Vol. 1, No. 91


An email list for discussion of bass and contrabass instruments of all kinds. To subscribe, send a message with "subscribe" in the subject line to contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com . To post, send your message to contrabass-list@contrabass.com .
See the Archive for back issues.

18 March 1997

BIG NOTES! First off, let's welcome new subscribers Shouryu Nohe, Michael Smith, and Riccardo Heald . Welcome aboard!

And now, the moment I've been waiting for,

We're online!

This issue is still the old-fashioned manual type, while Scott and I try to test the list/digest setup, but I thought I'd at least send out the instructions for the list. If you want to subscribe now, please go ahead. If you want to wait until we've found any bugs we can find, I'll let everyone know manually when the list is officially on.

TO SUBSCRIBE: post a message to " contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com " and put the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

TO POST A MESSAGE: simply send email to "contrabass-list@contrabass.com". Right now, the software is set up to send out a digest every three days or 20K (I think), whichever comes first. I'm not sure if the "non-digest" format is up yet.

Author: Michael Smith
Date: 3/13/97 8:11 AM


Author: Marion Garver
Date: 3/12/97 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L No. 90

Hi! My alto and bass flute maker is Eva Kingma. She doesn't plan on making any lower flutes for quite a while.

I have asked Howell Roberts to make my octobass, but I haven't heard from him in a long time. I hope to talk to him soon.

I am finally getting my bass flute piece by Mike Mower. I hope to premiere the piece sometime this year, possibly in Europe!!!!! I hope that answers your question.

Marion Garver

Author: Paul Lindemeyer
Date: 3/13/97 8:14 AM
Subject: Schmidt System? Wha'?

> Date: 10 Mar 97 10:35:16 -0800
> From: "JMULLER

> Subject: Fwd: Returned mail: User unknown
> 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.

I have been playing saxophone since 1979 and have even written a book about the instrument <plug>. In all that time I have never seen or heard a mention of a "Schmidt system" saxophone. It is probably true that contra-sax players need a lot of alternate ventings. We bass saxists sure do. But as far as I know all contras finger the standard Sax (via Boehm) system. There are other sax fingering systems, mostly built as experiments, and none has caught on.

-- Paul Lindemeyer
At your local bookseller from William Morrow & Co.

From: rheald
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 97 15:35:37 EST


From: rheald
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 97 17:08:48 EST
Subject: New Member Introduction (Contrabass)


My name is Riccardo Heald. I'm actually a stringed instrument player, (violin and domra (sort of like a Russian mandolin)). My two musical interests are Eastern European folk music (mostly Romanian) and Renaissance dance music. Many years ago at a Philadelphia Renaissance Wind Band concert I saw one of the players pull out a cylinder the size of a beer bottle. I freaked out by how low a sound it made for such a small instrument. I've never forgotten my first and only experience with a rackett and I've always wanted one. I'm slowly saving up for a kit and am currently trying to decide what size kit to purchase, bass or contrabass.

I'm not sure how "musical" the contrabass rackett sounds. (Any comments?) Even though I've always played treble instruments I'm beginning to feel the desire "to make the earth rumble" when I play. (But I don't have the space to keep a large bass stringed instrument.)

Oh yes, I am an engineer by day.


Ah, the Renaissance rackett! The most portable bass woodwind ever devised. I have two racketts: an alto/tenor (range to C below the bass staff), and a contrabass (an octave lower). Unfortunately haven't had many opportunities to play them in ensembles, but it seems that the alto/tenor (or bass) should be good for small ensembles (like groups of recorders), and the contra would be good for larger ensembles, especially if there are a few "higher bass" instruments above it to fill out the sound.

Some would probably say that they died out centuries ago due to their "unrefined" timbre, but they probably aren't any worse than many modern timbres.


Author: Shouryu Nohe
Date: 3/16/97 11:23 PM


Author: Shouryu Nohe
Date: 3/16/97 11:23 PM
Subject: Your Contrabass Page

Dear person (I wish I could be more specific, but I can't)

I would just like to say that it's wonderful to find a page actually devoted to some sort of Bass clarinet. I am currently working on my own Bb Bass page, as I am a clarinet major at NMSU, but I truly prefer the bass to any other clarinet.

I am also playing BBb contra for our Woodwind Ensemble, something I've always wanted to do, but never had the chance until now. I am finding it to be quite a pleasure. Anyhow, I wanted to thank you for posting the page. I found it very informative, and hope to see more like it in the future.

I seem to have misplaced most of my replies :-( Yet another advantage to list management software.

End Contrabass-L No. 91

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