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31 July 1997
Scott comes through again! After my ISP unilaterally configured their mail servers to reject relayed mail (making it impossible for me to send these out from my office), Scott set me up with a POP on contrabass.com. So (although we're still in "manual mode"), we're back on line, and hopefully my addresses will no longer be confusing.
Author: "Stephen Del Rea"
Date: 7/24/97 7:29 AM
Subject: Trying Out Low C Bass Clarinets
Are there any ways I can try out some of the current Low C model Bass Clarinets? I had written to Boosey & Hawkes last May about visiting their Libertyville, Illinois, site to try one out (their 1193 Prestige model), since I was going to be in Indiana this month about 200 miles from them, and wanted to make a day trip there. They gave me a name to call to set up a demo; however, when I later called after arriving in Indiana and seeing that my schedule would permit the visit, they said that they didn't have any of them to demo, and that there was a 3-4 month backlog on them.
They gave me a name of a dealer in Texas (I'm in Arkansas) and suggested that I order one from him to try it out. That doesn't sound quite right to me - to order an instrument, which takes 4 months to arrive, try it out, and, then, send it back. (I assume that I would have to pay shipping both ways.) Is this how this is normally done for relatively rare instruments? Does this sound right to you? What are some other ways I can try them out, not just from Buffet, but from other brands as well?
Stephen Rea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
--- DBPACK xBase Packer and Maintenance Utility for
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Author: GDG at FR-SIL
Date: 7/24/97 11:29 AM
TO: "Stephen Del Rea" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Trying Out Low C Bass Clarinets
>They gave me a name of a dealer in Texas (I'm in Arkansas) and
>suggested that I order one from him to try it out. That doesn't
>sound quite right to me - to order an instrument, which takes 4
>months to arrive, try it out, and, then, send it back. (I assume
>that I would have to pay shipping both ways.) Is this how this is
>normally done for relatively rare instruments? Does this sound right
>to you? What are some other ways I can try them out, not just from
>Buffet, but from other brands as well?
>Stephen Rea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, that sounds like a pain! I think I would start with a dealer that specializes in clarinets (if possible), call them to make sure they had several examples in stock, and then arrange to visit them. The larger the dealer (at least with regard to their band instrument sales), the more likely they are to have several basses in stock. The Woodwind & Brasswind (Indiana) might be a good place to start. Frederic Weiner in NY also seems to specialize in clarinets. There's also a clarinet dealer somewhere in the South who's name escapes me at the moment...
I'll post your question to the list, in hopes someone closer to your locale has any ideas. There's also a clarinet list (klarinet) that is often helpful.
Author: Shouryu Nohe <jnohe@NMSU.Edu>
Date: 7/24/97 7:28 AM
Subject: BBb Contra
Jim Lande inquires:
> b) My wife thinks the EEb is already pretty low. She alleges that
>the BBb will be inaudible and merely make the floor shake. How do you
>think the BBb would mix with blues, old timey, jazz, etc
Your wife just doesn't have the trained ear for bass yet. At first, it will seem like only the floor wil shake; this is true. But tell her this: If you've got a strong set of lungs, it will NOT be inaudible. While all she may hear at first is a loud growl and a small earthquake, it will make noise. I suggest that you play it for at least an hour straight, as soon as you get ahold of one. AFter that, low tones will be easy to distingiush. While ones below 8 hertz are often undiscernable to many people (even music professors), it is only because they don't hear them on a regular basis. One has to get used to it, including the player.
And if your wife thinks a BBb Contrabass is too low...well...I guess you're gonna have to seek out the BBb Subcontrabass. If you want to do better, you can ask Mr. LeBlanc himself to borrow his EEEb Suboctocontrabass clarinet. It's the only one in existence, but he MIGHT let you try it. ^_^
(Don't we ALL wish!)
Author: GDG at FR-SIL
Date: 7/24/97 12:11 PM
Subject: Another CD
Had a chance to visit Tower the other day, and found a few CDs that may be of interest.
Leopold Mozart was, of course, the father of the famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The other composers represented here were born in the first decade of this century. This also is a good disc.
Author: "Daryl Fletcher"
Date: 7/25/97 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: Bass trumpets, cimbassos, mouthpieces
On 23 Jul 97 at 18:10, John Hensley said:
> Further confusing the tonal difference between trumpets and
> trombones is that among jazz players, the bass trumpet is thought
> to have a more trombone-like sound than the valve trombone, which
> is thought to sound more like a baritone.
> These horns are frequently considered doubler's instruments,
> usually a trumpet player dabbling in low brass, and a small
> mouthpiece is suggested to them to make the change less tramatic.
