and performed by Nexus
  3. "By the Vaar": for string bass, bass clarinet, and strings (dedicated to and performed by bassist Charlie Hayden).

The style is sort of "modern romantic" - very melodic, and not at all difficult to listen to.


End of contrabass-list Digest V97 Issue #28

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