Vol. 1, No. 64


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|CONTRABASS-L                                       |

|        An email list for discussion of bass and   |

|        contrabass instruments of all kinds.       |

|        Contact gdgreen@crl.com for subscription.  |

|        See www.crl.com/~gdgreen/c-arch1.html for  |

|        back issues.                               |


Vol. 1, No. 64

12 December 1996

EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's welcome new subscribers Don Carron < SpeedCom@aol.com > and Dave Goss < davegoss@juno.com >. Care to say a few words?

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 01:11:57 -0500 (EST)
From: drumming man <lederman@inforamp.net>
Subject: instrument makers?

Hi, all....

I remember that there was a post mentioning a craftsperson that manufactured "vintage" instruments; is there a fellow out there that could conceivably craft a replica (or a modified replica) of the original Sax bass in "C"?


From: John Gauger <jgauger@sojourn.com>
Subject: RE: Contrabass-L FAQ
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 06:50:02 -0500

On Monday, December 09, 1996 9:05 PM, GDG[SMTP:gdgreen@crl.com] wrote:

> ___________________________________________________
> | |
> | An email list for discussion of bass and |
> | contrabass instruments of all kinds. |
> | Contact gdgreen@crl.com for subscription. |
> | See www.crl.com/~gdgreen/c-arch1.html for |
> | back issues. |
> |___________________________________________________|


Here's a suggestion for a topic that might be included in the FAQ:

A taxonomy of the instruments being discussed. It seems that each class of woodwinds has evolved in its own way with little relation to others. I am quite fuzzy on the classification of saxophones, for example (what other family has a "baritone"?). Flutes are a confusing to me as well - the standard size flute evolved from what would have been called the 'tenor' flute in the renaissance flute family, yet the 'alto' flute is lower than that one. And as for sarrusophones, ophicleides, and so on, I'm in the dark. Grant, your website helps in some of this, besides being a wonderful place to browse, but leaves some gaps. Some sort of standardization within this, to establish relationships between groups would be desired, for example (since we are basically interested in the low notes), a description of the actual and notatated pitch of the 'seven-finger' note (all closed to RH4) might be a standard, at least for woodwinds (in addition to listing lowest (yeah) and highest (who cares) notes).

I would certainly be glad to help out regarding renaissance winds, although I propably would need some help with racketts.

I will end up being at the short end of the stick when we get to comparing "mine is lower than yours", since my 'contrabass recorder' plays its lowest on F (seven-finger, notated and actual) just below the bass clef. And my rule of thumb is "it ain't a contra if I can sing the lowest note".


John Gauger

The geneology is sort of a project for the future. I'm in the process of restructuring the whole web site, and had rather planned to make the main "instrument" pages more encyclopaedic. Access by either of a hierarchical index (e.g., Saxophone: Sopranino; Soprano; etc.) and a Grand Staff or keyboard representation where one could click on a note and be directed to the instruments having that note as their lowest (or perhaps listing the instruments, with links, capable of playing that note).

As far as I know, the "baritone" size occurs in the saxophone, sarrusophone, and rothophone families (for woodwinds), and the saxhorn family for brass. The bass oboe is sometimes (rarely, nowadays) called a baritone oboe.

Since we're on the topic, let's start a family tree (instrument:lowest note). For the notes, let's take middle C as C4 (the C below will be C3, etc.)

*Note: saxophones were originally made in C and F for orchestra, with Eb and Bb versions for military bands. Thus, you may run across references to F sopranino, C soprano, F alto (aka "mezzo"), C tenor (aka C "melody"), F baritone, and C bass.

Note2: I've included mainly "production" instruments, leaving out some of the interesting rarities we've discussed recently (like the Bb sopranissimo saxophone), while capriciously including some "one of a kind" horns like the Bb octocontrabass clarinet.

Care to take a crack at the recorders? I know that the baroque and renaissance styles diverge in their naming at some point. Like, isn't there a "basset" recorder in the Ren. family, where the baroque family has bass?


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 11:32:56 -0500
From: SpeedCom@aol.com
Subject: Subscribe

I would like to get e-mail about seismic instruments.

Don Carron

Additionally, I want to make a GBFOORCM (great big flute out of really cheap materials). The ones that come to mind are PVC pipe, aluminum conduit, and bamboo (hard to find in large sizes).

My only requirements are that it be mouth blown and that the hole spacing is reachable with my (rather large) hands. I'd like to find some ready-made design or at least measurements so that I won't have to make more than 2 or 3 to get it right. I suppose it would help to be keyed in one of the more normal flute fingerings, preferably D or Bb

If this thing works, then I intend to add a blower and a keyboard (complete with fork-fingerings) to use it as a bass continuo for my family's developing consort. This will make sort of a flute hurdy-gurdy.

The next step is to add solenoids and have my computer play continuo while all of us huff and puff on smaller stuff.

I will publish these steps on your website if you wish. Can you help?

I'd also apreciate sources for measurements for more-normally-large flutes like the alto, tenor, baritone, bass range.

Author: gdgreen@crl.com (GDG) at SMTP
Date: 12/10/96 10:18 AM
TO: SpeedCom@aol.com at SMTP
Subject: Re: Subscribe

>I would like to get e-mail about seismic instruments.
>Don Carron

Welcome aboard! You've now been added to the list. I'll probably send out another digest sometime this week.

>Additionally, I want to make a GBFOORCM (great big flute out of really cheap
>materials). The ones that come to mind are PVC pipe, aluminum conduit, and
>bamboo (hard to find in large sizes).

I have about 8 feet of PVC sitting in my garage right now, for that very purpose. I plan (someday) to fashion a contrabass flute out of it, in roughly the shape of a looped contrabass clarinet. I think it's going to require keys of some sort, however.

Somewhere I have a file that says how to space the fingerholes for a simple flute. Have to see if I can find it...

>I will publish these steps on your website if you wish. Can you help?

I'll do what I can :-)


From: "Steve Corns (Music Survey)" <MSurvey@music.cmm.unt.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 12:50:00 -600 (CDT)
Subject: Contrabass -- UNT Musician Health Survey

I am currently involved in some research at the University of North Texas -- we are conducting a survey of musicians' health and performance-related problems. This survey is located on the Web at the following URL:


All musicians please participate as this information will aid in developing a better understanding of musicians' health. This will lead to other efforts to provide more effective treatment and prevention strategies for all musicians. Thanks for your time.

Steve Corns
UNT Center for Musicians' Education, Health and Performance Studies

Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 01:32:35
From: BJ99@gnn.com (B.J. Adrezin)
Subject: Contrabass

Hi Grant.

I'd like to get input from the list on anything related to bass harmonicas. Has anyone heard one solo? Timbre, etc.

While on the subject of free reeds, I heard that there is a bass accordian. Does anyone have any leads on that?

Thanks. B.J. Adrezin

You've got me! Anyone else?

Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 22:57:41 PST
From: davegoss@juno.com (David Goss)

I found your Web site while looking for photographs of bass clarinets. I've been playing clarinet for nine years and bass clarinet for five. I always knew about the low clarinets and have seen pictures. I have only heard an Eb Bass clarinet once and have never played one. :( Thanks for the info. I'd also like to be on your email list.


Dave Goss

End Contrabass-L No. 64

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