I've also noticed that most valve trombones seem to have tiny bores compared most slide trombones. For example, a beginner line Bundy slide trombone has a bore of .500, and most of the professional horns are a bit bigger. On the other hand, valve trombones seem to fall into the .488-.500 range.
I can see how a trumpet player who wants to double on valve trombone would like a small bore, but I wonder if such a small instrument might not blend well with "conventional" trombones.
> Doug Yeo describes, on his web page, his bass trumpet mouthpiece
> as having the rim of a Schilke 60 (which is extremely large) with a
> custom cup and backbore.
Has everyone seen Doug Yeo's page? It's one of the best musical resources on the Internet. http://www.yeodoug.com
Thanks also for pointing out the Jim Self page and the Amati page. I found it interesting that Amati actually makes a sousaphone in F.
From: KUUP84A@prodigy.com (MR MARK A TRINKO)
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 11:28:55, -0500
-- [ From: Mark Trinko * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --
Please mail in your registration form for the Jan 5-8, 1998, Las Vegas contra-festival now. I must make some plans.
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 11:00:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: contra chirping
I am playing the 5th reed part in a production of Will Rogers Follies, which calls for Eb contrabass clarinet. I have borrowed a beautiful rosewood Selmer two piece straight model to low Eb. The mouthpiece I am using is a Selmer C* with a Vandoren #3 reed. My problem is the mysterious chirping that occurs without any warning. I'll be playing along, mouthpiece and reed feeling good, and suddenly, "chirrrrp!". The chirp almost always occurs in staccato passages, and sometimes in legato phrases.
I know that many people playing bass clarinet for the first time get this chirping a lot, and many times it is due to simple inexperience; either too much mouthpiece in the mouth, the strength of the reed is too high or low, too much jaw tension, etc. I have been doubling on bass clarinet professionally for quite some time and have lost my chirp on the instrument, but for some reason I can't seem to extinguish the chirping on the contra.
I haven't tried the Eb contra yet, but having picked up the Bb contra not too long ago...
The contra seems to be particularly sensitive to where your lips are on the reed & mpc. Your lower lip should meet the reed at the same point as the lay of the mpc begins to curve away from the reed. If the mpc is too far into your mouth, you get squeaks: too far out, and you get fuzz and insufficient volume.
The other possibility that springs to mind is that you have a leak somewhere: a sharp attack is more likely to expose that than legato playing. Does the chirp occur only in certain registers of the horn (or only for certain notes)?
I haven't included this in the digest: would you like it posted, for advice from some of the other contra players on board?
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 17:46:15 -0500
From: Bob Bailey <email@example.com>
Organization: Trans Global Productions, Inc.
Thank you very much, Grant!
The lowest fundamental of the Bb trumpet is the 8' register E, so the lowest fundamental on a standard 4-valved Bb Baritone is 16' CC, which means that the lowest fundamental on a standard 4-valved BBb tuba would be 32' CCC. The only difference is that I'm counting all valve tubung being used, and that I'm talking about a BBb tuba. If referring to a CC tuba, and not counting the valves, then it'd be 16' CC. The valves contain nearly half of the instrument's amount of tubing, so that should be accounted for when telling how many feet of tubing the instrument has.
> I think the standard CC tuba would be 16', not counting the valves.
Is the bass oboe and heckelphone the lowest of the oboe family?
I've heard of a tenoroon, but not a soprano bassoon. Does the soprano bassoon have the same low range of a bass oboe or oboe?
You know how the "main" scale (going down in the lowest register, closing each main key one by one; going up in the lowest register, opening each main key one by one) of a flute is concert C, on the clarinet concert Eb, written F? Well, what is that for Eb saxophone, oboe, and bassoon? For that reason, I think that a written C for clarinet should be what is currently written as an F; thus, the standard clarinet would be referred to as Eb rather than Bb, and the alto would be Ab rather than Eb. Do you understand what I'm saying?
> The bassoon, on the other hand, evolved from the dulcian (aka curtal), which
> was a family of instruments having the characteristic folded bore, a double
> reed, and (in the soprano form) no keys.
Is the very lowest note on a BBb contrabass sarrusophone written as Bb, sounding AAb?
> If you finger low C on the BBb contrabass sarrusophone,
> you'll get the lowest Bb on the piano.
The bass recorder has 3 feet, so the contrabass would have 4 (an octave below the tenor)? If so, is there one an octave below the bass but a fourth above the sub-contrabass?
> More like an 8' instrument, counting the length of the bocal.
