Vol. 1, No. 90

An email list for discussion of bass and contrabass instruments of all kinds. Contact gdgreen@crl.com for subscription. See the Archive for back issues.

12 March 1997

EDITOR'S NOTE: First off, my apologies for letting all these posts sit around. I hope nothing went stale ;-) Now that I'm working full-time in a law firm, finding these spare minutes to assemble digests is getting problematic.

Next, let's welcome a number of new subscribers, who are probably wondering if they really got subscribed or not :-) ... Welcome aboard to Jeff, Scott Palmer, and Meg Maenpaa.

Yes, Scott (and several consultants) are still trying to whip the server into submission. Soon!

Date: Wed, 05 Mar 1997 21:13:26 +0000
From: Paul Lindemeyer
Subject: Stowasser Contra-Sax

Grant -- (my congrats on your acceptance into the wind symphony!)

I want to follow up on a post I submitted a few months ago about New York saxophonist Scott Robinson and his Stowasser contrabass sax.

I have since seen a picture of Scott and his horn alongside Paul Cohen's Evette-Schaeffer (what an unlikely jam session THAT must have been!).

Scott's horn is definitely of different manufacture than Paul's: dark lacquered (or perhaps plain dull brass!) with an even BIGGER bell, if you can imagine (Scott says 18"). The horn doesn't look that big next to Scott, but he is about 6'3"!

So those of you keeping track of contra-sax makers, add Stowasser of Verona to the list. The others: Orsi of Milan, Evette-Schaeffer of France, and (I think!) Kohlert of Germany.

Stowasser was also responsible for the police trombone (? = some kinda trombone) mentioned in Contra-L #89.


Paul Lindemeyer

At your local bookseller from William Morrow & Co.

Author: Angela J Combs
Date: 3/6/97 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 86

Hi! This is to Marion Grover:

Who is your flute maker?

Angela Combs

Date: 3/7/97 6:43 AM
Subject: Contra-fest, Jan 5-8, 1998, Las Vegas

Looks like the contra-fest will definitely be in Las Vegas. We were experimenting with the idea of Elko, NV, but the little community (although perfect for our festival) was a little afraid of coming up with the front money for advertising and also they said, what if it snows? So it looks like you will have to settle for the beautiful sunny Las vegas area. Still working on the programming and final logistics. Will have your registration packets available with me in Evanston.

See you there in June!

Mark Trinko
Las Vegas
Contra-bassoon affectionado

And now, on the "recent Tubas for sale" topic...

On Wed, 05 Mar 1997 11:04:44 -0800, in rec.music.makers.marketplace Dan Henry wrote:

>I have a Kroner Bb tuba for sale. It's probably mid-60's vintage. It's
>got the usual dings, etc, but it plays very well (I only want to sell it
>so I can buy a C tuba I just found out about)
>I played it for years in a professional brass quintet; four rotary
>valves with the linkage coversion to ball and nylon socket.
>Asking $1500. (new tubas start at $4000.)
>Dan Henry

Date: 3/9/97 7:15 AM

Author: Grant Green
Date: 3/9/97 7:17 AM

At 11:55 PM 3/8/97 -0800, you wrote:

Welcome aboard! I've added your name to the subscription list: the next digest should be out in a few days. In the meantime, please feel free to post an introduction (e.g., instruments, interests, background, etc.) - not required, but appreciated.


Author: Grant Green
Date: 3/8/97 2:46 PM
Subject: Re:

At 04:46 PM 3/8/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Subscribe Contrabass-L
>My name: Scott Palmer
Welcome aboard! I've added your name to the subscription list: next digest should come out sometime next week. In the meantime, please feel free to post an introduction (e.g., instruments, interests, background, etc.). Not required but appreciated.


Date: 3/8/97 6:35 PM
Subject: Intro

My name is Scott Palmer. I have just newly subscibed to the contrabass-l. I am a 7th grader and I go to Vista Middle School in Las Cruces, NM. I am in band and I play oboe, flute, bass clarinet, and I recently started contrabass clarinet. My interests include researching about low clarinets and saxophones (low woodwinds), using the computer, and doing nothing.

Date: Sun, 9 Mar 1997 21:04:24, -0500
Subject: Fwd: Contra Wanted!!!

Thought maybe you might help Colleen.

------- FORWARD, Original message follows -------
> Date: Friday, 07-Mar-97 08:10 PM
> From: Cnmalaca \ Internet:
> To: Mark Trinko\ PRODIGY:
> Subject: Contra Wanted!!!
> Mark, thanks for sending me the infomation on the contra festival in Vegas. I'm
> hoping to get to the convention in Evaston this summer. At the present time
> I'm really needing a contra. Since I'm graduating in May I lose authorization
> of practicing on our Heckel here so I need to start looking now. Have you
> heard of anyone who is selling either a good Fox or Heckel contra. I need it
> for MAdison Symphony too so it has to be a good one. Can you let me know if you
> have anyone in mind. I'd appreciate their emial address. I haven't had any
> luck with finding many that are decent. Most of them are very old, worn down
> and people don't even know if they could be restored. Thanks and looking
> forward to hear from you.
> Colleen
> P.S. I'm giving my contrabassoon recital next week!

Date: 10 Mar 97 10:35:16 -0800
Subject: Fwd: Returned mail: User unknown

Any clue what the problem is? The fact that this got as far as windworld leads me to believe the problem's closer to you than to me.


