Vol. 5, No. 16

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Contrabass list Sat, 14 Mar 1998 Volume 1 : Number 16

In this issue:

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 16:07:46 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: More Tombstone...


To followup on the CD review, there are at least three tracks with prominent sarrusophone parts. The first track has a brief part at around 2:30 in. Track 8 has noticeable parts at about 1:30 and 5:30 into the piece, and Track 9 has some around 3:45. At least, that's what I noticed while I was heading over to the Antique Trove....


Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 16:19:24 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Sarrusophone FS (pt. 2)

And now to follow up on the sarrusophone alert:

I spent my lunchtime in San Carlos looking at the sarrusophone, talking with the proprietor, and looking at the other hundreds of instruments she has.

First the sarrusophone: It's an old Eb Buffet-Crampon, in brass. The finish is worn, and I couldn't really make out the serial number (actually, I was lucky to recognize the Buffet seal on the bell). There is a bit of visible "red rot". However, the horn does play well. The keys don't seem as tight as the keys on my Gautrot, but this is probably just a matter of having a good repairman go over the horn. It has an interesting variation on the C alternate key (RH1). On my horns, the C alt key only opens a single tone hole, and serves as an alternate (LH1 RH-Calt) for C. On this horn, however, the key is set up to also close the low D pad (RH3). Why, I don't know: this key was poorly regulated, and didn't seem to function in the way intended. Apart from that, it has the same 3 LT keys, and one RT key for the "D octave" key. The middle D didn't speak as well as other notes, but that could just be a matter of getting used to the horn. Nice timbre, and a decent reed. The bocal appears to be narrower than mine: I'm not sure my great bass sordune reeds would fit well. The reed was truly huge, long as well as wide. I didn't see the case, but it is apparently the horn's original case.

What else does she have? How about three double-belled euphoniums, including a Conn with five valves (4 "playing" valves, plus the change valve, arranged as if for someone with six fingers). A number of old tubas, an antique bassoon (pre-Heckel), alto and bass clarinets, many flutes and saxophones (some vintage instruments), a number of trombones, and many, many trumpets. Actually, there's quite a few other instruments, too. A fair proportion are not antiques, and most instruments are marked with at least the approximate year of origin (there was a 1997 LA Sax tenor there).

She seems like a nice person. Predisposed to sell to local musicians, rather than museums. Would rather see someone playing the instrument than storing it in a collection. I left her a copy of my "wish list".....


Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 17:50:52 EST
From: OctoContra <OctoContra@aol.com>
Subject: bassoons


I recently checked out a book from the library that has all kinds of wonderful information about bassoons. It even has a picture of a man with his bassoon family (contrabassoon-soprano bassoon), a baritone oboe, and a serpent. I will try to scan the image onto my computer for anyone that wants it, but it may take a few days. But, the most important or most interesting part is still to come.

While flipping through the pages, I saw a heading entitled "Tenoroon, Soprano Bassoon, and (Ta Da!) Subkontrafagott (subcontrabassoon). The description says: "Perhaps the most interesting of the rarely employed types [of bassoon] is the subkontrafagott, produced in 1873 by the Czech instrument-maker, Cerveny, which was an octave below Heckel's double bassoon, so that it when down to B3. My question is, has anyone every heard of Cerveny? Maybe its time for some research....

This book is a great source for knowledge. Recently, I checked out about 8 books from the library. Most of them where not so good, but two of them, "Musical Instruments of the World", and this book (Musical Instruments), where the only two useful ones. The former was made two years ago, and the latter was made over 50. The latter was better also. I suggest everyone check this book out from the library. Here is the information.

Title: Musical Instruments: Their History From 1943
Author: Karl Geiringer
Copy Right date: 1943

This is a must, and I am trying to purchase this book from my own local library. Good luck finding it!!!


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