Actually, I used to think that the reed closing the end was the cause of that on the clarinet, but I knew that this isn't the case for sax or oboe, so I researched. The type of reed used has no effect on the phenomenon, that's why the rackett works like a clarinet. The clarinet, cromorne, and rackett are cylindrical, which produces the characteristic odd-numbered-harmonics-only tone with the wave travelling twice as far as the wave produced from a conical reed-tube of the same length. The reason that a conical reed tube has the same harmonic structure as an open flue tube is because the acute angle of the conical reed tube has a dampening effect on the wave, so no real wave reflection takes place. Did you already know that?
> And consider that the Bb soprano clarinet plays nearly an octave lower than
> a flute or oboe of the same size. This is all due to the acoustic
> properties of instruments stopped at one end (e.g., by the reed) that have a
> cylindrical bore. Crumhorns and racketts also play an octave lower than
> conical-bored instruments of the same length.
-Gregg Bailey mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Al Norman
Subject: RE: RE:picture book
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 12:05:00 -0700
sorry I am send you this so many times, but some addresses dont do anything
they are all the same ,,,al norman
From: Al Norman
To: Grant D. Green
Subject: RE:picture book
Date: Wednesday, July 30, 1997 12:40PM
Regarding the picture book, I was hoping to be a contributor, mostly i am interested in detailed descriptions and fine neuances of the instruments, ie pitch (440,415 A), number of keys,sounding range, serial #,inscriptions,maker,reed sizes, taper, differences between makers, dates of mfg,modifications, ect.
most random selection of historic instruments usually only show one or two instruments of a particular family and usually of different makers.
clearly in sarrusophones there are 4 possibly 6 makers: Gautrot, E & S, Tribert, Conn---- Schenkelaar, Orsi it would be good to show whole familes of each maker.
a chapter on restoration and care of vintage instruments would also be good.
possibly a directory of collections of instruments. ( i have visited several private collections and the owners have given me permission to photograph their instruments.)
also, what is the Smithsonian, Met and Conn holding in their basements that never get displayed, that's a project I want,
I never published before, and I purchased the three sphones from lyn marcus
each one has some small problem, the airline would not let me on the plane with the contrabass, I spent over 2 hours packaging it so it could go with the luggage, I noticed that several tone holes on the Conn and the Gatrout were modified with paper and resin to lower the pitch of that note, were your's modified too ? On my way to LA I met a man(engineer) who actually knew what a sarrusophone was.
I've had a little trouble with my mail over the last few weeks. The "email@example.com" address is extinct (my old employer). I can receive mail at any of the following (in order of preference):
>Regarding the picture book, I was hoping to be a contributor,
>mostly i am interested in detailed descriptions and fine neuances of the
>ie pitch (440,415 A), number of keys,sounding range, serial
>#,inscriptions,maker,reed sizes, taper, differences between makers,
>dates of mfg,modifications, ect.
Contributions welcome! I know that we do have at least one published author amongst our subscribers - perhaps he'll let us know what we're getting into...
>most random selection of historic instruments usually only show one or
>two instruments of a particular family and usually of different makers.
>clearly in sarrusophones there are 4 possibly 6 makers
>Gautrot, E & S, Tribert, Conn---- Schenkelaar, Orsi
>it would be good to show whole familes of each maker.
Also Buffett, and I suspect several more Italian firms (the sarrusophone was fairly popular there as well).
>a chapter on restoration and care of vintage instruments would also be
>possibly a directory of collections of instruments. ( i have visited
>several private collections and the owners have given me permission to
>photograph their instruments.)
A possibility, although sometimes collectors are not too keen to have their collections known to the public at large (e.g., chance of theft, etc.).
>also, what is the Smithsonian, Met and Conn holding in their basements
>that never get displayed, that's a project I want,
>I never published before, and I purchased the three sphones from lyn
>each one has some small problem, the airline would not let me on the
>plane with the contrabass, I spent over 2 hours packaging it so it could
>go with the luggage,
Imagine me trying to board with two contras and a bass :-) My Gautrot contra didn't even have a case, so Lyn and I wrapped it in an entire roll of bubble wrap for protection. I was prepared to check the two horns that had cases, but when they wouldn't let me carry on the caseless contra, the gate agent cut down a large box and we wrapped it in a layer of cardboard as well. Turned out to be better protection than the instrument cases, where there was enough play for the horns to rattle around a bit. (I now have an Altieri gig bag for the Gautrot contra.)
>I noticed that several tone holes on the Conn and the Gatrout were
>modified with paper and resin to lower the pitch of that note, were
>your's modified too ? On my way to LA I met a man(engineer) who
>actually knew what a sarrusophone was.
My horns do not appear to have been modified at all.
How is the contra? That's the one horn I didn't look at. Given the description, I thought that the other Eb contra would be plenty, and wanted the one that was in best repair. Did it turn out to be a Conn painted black?
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