Vol. 1, No. 71


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|CONTRABASS-L                                       |

|        An email list for discussion of bass and   |

|        contrabass instruments of all kinds.       |

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7 January 1997

Author: Stan Elias <elias@capecod.net>
Date: 12/30/96 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 70

Grant --

OK, I'll bite . . . what's a "Rothophone?"

Stan Elias

Author: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com> at SMTP
Date: 12/30/96 11:53 PM
TO: Stan Elias <elias@capecod.net> at SMTP
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 70

At 01:51 AM 12/31/96 -0500, you wrote:

>Grant --
>OK, I'll bite . . . what's a "Rothophone?"
>Stan Elias

A rothophone is a lot like a sarrusophone, only shaped almost exactly like a saxophone. There are those who say that the sarrusophones are "upright" (folded with the bell pointing upward, except for the soprano) only to avoid being an obvious knock-off of the sax. Well, the rothophone doesn't bother: it is folded just the same way a sax is, for each size (soprano, alto, tenor, etc.). It, like the sarrusophone, has a double reed, and a conical bore narrower than the saxophone (has to start out narrower due to the double reed limitation).

I've never heard one played: Paul Cohen said it sounds "truly bizzare" (or words to that effect).


Author: Peter Koval <pkoval@sundance.usd.edu>
Date: 12/30/96 11:48 PM
Subject: Contra-alto Clarinet

Re the reference in Contrabass-L 70 to Contralto clarinet, the Eb Contrabass Clarinet is actually referred to as the Contra-alto Clarinet. The reasoning for this is that as the Contrabass (in Bb) is "against" the Bass (also in Bb), so the Eb Contrabass (pitched higher than the Bb Contrabass) is "against" the Alto Clarinet (in Eb and higher than the Bass). "Contralto" clarinet is usually another name for the Alto.

Regards, Peter Koval (and a Happy New Year!).

And for anyone who didn't find a contrabassoon under their Xmas tree, here's a recent posting from the IDRS list...

>Author: stewart <stewart@jupiter.rowan.edu> at SMTP
>Date: 1/5/97 9:34 PM
>Subject: Re: Contra for sale
>I am selling a CONTRA-BASSOON SONORA, #1149 which is in good condition
>and has a nice sound, is an opera model, and comes with shipping case
>I am selling it for $6,000.
>you can email me: stewart@jupiter.rowan.edu
>Dr. Larry J. Stewart
>Music Professor & Professional Free Lancer Philadelphia
>Rowan College
>Glassboro, NJ

Author: school@epix.net
Date: 1/2/97 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 70

Has there ever been any discussion of Alpine Horns? I guess register-wise they're a bit above the usual digest fare, but just in terms of size, they must rival that sub-contra sax. And how are they played? Is it sort of like a brass mouthpiece?

-C. Chappell

Author: Grant Green <gdgreen@crl.com> at SMTP
Date: 1/2/97 9:15 AM
TO: school@epix.net at SMTP
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 70

At 10:15 PM 1/1/97 -0800, you wrote:

>Has there ever been any discussion of Alpine Horns? I guess register-wise
>they're a bit above the usual digest fare, but just in terms of size,
>they must rival that sub-contra sax. And how are they played? Is it sort
>of like a brass mouthpiece?
>-C. Chappell

I don't think we've ever discussed Alpine horns on the list. They can be fairly difficult to carry on a plane ;-), although they really aren't very heavy.

They're played with a brass-type embochure, using the natural overtone series. Sort of a straight bass bugle, or an unwound French horn. Traditionally, the alpenhorn is played using all of the overtone series, including the overtones that are "out of tune."

If I ever get my CDs unpacked, I can recommend a CD of an alpenhorn ensemble, playing very atmospheric jazz on up to 12 horns at once.


Author: JimKatz@JohnAbbott.qc.ca (Jim Katz)
Date: 1/1/97 3:28 AM
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 70

>Can you believe it? One of the attendees has a specific medical problem
>unique to bassoon players that Dr. Dawson specializes in.

