___________________________________________________ | | |CONTRABASS-L | | An email list for discussion of bass and | | contrabass instruments of all kinds. | | Contact email@example.com for subscription. | |___________________________________________________|
Vol. 1, No. 56
13 November 1996
EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to new subscribers Joe Havens < firstname.lastname@example.org > and Syd Polk < email@example.com >.
Also, does anyone have an opinion on the proposed revised masthead?
From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
Subject: Octocontralto Clarinet
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 96 16:46:00 GMT
I have just done a bit of browsing on Klarinet archives and thought that you would be interested in the following courtesy of Tom Izzo, 5/10/1995:
"I have a little information on the Double Contra-Alto (never heard it called an OctoContrabass, though). Lalo Shifrin in his "Mission Impossible" score asked his friend Lucien Calliet (then 1st Clarinet of Philadelphia Orch), how he could get a sub octave Contra sound to reinforce fundamentals. One such instrument was built & played by Calliet for the recordings. Last I heard that instrument remained Calliet's property and was listed in his estate."
Needless, I have already e-mailed him to see whether he has any further information but I have not yet had his reply.
P.S. No reply yet from Leblanc. I am considering sending an amended version of the proposal to a UK company, Clarinet Classics, which specialises in clarinet music recordings and see whether they are interested.
X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org (Unverified)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 23:03:21 +0900
Original-From: email@example.com (Joseph H. Havens)
Subject: CONTRA - bass flute
Excuse me for dropping in, I was just searching the WEB looking for something that would tell me how much import duty I'd have to pay if I shipped a bass flute to Japan, and I noticed this list. It's just the kind of think I've been looking for. I doubt anyone can help me with the import duty, but maybe there is someone who could help me with another question I have.
I'm a real amateur flute player. (I've been trying to play the thing for nearly 17 years. I started after having played the trombone for 10 years). I've always had trouble playing the 3rd octave - I think my lips are just not cut out for it - plus, I really don't like high piercing sounds. What I've been dreaming of lately is buying a bass flute. Well, it's taken some doing, but I think I've finally convinced my wife to let me buy one. I've been considering buying a Yamaha bass flute. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.
My question, for any bass flute player, is: How is playing a bass flute different from playing a regular flute? How is the responsiveness in the lower and upper octaves? Is playing the highest octave on the bass flute similar to playing the highest octave on a regular flute? My lips form more of an oval slit than a nice round hole - making it difficult for me to play the highest notes on a regular flute. I don't have any problem with the 1st two octaves. Do you think I'll have as much of a problem playing a bass flute as playing a regular flute?
In case you're wondering why I was checking out the import duty to Japan, I'm an electrical engineer, working for Bell Labs here in Tokyo doing RF IC designs for cellular phones. I and my family - wife and 3 kids ages 11, 8, and 2 - have lived here for the last 7 years. I have trouble understanding my own children at the dinner table. My Japanese is about as good as my flute playing.
Internet Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (really this is supposed to work) or email@example.com
Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Grant Green) at SMTP
Date: 11/13/96 10:09 AM
TO: email@example.com at SMTP
Subject: Re: CONTRA - bass flute
>Excuse me for dropping in, I was just searching the WEB looking for
Not a problem! We're always open to new subscribers.
>something that would tell me how much import duty I'd have to pay if I
>shipped a bass flute to Japan, and I noticed this list. It's just the kind
>of think I've been looking for. I doubt anyone can help me with the import
>duty, but maybe there is someone who could help me with another question I
There are probably several good bass flutes made in Japan (thus requiring no import duty), but I would not say that the Yamaha is one of them. I've tried playing the Yamaha (I'm not sure which model), and was not impressed by comparison with the (much less expensive) Emerson and Gemeinhardt instruments. I ended up with an Emerson, which one can obtain "mail order" from places like the Woodwind & Brasswind (1-800-348-5003, fax 219-277-2542, http://www.wwandbw.com/ ). The WW&BW should also be able to tell you what the import duty would/will be on the instrument. I'm very happy with mine.
