Vol. 1, No. 51

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| Contrabass-L: a list for discussion of contrabass *anything*|
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Vol. 1, No. 51

30 October 1996

Author: Paul Lindemeyer <paulwl@gannett.infi.net>
Date: 10/27/96 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: Bass sax pieces (Contra-L No. 50)

Before I get further, I want to wish a **** Happy 50th to Contrabass-L! ****

Tommie Naslund wrote:

> Do you or anyone else on the digest know of any large tip opening
> bass sax mouthpieces? At least one that gives the right power to
> my sax (an old Buescher). I have experimented with some baritone
> mouthpieces. They give me the power, but I always lose the tuning
> and control. Suppose it has to do with the chamber and reed size.
> Can anyone help me?
> Tommie Naslund.
> Stockholm, Sweden.
> E-mail: erac.eraten@memo.ericsson.se

Ralph Morgan makes a mouthpiece he calls a "BARI/BASS" jazz piece in facings 6J (.080"), 7J (.090"), 8J (.110"). I have the 6J, but find it a little closed. I mostly play the Otto Link 6 (.100") rubber bari piece.

Morgans are available from The Woodwind & The Brasswind in South Bend, Indiana, USA.

I don't know that chamber and reed size are vastly different between bari and basso. Seems bass reeds are merely a little wider at the tip end. The traditional dill-pickle type bass pieces also are mostly thick sidewall. There's not as much chamber in there as meets the eye.


Paul Lindemeyer (paulwl@gannett.infi.net)
At your local bookseller from William Morrow & Co.

50th? I feel older already...

Thanks to everyone for keeping this going!

BTW, did I mention I finally picked up a copy of "Celebrating the Saxophone"? Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I love the pictures of the contrabass and F mezzo.


Author: Peter Koval <pkoval@sundance.usd.edu>
Date: 10/26/96 9:01 AM
Subject: Contrebasse-a-anche


Re the bocal of your recently acquired contrebasse-a-anche (funny how the English equivalent Reed Contrabass never seems to have caught on!), a tube extension is more likely the result of transforming the instrument(not very successfully) from high pitch to low pitch, rather than narrowing the end to accommodate a smaller diameter reed. I have seen this many times on sarrusophone bocals and even on saxophone bocals (necks).

My contrebasse-a-anche doesn't have a case, perhaps you could supply me with the telephone number and a contact at Altieri so that I could order a gig bag too. It would be much more convenient than lugging it around in a huge plywood packing case as I do at present!

Browsing through some old Contrabass-Ls the other day, I saw a reference to The Shrine to Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. I presently live in Vermillion, having been taking a Master of Music Degree in the History of Musical Instruments at USD using the Shrine facility. If anyone has any queries regarding the vast musical instrument holdings, I would be happy to give assistance in an informal way, or pass enquiries to the Museum staff.

Peter Koval

Yes, the thought that it may be to lower the pitch occurred to me as well. It just seemed to me that one seriously (perhaps that should be "competently"?) trying to lower the pitch while preserving the playability of the horn should have tried to match the diameters better. As every bassoonist knows, the bocal can make a critical difference in the sound of an instrument. I'm just surprised how crude the attempt appears. I may need to have Keith Loraine rebuild it, or make a new one: he makes crooks for anything, and lives in Petaluma, CA, not far from me.

Altieri is Altieri Instrument Bags (aka Donna Altieri), 3003 Arapahoe, Ste 221, Denver, CO 80205. Phone=303-291-0658, fax=303-744-1434. I spoke to her by telephone yesterday, and she said I should have my Reed Contrabass gig bag by early November. It will probably be ready before the horn is. Apparently, the size of the bell (10") was a little problematic.

I'd call first, but what she'll have you do is to trace the instrument, front and back, on a large sheet of paper. Illustrate the tracing with any keys, hooks, etc. that stick out or up, and provide measurements of the thickness of the horn at various positions, taking into account the key cages, etc. Make sure to trace the bocal too, as they provide a zippered pouch just for the bocal. You can send a check (she'll give you the price in advance), or provide a credit card number.

These are great gig bags. They aren't hard shell cases, so I wouldn't check one into airline baggage, but they are pretty well padded. My sarrusophone bag is black, durable nylon (some kind of synthetic, anyway), and has handles, a shoulder strap, and an additional pair of straps so that the bag can be worn like a backpack. (This is something to see: if I wear it like that, the end of the bag extends at least a foot over my head.) In addition to the bocal pocket, it has another long zippered compartment for accessories, with a velcro pouch inside where I keep reeds.