[email routing info edited out - GDG]

Hi, all; it's good to be aboard! I played contraalto and contrabass clarinets in high school and college (undergrad and grad) in various wind bands, and I still consider myself primarily a contra clarinetist even though I haven't played in 10 years. The last six years I've been playing bass sax (a 1915 Conn) in the Leland Stanford Junior <pause> University Marching Band, a.k.a. the world's largest rock-and-roll band.

Scanning some recent digests, there were some things I wanted to comment on. Someone mentioned that they thought it rare that a contra clarinet would come apart between the hands. All the contra clarinets I've played (at least four across three schools) have come apart that way. (All were straight-bodied, not 'paper clip's.)

Regarding reeds: at least while I was playing, there were specific contraalto and contrabass clarinet reeds available.

Finally, regarding the contrabass sax that the Nuclear Whales have: Don said that it doesn't use standard sax fingerings. I think he said it uses a 'Schmidt' system. Does anyone recognize that, and maybe have a fingerings chart for it? He also said he uses modified contrabass clarinet reeds on it.


Author: Grant Green
Date: 3/10/97 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Returned mail: User unknown

At 10:35 AM 3/10/97 -0800, you wrote:

> Any clue what the problem is? The fact that this got as far as windworld
>leads me to believe the problem's closer to you than to me.
> Thanks,
> Jeff
Yep. The "contrabass-l" address isn't active yet. Scott has now hired a few consultants to help him get the list software running, but they've apparently had to change a number of things around, and upgrade some of the software they were running. With any luck, the "automatic" list will be active sometime in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, just continue to send posts to me, for manual digest prep.


From: "Stephen Del Rea"
Organization: UA Cooperative Extension Service
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 15:08:22 CST

I've been playing Bb Bass Clarinet off and on for the past 25 years, and a couple of years in high school on Eb Contra Bass Clarinet. I'm currently playing in the North Little Rock (AR) Community Band and in the church orchestra. My one-of-these-days project is purchasing a Bass Clarinet to Low C, possibly a Buffet Prestige R-13 or Selmer Model 37. (Anyone out there have a few $thousand they don't need? I'm accepting contributions!) I may go up to Indiana this summer and check them out.

I visited the Band Museum in Pine Bluff, AR (423 Main; 71601; (501) 534-HORN) last weekend. They had the first american Conn Sarrusophone, circa 1921, of which Conn contracted with the army to build 400 of them for marching purposes (if I remember correctly). It looks like it uses either a bassoon reed or, with an adapted mouthpiece, a sax reed. They also had a Conn BBb Bass Saxophone, circa 1923, actually, two of them, and a Ramponi Contra Bass Clarinet, circa 1850, with a HUGE mouthpiece (must be painful to play!). I took pictures of all three of them, and, if they turn out, will try to scan them in and send them to you if you want to see them.

Stephen Rea

--- DBPACK xBase Packer and Maintenance Utility for Windows Shareware:
--- ftp://lenti.med.umn.edu/pub/halfdan/foxpro/incoming/dbpack4.zip
--- Gold'N Years Retirement Funds Projections and Payments Shareware:
--- ftp://www.simtel.com/pub/simtelnet/msdos/finance/goldnyr4.zip

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 07:01:31, -0500
Subject: Doublereed List fforwrding

Don't know if you read the Doulereed-L but this day the digest had particular amount of stuff that might be interesting to most of our subscribers.


Thanks, Mark.

I didn't include the forward because (a) a large percentage of the subscribers here do read the doublereed list (especially the ones interested in contrabassoon), and (b) the digest is large enough this week already, due to my getting it out late. If anyone would like the forwarded material, I'd be happy to send it along individually.


Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 11:30:15 -0600
From: Meg and John Maenpaa
Subject: subscribe contrabass-1

an intro, I am a clarinet(of all sizes) player. I had been playing b-flat and bass and when I found a little extra money a few years ago I acquired a contrabass clarinet, the alpine horn style. Had to custom cut a stool to the right size to play it.

I am actually an electrical engineer by formal training. This music businessis just a hobby, or obcession, depending on one's perspective. My 7 year old son, Nicholas, is joining the ranks of low note players. He switched from cello to string bass in September.

Meg Maenpaa

From: school
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 23:07:01 -0800
Subject: Tech Problem.


I have been accepted to the PA State Band - 6 altos, 6 basses, and 6 contra-bass/alto clarinets should for a second year make for a kickin' bass section! I have a technical question. Many times when I go for notes that use the register key (B on up), the "non-register version" will come out (i.e. low G instead of high D, low A instead of high E) before it flips up to the high note. Do this sound like a problem with my oumature (gross misspelling) or a key problem? My higher keys seem to be functioning fine. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

-C. Chappell

P.S. Grant - Is that Holst piece the one with Fantasia on the Dargason and Song of the Blacksmith?

The first thing I'd check would be to make sure that the octave vent isn't plugged up. Sure, it's a long way from the mouthpiece, but you never know what might crawl in there ;-)

Anyone else have ideas?


BTW, I think the second suite in F by Holst is the one you're thinking of. The band did the first suite (in Eb) at the concert. If you find the CD with Frederik Fennel conducting, it has the Eb and the F suites, back to back.

End Contrabass-L No. 90

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