Vol. 5, No. 31

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Contrabass list Sun, 29 Mar 1998 Volume 1 : Number 31

In this issue:

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:20:24 EST
From: Fmmck <Fmmck@aol.com>
Subject: Re: list V1 #30

In a message dated 3/28/98 6:31:36 PM, Jason Hsien wrote:

<<Not coiled and to low C? Well, Leblanc makes a plastic "Vito/Holton" Model of it's student contrabass clarinet. It only goes down to Low Eb, and is straight. It retails for around US$2000.>>


I've been searching for a ContraBass Clarinet for about 5 years now. I can't afford a new one of the "coiled" or other Pro models, so would prefer a used instrument.

Not finding anything, I decided I could settle for one of the LeBlanc Vito models, rather than nothing at all. Then, I found that no stores stock them. You have to order directly from the factory. However, the factory doesn't have any either. They apparently only make them once in a blue moon. About six months ago, I was told that there was a six month wait before any would become available. Two months ago the wait had increased to ONE YEAR!

By the way, your US$2000 estimate is several years old. I think they are up to about $2500 now.

Fred McKenzie

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:43:14 -0500
From: "Emerald1" <emerald1@megsinet.net>
Subject: Straight Contra

>|Subject: question??

>|this may be the lamest question ever but.. where can i get a cheap
>|(probably used if i want it cheap) contra bass clarinet)(Bflat).
>|Preferably one that is not coiled and goes to low c??? cheap.. i am a
>|college music ed student.. low on the bucks... any ideas?

>Not coiled and to low C? Well, Leblanc makes a plastic "Vito/Holton" Model
>of it's student contrabass clarinet. It only goes down to Low Eb, and is
>straight. It retails for around US$2000.

>But, I would really try to get a coiled one. Find a used Leblanc Curved
>Silver. You can at least play those in a normal sitting position. WIth the
>straight ones, you have to stand or sit in a bass chair.

>Hope this helps.

Why does everyone take pot shots at the straight contra!? If he's like me, then he doesn't want a curved model. Even though you typically must stand to play the beast, it is still a more natural playing posistion than on the incredibly awkward curved contra!!! Plus, the straight ones typically give far, far less mechanical trouble! You may disagree with me on this; but that's the way I find it!!! Also, I think we all know what looks cooler!!!


Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 22:06:38 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com>
Subject: More French Instruments...


Mr. Smiga has just sent a few more instruments to post: oboe, English horn, and baritone (aka bass) oboe. All are antiques, old-fashioned turning at the reed end, apparently pre-Conservatoire key systems. The baritone oboe has the bell doubled back. They're now posted to the FrenchMart page.



Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 22:18:19 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Double register keys

We had a brief discussion several issues ago regarding the double octave key found on older bass clarinets (and other "pre-automatic octave key" instruments). I think Robert Howe mentioned that some people prefer using the double key arrangement, because it facilitates some notes in the altissimo register.

It occurred to me this week that basses and contras can achieve pretty much the same effect by using the RH3 key as the 2nd octave key. At least on my contra, the lower octave vent opens for B-Eb because its linked to the RH3 pad. Experimenting above the staff, I find that the altissimo notes above D do speak better with the RH3 key down.

Not that I have any parts that require me to play that high on contrabass, but it may come in handy when transposing Eb contralto parts.

Theoretically, this should work on any of the lower clarinets that have two octave vents. Perhaps I should dust off my bass and check it out...

Unfortunately, it won't apply to saxophones, because the switch from 1st to 2nd vent occurs right in the middle of the scale, at G. Of course, the sax already has the equivalent of an altissimo octave key: the front F key. Many people don't realize that, properly adjusted, this key barely lifts the high F tone hole so that it acts like an octave vent. The standard high F fingering (front F + LH2 + octave key) is actually an altissimo fingering.

Spending way too much time at the wrong end of the range......


End of list V1 #31

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