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Contrabass-list Sat, 22 Nov 1997 Volume 1 : Number 42

In this issue:

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 15:54:22 -0800 (PST)
From: (John Micheal Bush)
Subject: Re: Contrabassoon for sale

I can't really speak for my school, but I am willing to bet we would be interested. I don't play bassoon myself, but my school has three bassoons, all of them very badly treated by past students, and I am sure my director would be interested in a contra in good condition. Please send more information, email or call at 206-362-3576.

BTW what is a theremin? Indian or something?

John Bush


Imperial Space Cowboy, Aspiring Beatnik, and high school level musician.
btw, looking for a moderately priced sarrusophone.
Check out my jazz/funk/blues combo sometime!

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 20:09:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Stryder <>
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #41

> Now *that* sounds great! What size was the total band? It must have been
> huge, to support (or be supported by) six tubas.
> My HS band (back in KC) was probably the largest band I ever played in
> (about 75). It had 4-6 tubas and 4 bassoons (including me), but only one
> contrabass clarinet. No contraltos. We did, however, have two baris
> during marching season (can't march with a bassoon).

> Grant

i can beat that, this weekend (just got back from the rehearsal) i am in the concert band for area all state, we have 6 tubas, 2 bassoon's a contra, 2 alto clarinets, 2 basses, 2 baris. we had more bassoon's last year, but only 4 tubas. its about 125 people or something, we don't fit too well on the stage, but its fun, and we're playing cool music. course on monday i'll go back to my 51 piece wind ensemble we call a symphonic band.


Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 22:53:04 -0500
From: (Jim Katz)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #41

....can't march with a bassoon....? I beg to differ. I was given no choice in the matter in my various school bands from 4th grade through high school. In season there was a small lyre to fit on the top joint and a neck strap. The only time I was not marching was for the football pep band. There I got the bass drum.

Jim Katz

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:46:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #41

In a message dated 11/21/97 10:11:30 PM, you wrote:

<<this is mostly for paul cohen but any feedback would be good. his new CD about the sax family is very informative for the sax afficienado concluding with the henry cowell piece for soprano and contra bass sax. he plays various sax's with mouthpieces made in the '20's and gets a good sound out of them, including a C-soprano that i have. i've never bonded with a '20's mouthpiece because they seem to have no "center" or a fishy intonation. Paul, how do you do it? I think this would make a good article for a future Sax Journal regarding playing old mpc's

nick delmatto>>

Thank you for your kind words about my CD and my playing. There is really no trick to playing mouthpieces that were designed to work with the instruments I am playing. I simply come to the mouthpieces with no prejudices, recognizing that thousands before me played them with fine sound and function when these old 20's mouthpieces were contemporary. I also understand how the resistance and response difference in the excavated chamber mouthpieces require a different embouchure and "blowing" than newer mouthpieces. With a certain flexibility of embouchure and tonal expectations that won't quit, I'm able to give these mouthpieces and instruments a professional viability. Now I just have to find conductors who will actually want a high pitch slide saxophone in their orchestra!

Paul Cohen

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 16:06:40 +0000
From: David Bobroff <>
Subject: Newcomer on the list

Hello all,

I just recently joined the list. As it seems to be a fairly low-volume list I thought I would say a few words.

My primary contra interest is contrabass trombone. My main instrument is bass trombone. My contrabass trombone is pitched in F with two independant valves. The thumb valve is in flattish-D and the finger valve is Bb/A. I normally tune it to A. I am on the lookout for a contrabass in BBb (with double slide).

I don't know if this piece has been mentioned or not, but some months ago I had the good fortune to attend a concert which included a piece by the Swedish composer Klas Torstensson called "Den Sista Dagboken [The Last Diary]/the Engineer André". The text is taken from the last diary of the leader of an ill-fated arctic expedition of the (I think) 19th century. The text is spoken. The ensemble consisted of a small string section (1st and 2nd violins, violas, 'cellos, basses), an amplified bass, and an electric bass. In addition, there was a trombone (the part was quite low, I believe, but was played on a tenor w/F-attachement), horn, trumpet, large percussion section and (I'm saving the good stuff for last), baritone sax, contrabassoon, and contrabass clarinet (BBb). I think the latter two instruments were played along with non-contra versions as a "double" in the part. The low reeds were used in an interesting manner. I remember thinking that the contrabass clarinet was used very effectively to create a texture with the low notes. Rather like a sound effect. Not a percussion instrument but not quite what we normally expect from a wind instrument. I have no idea if the piece exists in recording anywhere. It is probably most effective live but would be worth hearing in any form.

David Bobroff

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 16:48:45 -0600
From: Meg and John Maenpaa <>
Subject: Re: contrabass-list V1 #30 straight contras

Just a note, not all contra bass clarinets have a peg. My 3 yr old Vito does not. Go buy a wooden bar stool at Target and cut the legs to the proper size. Cut a little at a time so you don't cut too much. If you can find one at a resale shop or garage sale, that might be good for your first try. That way you won't waste so much money if you make a mistake.

End of contrabass-list V1 #42

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