For Japanese models, I know that Kotato & Fukushima (Telephone/fax: 0492 59-1727) make bass flutes (and sub-bass flutes in F, and Contrabass flutes, and DOUBLE CONTRABASS flutes), that seem to be highly regarded. There is at least one professional flautist on the list, who can perhaps provide additional (or better) suggestions.
>I'm a real amateur flute player. (I've been trying to play the thing for
>nearly 17 years. I started after having played the trombone for 10 years).
>I've always had trouble playing the 3rd octave - I think my lips are just
>not cut out for it - plus, I really don't like high piercing sounds. What
>I've been dreaming of lately is buying a bass flute. Well, it's taken some
>doing, but I think I've finally convinced my wife to let me buy one. I've
>been considering buying a Yamaha bass flute. If anyone has any other
>suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.
Have you tried private lessons? It may sound trite, but lessons can really help. My daughter started flute (the C concert flute, of course) last Fall, and did well, but not spectacularly. Then we sent her to Flute Camp, which was essentially a week of private lessons, group lessons, practice and performing. She came back much better, and upon entering middle school went straight into the advanced band.
Another thing to do is to have your flute checked by a good repairman. A flute that doesn't seal properly can be difficult to play. If you know any good players, try having one of them play your instrument, or try playing other instruments at a music store. If you find a vast difference, the problem may be with your horn.
I don't play regularly, so it always takes me a few minutes to warm up and get my timbre back. I notice that the second octave returns first, followed by the first octave, followed by the third. It is not uncommon to have problems with a few of the 3rd octave notes, especially G#, A, and B. I try to practice at least once a week (on flute) to keep relatively in shape.
>My question, for any bass flute player, is: How is playing a bass flute
>different from playing a regular flute? How is the responsiveness in the
>lower and upper octaves? Is playing the highest octave on the bass flute
>similar to playing the highest octave on a regular flute? My lips form
>more of an oval slit than a nice round hole - making it difficult for me to
>play the highest notes on a regular flute. I don't have any problem with
>the 1st two octaves. Do you think I'll have as much of a problem playing a
>bass flute as playing a regular flute?
Again, I'm not the pro on the list, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt. Try relaxing your embouchure a bit: it doesn't have to be a perfect circle. In fact, you can alter the timbre somewhat by changing your embouchure through a range of shapes (a good exercise in itself). On the bass flute, you need a wider embouchure, so your lips will need to form more of a wide oval than a perfect circle. Perhaps you're a natural bass flautist!
We'll see if anyone else has suggestions.
Author: Al Norman <Al.Norman@ReadRite.com>
Date: 11/12/96 7:46 PM
Subject: RE: Contrabass-L, No. 55
On Microsoft Mail Software you can change the font on my computer this converts the header to a readable heading.
Just received "Music for All Seasons" by the Moravian Trombones (and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Trombone Ensemble) (Crystal Records CD220, 1993), which uses 12 trombones, ranging from a BBb contrabass to an Eb sopranino. The liner notes include a photograph of the assortment with a key, so that one can correlate the instruments with the pieces on which they're heard. The instruments are: sopranino in Eb, Bb soprano, F alto, Eb alto, Bb tenor, bass in Bb-F, and contrabass in BBb (there are several tenors used, naturally). Lots of trombone! (And 24 tracks)
The other CD is "Pastime with Good Company" by the Chestnut Brass Company (Crystal Records CD562, 1988). This consists of a conventional brass quintet also playing the following assortment: alto and tenor cornetti; natural trumpets; alto, tenor, and bass sackbuts; keyed bugles in Eb and Bb; quinticlave (an alto ophicleide) in Eb; ophicleide in C; trombone in Bb; cornopean in Bb; cornet in Eb; and Eb soprano, Eb alto, Bb baritone, and Eb contrabass saxhorns. The selections:
Both are good listening!
Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Grant Green) at SMTP
Date: 11/13/96 12:09 PM
TO: "Sydney R. Polk" <email@example.com> at SMTP
Subject: Re: SUBSCRIBE CONTRABASS-L
New subscribers are especially invited (but not required, of course) to post an introduction, typically describing one's interest in the subsonic and instruments played, etc.
>Please subscribe me.
End Contrabass-L Digest No. 56
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