Hey Mark! Don't keep me in suspense! As a bassoon player and part time paranoiac-hypochondriac I need to know about what medical problem could be unique to bassoonists. My guess is a wrist torsion, a thumb problem, or something to do with the permanent dents you get inside your lip!

                                  ^   ^
@ @
== v ==


Jim Katz
292 Senneville Road, RR1
Senneville, Quebec
Canada, H9X 3L2

For contra players, I think its "dislocated shoulder"


Author: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
Date: 1/7/97 8:47 AM
Subject: Subcontrabass clarinets


a happy New Year to you and a welcome to your new location.

You may be interested in something I had from Terje Lerstad.

  1. He asked how to subscribe to contrabass-l even tough he is not yet on Internet.
  2. He seems quite interested in our project to have the octocontralto and octocontrabass clarinets recorded.
  3. He also wrote:
    "In fact I just played a sort of octocontrabass clarinet on a tour with the Joerg Mager Ensemble: I put two contrabass clarinets together by placing the second one where the bell of the first one should nornally be, and by some sort of preparation I was able to play a limited number of notes, the lowest beeing a G more than an octave lower than the piano! (This tone is about 12Hz.)"
  4. He also generously sent me a recording (done live and it has some distortion on it) of himself playing his Hommage a Stravinsky for Ab clarinet at a masterclass back in 1983. It is quite a good piece and of course I was especially interested to hear the Ab clarinet.

I hope that your house moves have gone OK and that the sarrusophones and ad ancia are well.

I had a good Christmas and acquired the CD of Machina Mundi by Nunes that Jim Gardner (SKIOSK) was writing about some weeks ago. It is quite a good piece and has a good solo/duet for octobass flute and contrabass clarinet.

Have you found anyone to contact the Philadelphia orchestra re Lucien Cailliet's octocontralto clarinet (which he called "Double Contrabass")? I'm not sure whether you got my last posting on this instrument so here it is again (this is Tom Izzo's response to my question as to whether this octocontralto looked like the one pictured in the Leblanc Bell):

No, I don't think so. Calliet's was a "straight" model. As straight as you can imagine anyway/looked like the Straight model of the BBb Contrabass, only about 12 feet taller. Mouthpiece was the same though, as where else would you get reeds?

I've now got a CD of music from Mission Impossible conducted by Schifrin but can't hear thje "double contrabass". But as Tom Izzo writes:

Keep in mind that even if you don't hear the OctoContra, there is a method to the madness.

Shifrin wanted the sound of the "Standard" Contrabass to NOT sound like the fundamental, of every chord, so the lower octave was added to make the Bass & Contrabass Clarinets sound "richer". Some of the time the Bass Clarinet is sounding the 5th rather the root because of the lower pair of octaves.

Well, that's all for now. I look forward to hearing on progress on the automation of the list and, of course, all contrabass topics.



Welcome back! Good to hear from you again.

Terje Lerstad is certainly welcome to join!

The impromptu octocontra sounds like an intriguing idea. I suppose if you replace the bell from one instrument, and the neck and mpc from another, with a straight adapter, one could join two curved contras. I guess you'd close all the keys on the "upper" contra (the one with the mpc), and finger the lower horn. I suspect that most of the notes would not be in tune, and the octave keys would probably not function correctly at all, but there would probably be at least a few useable notes.

The change of location went fine, although we're still hip-deep in boxes and I haven't even started unboxing CDs yet. All of the instruments seem to have weathered the journey OK, although the 'anche case didn't arrive (from Altieri) until after the move. I still haven't changed jobs, although I have tendered my resignation and accepted the new job: still in transition.

I'm ordering "Machina Mundi" today off CDNow! Thanks for reminding me.

Scott is still puzzling out the intricacies of procmail and Smartlist. I don't blame him: I've seen the manual! It probably makes sense if you've been a unix sysop for the last 25 years, but to the rest of us....


BTW, a few new CDs to mention.


End Contrabass No. 71

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