Vol. 2, No. 32


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Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 14:20:09 -0400 (EDT)

Contrabass-list Digest Volume 97 : Issue 32

Today's Topics:

Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 12:16:42 EST
From: "Daryl Fletcher" <daryl@www.walker.public.lib.ga.us>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: Question.

On 28 Apr 97 at 10:54, contrabass-list-request@contr said:

> Isn't their a BBBBflat Sub-Contrabass Tuba?

The 1994 Guinness Book of Records lists as the largest brass instrument, "...a tuba standing 7 1/2 feet tall, with 39 ft of tubing and a bell 3 ft 4 in across. This contrabass tuba was constructed for a world tour by the band of American composer John Philip Sousa."

It doesn't say anything about the key or where this beast is now. There isn't a picture either, but I think I remember a picture from an earlier edition showing it as a huge rotary valved instrument.

I know that we have at least a couple of experts in brass instrument construction on the list who could give us an idea of what key it's in based on the measurements.

Daryl Fletcher                        |  Cherokee Regional Library 
Technical Services Librarian          |  PO Box 707
daryl@www.walker.public.lib.ga.us     |  LaFayette, GA 30728
http://www.walker.public.lib.ga.us/   |  706-638-2992                        

Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:10:46 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #31

At 10:54 AM 4/28/97 -0400, you wrote:

>From: "Daryl Fletcher" <daryl@www.walker.public.lib.ga.us>
>Just curious, but does it usually take a while for soprano clarinet
>players to get used to playing the lower clarinets? My wife is a
>clarinet player, and she is interested in learning to play either a
>bass or contrabass.

It can, depending on what else she's used to playing. My switch from soprano to bass clarinet occurred so long ago (25 years?) I really don't remember it. From learning other horns, though, I think it depends on how quickly she recognizes the differences in embouchure, support, etc., required. If she is perceptive and has a good ear, it may not take long at all. The greater the number of other horns she's played, the quicker she's likely to pick up bass or contra. Contra may take longer than bass, just because it is twice the size (and twice the difference from soprano).


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:05:00 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: BBBb tuba?

>From: WilPryde@aol.com (by way of Grant Green <WilPryde@aol.com>)
> Isn't their a BBBBflat Sub-Contrabass Tuba?

I think the tubaeuph list has discussed this recently. Apparently, JP Sousa had three enormous tubas built, pitched an octave below the BBb contrabass tuba, standing about 7+ feet tall, and weighing something like 225 pounds each. I think the tubas still exist, although in questionable condition.


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 14:16:35 -0700
From: Meg and John Maenpaa <maenpaa@starnetinc.com> (by way of Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>)
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #31

Yes there is difference between Eflat contraalto and Bb contrabass reeds. I think both are sold by international music suppliers, at least they were a year or two ago when I bought some for my contrabass clarintet. I've been playing on Vandorens.

to the soprano clarinet player thinking of trying a low clarinet. Remember more mouthpiece, loosen up the embouchure a bit. I have to remind myself when I go from my soprano to my lower clarinets, especially the bass. Also if you have trouble at first, make sure you have a horn with the register keys working. Both basses and contras are very finicky when the register keys are out. The longer the horn, the less bend in a rod, or less cork somewhere it takes to really screw things up.

Meg Maenpaa

Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 19:09:42 -0400
From: "Erik Midtskogen" <erik@firmsupport.com>
To: "'contrabass-list@contrabass.com'" <contrabass-list@contrabass.com>
Subject: RE: Efficient Instruments


Grant asked if organ pipes are ever folded, and the answer is "Yes".

However, they are almost never folded for any reason other than lack of space. Popular wisdom and experience is that putting significant bends in an organ pipe reduces the evenness of the balance of the upper partials, producing a sound that can be muddy and dull in one pipe, too bright and harsh in the next, and less than ideal in all of them. Indeed, all of the finest pipework I have played or heard has been unbent, right on up to the longest of the 32' ranks, whose pipes, with toe or boot included, are usually a good 36'-38' long (about the height of a four-story building).

Many times, when the main cases are not large enough, the biggest pipes will be laid down on their sides in some horizontal spare, and otherwise useless, space, such as the triforiums of a cathedral. This approach is superior to the approach of bending the pipes, unless it is necessary that the pipes in question be expressive, which is to say that they are enclosed in the case behind expression shutters.

Happy Honking!


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 16:45:12 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: How to get back issues...


A few people have asked if I would resend a number of the digests. Rather than deluge everyone with the last 20-30 digests (which really ties up my machine), I thought I'd explain how to retrieve the archive files directly by email.

This works for me: I don't know if anyone else has tried it yet. If you try it, please let me know how it works.

Smartlist stores back issues as archive/volume97/#, where "#" is the number of the digest. So, if you want a copy of issue no. 3, you send the message

TO: contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com
SUBJECT: archive

get archive/volume97/3

That's all it takes. The archive server will mail a copy of #3 to you, probably within minutes. If you want several digests, you can request them in one message, as long as you put each request on a separate line. E.g.,

get archive/volume97/3
get archive/volume97/4
get archive/volume97/5

MAKE SURE to send archive requests to the '-request address, contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com . If you send archive requests to the posting address, they'll probably just get posted, and you won't get any files.

Let me know if anyone has problems. At least with the archive server. ;-)



Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 21:43:45 -0600 (MDT)
From: Shouryu Nohe <jnohe@NMSU.Edu>
To: Bass Peoples <contrabass-list@contrabass.com>
Subject: Bb Sop. to Bb C-bass

Mr. Daryl inquired:

Just curious, but does it usually take a while for soprano clarinet players to get used to playing the lower clarinets? My wife is a clarinet player, and she is interested in learning to play either a bass or contrabass.

It shouldn't take too long, especially if she's had sax experience. But no, not more than a month or so, I'd gather. HOWEVER, getting the full range of the instrument will most likely be troublesome. The chalamaeu register should be cake to get out, but the clarion register above G1 (that would be the top of staff G, fingered RK, T, R123,) may be difficult at first. When I first switched from clarinet to bass, I couldn't play that register for nearly two years. Then I had an idea. I thought, "Gee, what if I actually practiced like I should be?" With in a year, I could command the bass all the way up to G2. So if your wife practices, getting that range will only be a matter of time. REEDS will make a big difference in transition. Vandorens are the choice performance reeds, period. I know this from experience, and all bass students and profs. here at NMSU state so. Marca's are a bit cheaper, and have the same consistency, but they don't quite have the nice sound in the clarion register. Use Marca's to practice, Vandie's to perform. Mouthpiece will also be a big deal in transition. A JD Hite mouthpiece is relatively cheap ($75) and is middle range where sound is. It is an excellent mouthpiece for players who are changing; it allows great dynamic control and good tone. Players who are far more experienced and have total and complete control over the bass embechoure may wish to try a leblanc or Bay mouthpiece.

Basically, the transition should not be difficult at all, IF a good horn, mouthpiece, and reeds are used from the beginning. I should point out, though, that once the upper clarion begins to speak, a greater amount of control will be necessary, because tuning notes above C3 requires the tinest adjustments. But otherwise, your wife should have no problems.


 ________________ 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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Subject: folded organ pipes

Author: Bob Bailey <bbailey@nwol.net> (by way of Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>) at Internet

Date: 4/28/97 10:29 PM

I know that flue pipes sometimes have angled tops for lack of space, and that many reed pipes are curled around since the part that is curled around is only the resonator that gives the reed vibration appropriate harmonics. You may have already known this; does this answer your question? I have never heard of pipes with actual sharp, doubled-over bends.

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