Vol. 1, No. 57

|                                                   |
|CONTRABASS-L                                       |
|        An email list for discussion of bass and   |
|        contrabass instruments of all kinds.       |
|        Contact gdgreen@crl.com for subscription.  |

Vol. 1, No. 57

18 November 1996

EDITOR'S NOTE: And an official welcome to Don Gross, < DGross1226@aol.com >, now officially subscribing. Welcome aboard!

From: "Sydney R. Polk" <jazzman@rahul.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 14:43:28 -0800
Subject: Introduction

Hi. My name is Syd Polk. I play all of the flutes, clarinets and saxophones, but I specialize in low reeds. I call myself a bari sax and bass clarinet player, but I have played contra-alto or contrabass clarinet somewhere every year since 1982. Currently I am playing bari sax at the Ohlone College Jazz Band, bass and contra-alto clarinet in the Ohlone College WindBand, and I am playing the Reed IV book of West Side Story, which requires, flute, piccolo, lcarinet, bass clarinet, soprano sax and bass saxophone.

I have a Selmer Mark VI bari sax.

I have a Vito Resonite bass clarient which I love. The best bargain in woodwinds today.

I am borrowing a Selmer rosewood contra-alto clarnet from Foothill College for Ohlone.

Incidentally, if anybody sees a LeBlanc BBb contrabass clarinet for sale, check the serial #. If it is 2830 (or 2380, I forget), it was stolen froma locker at Ohlone College last May. Nobody had insurance, so if anybody sees it, please call the Ohlone College Police Department in Fremont, CA.

Some other expreiences:

Some notes for the web page

Enough for now. I am always suprised to find peple who enjoy playing these things as much as I do. I also enjoy the little tiny instruments; I just get bored by the normal instruments.

Syd Polk

Syd, I think you'll find yourself in good company here. At last count, there were 49 subscribers, plus me. Still surprises me, too.


Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 14:31:34 -0900
From: Marion Garver <mgrf@pacificnet.net>
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 56


This is in response to Joe Haven's questions about the bass flute. I have been practicing the bass a lot over the past year and I think I can give some recommendations.

Your embouchure sounds fine for the bass flute. It is good to have a nice, loose opening in the lips for the low notes. Have you considered an alto flute? I ask this because it's an easier step down than bass. A bass is considerably heavier and the reach is quite a bit further away.

Another thing is that the breath control is a lot harder, too. It takes a while for the normal breath to get around that curve. I spend most of my time playing long tones to get the thing going. I do enjoy it, though. The hardest thing I find is endurance. I am playing the new Kingma system bass flute, which has quarter tone keys on it. The extra weight is a bit unwieldy and I find myself pressing pretty hard against my chin to keep the thing up. (I'm also propping the other end up on a music stand!!)

BTW, I have an Artley bass flute for sale. It's about 20 years old, lighter than the Kingma and it's in pretty good shape. It was made by Ogilvie, who used to make them for Artley. I'm asking $800.

I hope that answers your questions. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more.

Marion Garver

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 22:59:37 -0500
From: DGross1226@aol.com
Subject: subscribe contrabass


Count me in.

Don Gross
La Canada, CA

From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
Subject: FW: "Double Contra-Alto" Clarinet
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 96 12:57:00 GMT


I thought that you might be interested in this.

Anyone interested in contacting the museum collection of the Philadelphia Orchestra (past members) section?



From: Tom Izzo
To: Francis Firth
Subject: Re: "Double Contra-Alto" Clarinet
Date: 16 November 1996 14:03

Hi Francis,

Long time no type!

On Wed, 13 Nov 1996, Francis Firth wrote:
> Dear Tom Izzo,
> I have been looking at Klarinet archives and found your posting of 5th
> October, 1995 which I had not seen before.
> You mention the octocontralto clarinet being used by Lalo Shifrin for his
> Mission Impossible score.
> Was this a feature film or an episode of the TV series? if the latter, do
Used on the soundtrack to the TV series
> you know which episode, if the former do you know whether the music has been
> recorded or if there is a video of the film?
Any recording made in the 60's taken from the orginal recordings of the then current TV shows.
> When did Lucien Caillet die?

Not sure of actual date, but I believe sometime in the 80's.
Do you know what happened to this instrument

> which you say was "listed in his estate" or anyone I might contact to ask
> about it?

Last I heard it was listed in a museum collection of the Philadeplphia Orchestra (past members section)
Remember though, he didn't call it a "OctoContraAlto". His term was a "Double Contra Bass" (tho it was in Eb).

Hope this helps.


> Thanks in advance,
> Yours,
> Francis Firth
> Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk

To: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
From: gdgreen@crl.com (Grant Green)
Subject: Re: FW: "Double Contra-Alto" Clarinet

>I thought that you might be interested in this.
>Anyone interested in contacting the museum collection of the Philadelphia
>Orchestra (past members) section?

> ----------

>Last I heard it was listed in a museum collection of the Philadeplphia
>Orchestra (past members section)
>Remember though, he didn't call it a "OctoContraAlto". His term was a
>"Double Contra Bass" (tho it was in Eb).

Indeed! I'll forward this to Contrabass-L, and we'll see who's interested in making contact (I will if nobody else volunteers).


So, does anyone have a contact in Philadelphia? Volunteers?

Ran across this while surfing the other day: The Wichita Band Co. is a shop in the middle of Kansas that sells new and vintage horns, and does a lot of mail-order business. They have a new website, http://www.wichitaband.com/ , and even have a bass sax for sale...

made by Buescher about l925 for L & H. Original silver plate is 95% intact, pads & corks are new. Case is solid, keywork to high Eb.

Author: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com> at SMTP
Date: 11/17/96 9:11 AM
TO: colin.hemmingsen@xtra.co.nz at SMTP
Subject: Re: Contrabassoon Fingerings

At 11:30 AM 11/17/96 +0000, you wrote:

>I am having trouble finding a good fingering chart for contrabassoon
>and a source of good reeds.I have a Fox Contra but there seems to be
>problems with C.C# D.Eb in the third octave. I have tried a number of
>different reeds but am at a loss in getting any real stability on
>these notes. Are you able to help me or suggest where I can go.
>All the best
>Colin Hemmingsen

My immediate thought was the bassoon and oboe fingering charts archived from the Doublereed-L listserv, but on checking I see that they haven't actually put up an contra fingering charts.

I haven't played contra for years (decades, actually), but I do run a list for contrabass wind players (Contrabass-L) that includes a few contrabassoon players (and now the man in charge of Fox's American contra production). If you don't mind, I'll forward your question to the list for their comments.

Grant Green

BTW, if you're interested in the list, I've archived back issues at http://www.crl.com/~gdgreen/c-arch1.html . Just let me know if you'd like to subscribe.


Note: I've tried sending this message a few times, and it keeps bouncing. The ISP (xtra.co.nz) exists, and responds, but the messages don't go through to Mr. Hemmingsen. Their postmaster hasn't yet responded.

End Contrabass-L No. 57

Back to Index

Next Digest ->