Vol. 1, No. 28

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| Contrabass-L: a list for discussion of contrabass *anything*|
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Vol. 1, No. 28 5 August 1996

From: groover@netcom.com (Robert Groover)
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 27
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 1996 13:47:34 -0700 (PDT)

> (2) Custom Sub(?)-Contra-Sax built by Rod Baltimore, 1960s

WHO is Rod Baltimore, and where is the sax, and does anyone have dimensions, and what is the mouthpiece?

> For your consideration, the word from the _Guinness Book of Records_ 1996
> edition:
> Tuba (page 337):
> The "contrabass tuba," built for Sousa's Band in 1896, was 7-1/2' tall with
> 39' of tubing and a 3'4" bell.
> Is this the "BBBb" horn Robert Groover mentions in Contra-L 11?
> <<Also, there is at least one working BBBb tuba, which was supposedly played
> at a Yale Band concert a year or two ago (according to an article in the
> Yale Alumni magazine) - if I remember rightly this was NOT the one which
> used to be in the Schirmer store in NY, but a twin to that.>>

A further tidbit from the YAM article was that the tubing was so big that some of it was custom-fabricated by shops which normally did steam locomotive work!

> Under "Highest and Lowest Voices", we are told that Dan Britton, from
> Branson, Missouri, can sing Eb3, 18.84 Hz. If true, this would be a
> breathtaking two octaves and a major second below "...you get a little drunk
> and you lands in jaaa-aaaaaaail" in "Ol' Man River." Someone call Dan, get
> him to sing the note into the phone, then post it as a sound file!

That is probably a subtone: there is a vocal technique where you rattle your vocal cords together to produce a pseudo pitch well below anything you can sing. I think have heard Russian choruses doing something like this - although some of them have basses who really can sing true notes well below the bass clef.

> BTW, Paul Cohen has a collection of E&S instruments, and is interested in
> trading his contra d'anche for the "spare" sarrusophone. Should I?


at least wait for cash bids, or post a cash asking price (maybe a Dutch auction?) I'd be interested in bidding, if I can afford it.Thanks,

Robert Groover groover@netcom.com (PGP key on request)
Member ECS, AVS, ACM, OSA, Sen.Mem.IEEE, Reg'd Patent Atty
"All men by nature desire knowledge."

I wouldn't mind selling it, especially if you can save me the hassle of shipping the beast. The contra d'anche isn't my first choice, but it makes more sense (to me, anyway) than having two EEb contrabass sarrusophones.

It wasn't cheap, though. I'd sell it for $4K, which would cover what I paid for it, plus some of the cost of restoring it to playable condition (keywork & pads). Still, that's less than the cost of most bass saxes posted on usenet, and a lot less than a contrabassoon or contrabass sax.

It does have a hard case and bocal, and I'd throw in the reeds that fit. Anyone interested? I should reply to Paul soon, so let me know if you think you're interested.


BTW, is the "vocal subharmonic" anything like the Tibetan monk's chant?

Date: Sun, 4 Aug 1996 13:51:37 -0400
From: PaulWalto@aol.com
Subject: posting images


Let me see what I can do re getting the 2 images I mentioned scanned. I'll then try to email them to you, to do with them what you wish.

Re the Baltimore sub(?)-contra-sax: Rod didn't seem to give a damn about what key it was in, how it sounded, etc. All he remembered was that it wouldn't play anywhere near in tune.

Eyeballing the picture, I'd say the thing was 11 or 12' tall and contained 24-27' of tubing.


From: D.J.E.Nunn@durham.ac.uk
Subject: contrabass saxes
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 13:58:58 +0100 (BST)

Hi Grant,

You mentioned a while back about there only being ten contrabass saxes. I've come across two references to contrabass saxes recently which you might or might not be aware of. One is in a Berlin museum (see ). The other was mentioned in literature for the International Computer Music Conference - Daniel Kientzy's blurb mentions playing all saxes from the contrabass to the sopranino. I'm not sure if any works are planned for the contrabass, but I'll be going to the ICMC so I'll let you know if it's used. (there's a link to it on http://capella.dur.ac.uk/doug/conferences.html )

See you got the mailing list set up - feel free to post this there.

All the best,

Douglas Nunn

Author: Michael David Ricketts <mickeyr@usit.net>
Date: 8/3/96 10:14 PM
Subject: Virus Alert

I just thought I'd warn you about a powerful virus that is being sent through the e-mail system. If you recieve mail with anything in the subject line refering to "Good Times", DELETE it imediatly. DO NOT, under any circumstances, read it. Since I know you get lots of mail because of the Contrabass-L, I thought you needed to know. Feel free to post this message in the next issue, as I would hate for someone to fall prey to this virus.

Keep the issues of Contrabass-L coming, I'm enjoying every one.

I'm also looking forward to more recordings of your saurrusophones to be posted on your page.

Also, my desktop for Windows95 now displays the contrabass sax from the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra. Man, I love those things :)


Ah, Mickey, you've been hoaxed!

The "Goodtimes virus" has become almost an urban legend. Rumors about the virus show up once or twice a year: some people think it is funny to tease newcomers to the internet by warning them about the ficticious virus, watching them good-spiritedly posting the warning far and wide. I think the rumor-mongerers are the same sort that think its fun to spam mailing lists and newsgroups.

Viruses are all programs, like the EXE, COM, and DLL files on your computer. Most viruses are fairly small in size (often less than 1K), and typically take steps to disguise their presence (like making their file name "hidden", or rewriting the DOS directory to not show the virus). Like any other program, they have to get control of the computer by having the command processor (COMMAND.COM in DOS) pass control to them. In other words, they have to be executed at least once to run. Viruses may get control by attaching to another executable file (like wordperfect, windows, command.com, etc.), so that every time the program is started, the virus starts too. Some may edit command.com so that simply starting the computer starts the virus. And some edit the "boot sector" of your hard drive (where the hardware looks first in order to load the operating system) so that the virus is loaded before anything else.

In summary, with one exception (noted below), viruses are binary program files. Email, on the other hand, is mainly ASCII text. Email messages are documents, rather than executable programs, and cannot affect the CPU or files on your disc. It is possible to send binary files by email, but you'll typically get those as attachments. If you're lucky, your email program decodes binary attachments automatically, and puts them in a particular directory. So it is possible that someone could send you a virus by email, BUT you would have to "execute" the virus in order for it to have any affect on your computer. Your email program certainly isn't going to insert the virus into command.com, or edit your config.sys files (and hopefully, your boot sector!), and I've yet to see an email program that would automatically run an attachment. It is possible that someone could send you an infected copy of command.com, and that your email program could save that infected file in your root directory, overwriting your clean command.com. However, you can easily avoid that possibility by (a) making sure that your attachments are saved to a particular subdirectory (I put mine in \eudora\attach), and (b) never executing a program found in the attachments directory unless you're sure what it is.

The exception noted above: macro languages for some word processors (and probably spreadsheets and other applications) are now powerful enough that one can write viruses in macro languages. Microsoft Word can be infected with such a virus, because macros can be saved as part of a document. When the document is opened in MS Word, the macro can damage files on your disc, and generally cause Word to misbehave. (There is a patch for Word that protects against macro viruses.)

Thanks for your concern, but don't worry about "Goodtimes". Do take the common-sense precautions to avoid infection by the next sick hacker. Other good precautions include getting a good antivirus program (e.g., Norton Antivirus, McAfee Clean, etc.).


End Contrabass-L No. 28

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