Vol. 5, No. 18

An email list for discussion of bass and contrabass instruments of all kinds. To subscribe, send a message with "subscribe" in the subject line to list-request@contrabass.com, or go to the subscription page.

To post, send your message to list@contrabass.com.

See the Archive for back issues.

Contrabass list Mon, 16 Mar 1998 Volume 1 : Number 18

In this issue:

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 19:49:40 -0600
From: "William J. Dawson" <w-dawson@nwu.edu>
Subject: Re: Cerveny

To David and the list,

Cerveny is a Czech company that has been around for more that 150 years, making a variety of musical instruments. According to the Woodwind/Brasswind catalog, the still manufacture euphoniums, tubas, and accessories. Their advert. in that catalog lists them as "...the largest European Manufacturer of Brass Instruments." Their American representative is Geneva International Corporation, at 29 E. Hintz Road in Wheeling, IL 60090. Tel is (800)533-2388

Hope this helps. BTW, I own a Cerveny BBb tuba and find it serves me well in my role as a community musician.

Dr. Bill Dawson

(Also contrabassoon, bassoon, bari sax and anything else I can get my hands on)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

At 08:34 AM 3/15/98 +0000, you wrote:

>My question is, has anyone every heard of Cerveny? Maybe its time for some
>I know the company as a maker of tubas. I believe the company is still around.


Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 11:19:04 EST
From: JolivetDVM <JolivetDVM@aol.com>
Subject: Re: list V1 #16 Subkontrafagott

According to Langwill, V. F. Cerveny (1819-1896) made the so-called subkontrafagott in 1873 and most likely it was a metal contrabassoon. Although one frequently reads interpretations of the instrument which describe it as having a range descending an octave lower than the contra, Contant Pierre (a bassoonist himself) heard the instrument in 1889 probably at the international exposition in Paris and stated its range as descending to the standard subcontra Bb of the contra.

Will Jansen talks about the subkontrafagott and gives the bottom note as Bb an octave below the contra, but then further quotes Pierre who states that the metal contra exhibited in 1889 is the same as the one produced in 1867 and only descends to subcontra Bb.

My suspicion is that Cerveny named his instrument the subkontrafagott only because it descended to subcontra Bb. At that time it was quite common for contrabassoons to descend only to contra D or C. Please recall that the low Bb of the bassoon is also known as contra Bb. I have actually heard Werner Schultz's contra which extends down to Subcontra Ab and that horn is huge!! A contra playing almost an octave lower even if made of metal would be a monster and produce only indistinguishable tones.

For reference I have used "The Bassoon and Contrabassoon" by Lindesay Langwill and "The Bassoon" by Will Jansen. The book by Constant Pierre was published in Paris in 1891 I believe and is all about intruments at the exposition in Paris, 1889.

Michel Jolivet

End of list V1 #18

Next Digest ->

Back to Index <-

Previous Digest <-