Vol. 4, No. 21

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Contrabass-list Thu, 30 Oct 1997 Volume 1 : Number 21

In this issue:

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 15:45:30 -0900
From: tjohnson@akcache.com (Johnson, Tim)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #20

Speaking of ContraBassoons.....didn't I read in this column earlier that Susan Nigro has another album out? If so, I could use info on the Record Label, Title, etc.

I'm waiting for one of you great CB clarinetists to put out something like what she does, maybe with a little bluesier twist to it huh?


Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 17:30:41 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com>
To: tjohnson@akcache.com,contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Nigro

Hi Tim,

The disc is "Little Tunes for the Big Bassoon" by Susan Nigro (1997 Crystal Records, CD348). The full details are in Vol. 2, No. 59 .



Re: contrabass discs.... Not a bad idea! I'll have to see if I can work up a few contra clarinet (and contra sarrusophone) pieces. Maybe I'll see how the contra festival goes next January....


Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 19:54:08 -0700 (MST)
From: Da Shouryu-man <jnohe@nmsu.edu>
Subject: Using a what what on a what WHAT???!!!

A tenor sax reed on a C-bass mou...a tenor sax reed on a C-bass mout...urg, I can barely think it, let alone type it. Always go with the proper reed for the proper instrument. If there are parts written for an instrument, and the instrument is still used today, trust me: someone out there makes the reed. If worse comes to worse, you can always buy raw cane and make your own (we all know how fun THAT is...). However, Vandoren and Marca both manufacture Cbass reeds, made to play on both the C-alto and the C-bass, so the use of sax reeds is really unneccessary. (just like the extraenous n and c in the preceeding word.) Also, something you should know--sax reeds are typically thicker and half a strength harder than clarinet reeds, so it will affect your sound.

You can order reeds from just about anyone; WW&BW, Muncy's, IMC even (i think). My suggestion is to go with Vandoren, usually in the range of 2 to 2.5. They're a bit more expensive than the Marcas, but you'll get a more professional sound out of it. (It will be just a hair wide on the Calto mpiece, but it shouldn't affect the sound.)

As for the ligature, I should suggest a Rovner. While not the most renowned lig in the clar. industry (Bonade or Bay), it should adjust to any mpiece. Another one to try (i haven't yet) is a ligature sold by Muncy's called a ligophone. It supposedly fits any mouthpiece. I'd call/email Muncy's and ask them about it. Also, plain old fashion metal ligs should be available through most mailing order companies. THey aren't often in catalogues, but companies almost always have stuff in stock that isn't in the catalogue. Call everyone and you'll be sure to find someone who can get you a ligature.

(One last thing: the brand of horn you have should make a difference as far as reeds, ligs, and mpieces are concerned. With all saxes and clarinets, the mouthpiece, lig and reed (and barrel in Bb, A, and Eb soprano clars) should actually be considered a whole other part of the instrument--they have the greatest persuasion with the instrument: how it sounds, how it reacts, how versitile it is. A LeBlanc mpiece, Bay lig, and Vandie Reed will nearly always turn a bad sound into a good one.)


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Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 22:38:05 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Using a what what on a what WHAT???!!!

At 07:54 PM 10/29/97 -0700, you wrote:

>mout...urg, I can barely think it, let alone type it. Always go with the
>proper reed for the proper instrument. If there are parts written for an

Ah, but what makes the reed "proper"? To me, the reed that provides the best sound is the "proper" reed. Sure, a reed made for a contrabass clarinet should be optimized to produce the best sound on a contrabass clarinet, but it isn't necessarily the case. One also must factor in the performer, the volume required, and the differences between the performer's horn and mpc and whatever the reedmaker uses to test (and/or design) their reeds. I think Vandorens for contra are only available in "integer" sizes (i.e., no half sizes). So, if a Vandoren bass sax reed is half a strength stronger than the corresponding contra reed, and that half a strength difference is what you need... why not?

>(One last thing: the brand of horn you have should make a difference as
>far as reeds, ligs, and mpieces are concerned. With all saxes and

The problem with contras is that they aren't quite as interchangeable as other horns. If I remember right, the Linton was made with an exceptionally wide bore, and a mpc to match. I don't know what the facing is like, but if you have a bore (and mpc receiver) too wide for any "standard" contra mpc, I think you're pretty much stuck with the stock mpc (or a custom mpc, without even the benefit of starting from a stock "blank"). Someone contacted me several months ago, trying to find a different mpc or reeds for a Linton contra. Last I heard, he was trying to make his own reeds, from extra-large cane...


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 02:02:43, -0500
From: KUUP84A@prodigy.com (MR MARK A TRINKO)
Subject: amplified contra-basoon

Dear David N.,

Actually there are a few other amplified contra-bassoonissts:

In fact Erik's group performed last year at the Contra-bassoon festival in Las Vegas. I expect that we will have an amplified contra-bassoon lecture this year at the contra-fest in Las Vegas, Jan 5-8.Mark

End of contrabass-list V1 #21

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