Ahh, the Shrine. I'll have to make it out there some day. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't see this as a great vacation opportunity, if you know what I mean...

I do have a question: do they have any woodwind instruments that can reach below contra C (the lowest C on the piano)? I assume they have at least one contrabassoon, but do they have anything else in the range?


Author: Peter Koval <pkoval@sundance.usd.edu>
Date: 10/26/96 8:59 AM
Subject: Subkontrafagott

Regarding the Subkontrafagott mentioned in Contrabass-L 50, Jurgen Eppelsheim definitively explained this in the Galpin Society Journal, May 1979, pages 104-114, in spite of subsequent incorrect references in the literature. The Kontrafagott was a contrebasse-a-anche descending to D (a tone below the lowest standard note E of the String Bass), and the Subkontrafagott was a development of this pitched a fourth lower and thus descending to A (the lowest note on the piano). Pictures and catalog descriptions exist, but no specimen as far as I know.

Peter Koval

Author: TOMMIE NÄSLUND <ERAC.ERATEN@mesmtpse.ericsson.se>
Date: 10/29/96 7:25 AM
Subject: New e-mail.

Hello Grant!

I have a new e-mail address, from now please send the Contrabass list to: bassax@bigfoot.com.

Best regards,

Tommie Naslund
Stockholm, Sweden.

Once again, back to the usenet...

>In alt.music.saxophone, Scott Grant <gsgrant@udel.edu> wrote:
>I have a Vito Bass Sax in my possesion I am looking to sell. It has
>been worked on and plays pretty well. Does anyone know how much a horn
>like this would go for?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> Scott Grant
> gsgrant@udel.edu
> "I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird"--FZ

Sarrusophone Update:

I talked to Lyn Marcus the other day, and sadly, all the sarrusophones are now sold. He faxed me his list, with indications as to which instruments have been sold, and the asking prices for the remainder. Here's the list of those that remain:

1.Flute, probably of German originc. 1890$100
2.Flute marked "Melodia", Germanc. 1930$150
3.Clarinet in A, Frenchc. 1930$100
4.Oboe by Cundy-Bettoney Co., Bostonc. 1920$575
6.Eb clarinet, "C. Jeuffloy, Paris"c. 1940$150
7.English horn, "Noblet, Paris" by Leblanc c. 1950 $1750
11.C Soprano sax, "Frank Holton & Co.", c. 1927 $700
12. C Soprano sax, "V. Kohlert Sons, Graslitz" c. 1946 $700
13. Eb alto sax, Buescher, c. 1923$300
14. F mezzo soprano sax, Conn 24M, c. 1928$1850
15. Bb tenor sax, Conn 10M, c.1945 $1150
17. Bb bass clarinet, Bundy, c. 1950 $600
18. Eb contralto clarinet, Selmer, c. 1955 $1400
19. Bb soprano rothphone, A.M. Bottali, Milan, c. 1925 $3450
20. Eb alto rothphone, A.M. Bottali, Milan, c. 1920 $3450
21. C tenor rothphone, A.M. Bottali, Milan, c. 1915 $3450
28. Eb alto sax, Conn 26M "Conqueror" c. 1935 $475
29. Bb tenor sax, Conn, c. 1915$875
30. Bassoon, probably German, c. 1840$2300
32. Bassoon, Frenchc. 1950s$1725
33. Bassoon, V. Kohlert's Sons c. 1920s$1250
34. Bassoon, probably Kohlert, c. 1920s $1250
35. Bassoon, Mirafone $2950
36. Bassoon, Heckel model 41i, 1937 $?????
37. Contrabassoon, Heckel model 43d, c. 1950 $?????
39. Eb alto sax, Pan American Co., c. 1930 $250
40. C Melody sax, Holton, c. 1909 $250
41. Slide trumpet, Getzen, c. 1965 $1200
42. Fluegelhorn, Conn, c. 1941 $600
43. Bass valve trombone, German, 20th cen. $1750
44. Valve trombone, Mirafone, c. 1965 $275
45. Fluegelhorn, Oscar Adler & Co., c. 1920 $600
47. Fluegelhorn, German, 20th cen. $300
48. Marching fluegelhorn, Slingerland, 20th cen. $250
49. Alto valve trombone, J.W. York&Sons, c. 1895 $625
50. Fluegelhorn, Mirafone, c. 1959 $350
51. Baritone, Conn, c. 1965 $350
52. Eb Helicon, Brua C. Keefer Co., c. 1918 $750
53. BBb tuba, Conn, c. 1918 $1750

The tenor rothphone and F mezzo sax look particularly interesting to me. Wish I had the cash right now!


End Contrabass-L No. 51

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