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With this philosophy, we provide

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We have a large selection of
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International Society of Bassists publishes three times
per year: Fall, Winter, Spring. Please address all corres-
pondence, membership information, and materials for
publication to: International Society of Bassists, School
of Music, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201. Feature
The ISB is dedicated to stimulating public interest, im-
proving performance standards, and to providing an The Vienna Double Bass and Its Technique
organization for musicians specializing in the teaching,
learning, performing, repairing, making, researching, During the Era of the Vienna Classic by AdolfMeier . . . . . . . . . 10
and enjoyment of the Double Bass. The ISB limits its
advertising to the products and services that serve to
promote these purposes. ISSN 0892-0537 Departments
Membership Rates: Individual/Library Membership: Focus
$25.00 .- one year, $45.00 - two years, $65.00 - three years.
Student Membership: $12.00 - one year only. Gold Card
Contributor: $100.00. Life Membership: $500.00.
International Rates: (outside U.S., Canada, and Mexico):
General Manager's . . . . . vurl~_AlLIUU.Jl& 2
Please add $5.00 per year for both Individual/Library and
Student Memberships. Also payable in Pounds Sterling. Bass u" ..- " .. the World 5
IndividuallLibrary: 19 - one year, 34 - two years, 49
three years. Student: 11 - one year only. Postage is in-
cluded. Mail to: Yorke Edition, 31 Thornhill Square, Different Strokes
London NI IBQ England. Also payable in Dutch
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Student: 40 Guilders one year only. Posta~ is included. Research Forum
Mail to: International Society of Bassists, AMRO
BANK, Postbus 6699, 1005 ER Amsterdam, Holland - The Double Bass Breaks Ground
Account #41-93-75-457. Also payable in Bolivares.
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vares - two years, 1,000 Bolivares three years. Student:
250 Bolivares one year only. Postage is included. Mail
to: Mr. Freddy Romero, International Society of Bas-
.n.lll1I1ltir&~hnll!;:Iit:'.n. "'-"tIo'll>llllllllllll'qj",AlI_

sists, Latin American Chapter, Apartado 70766, Los Chamber Music Survey Results by Michael Cameron 26
Cruices, Caracas 1071, Venezuela, South America. Also
payable in Deutsche Marks. Individual/Library:
DM-47 - one year, DM-84 - two years, DM- 120 - three
years. Students: DM-32 one year only. Postage is in-
cluded. Mail to: Stadtsparkasse Aachen, West Ger- 1831 Vincenzo .ll...I'lI,.;i.'V,,",lL.4-JI.A..Il...ll.A Double by Duane Rosengard . .
many, Bankleitzahk 390-500-00 Account # 1000 892,
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Administration: Executive Director -- Jeff Bradetich~ Edi- Bob Haggart: .LVAIIt,A,tJ.ll.V;l~A.AI by John Bany . . . . . . . $

tor Jeff Bradetich~ General Manager -- Mary Oswald~

Executive Secretary -- Laura Gilbert. Departmental Edi-
tors: Centeifold -- Duane Rosengard~ Contrabasso da Play
Camera Michael Cameron~ Child:fJ Play - George
Vance~ Different Strokes -- Harold Robinson~ Historical
Hope for by James Bates . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Research Alfred Planyavsky~ Jazz -- John Bany~
Luthier's Comer -- Samuel Kolstein~ New Music - David Luthier's
Neubert. Founders: Barry Green and Lucas Drew.
Me and by Beverly Manasse Lee
Board of Directors

Symphony Edwin Barker

Music: Latest Score
Roger Scott Three Modern Lyrical Works by David Neubert 50
Research Murray Grodner
Jazz John Clayton
Milton Hinton 51
International Wayne Darling
Knut Guettler
Student Joanne Di Maria Bates
Education by Edwin Barker . . . .
At Large Barry Green Bottesini Showcase by David Walter . . 53
International Committee Bill Elgart Trio Record by Frank Puzzullo 53
Bulgaria Todor Toshev Bernard Salles Method Book by Paul Robinson 54
Columbia Hernando Segura
Czechoslovakia Frantisek Posta Klaus Trumpf Pieces for
England Rodney Slatford
Holland Quirijn van Regteren Altena
Double Bass and Piano by Alfred Planyavsky 54
Iran Nader Mortezapour Sperger Sonata for Double Bass and Piano
Italy Lucio Buccarella
Latin America Freddy Romero by Alfred Planyavsky . 55
Sweden Bjorn Holmvik
Venezuela Omar Sansone Announcements 56
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West Germany Klaus Stoll
Advertisers' Index 60
Deadline Dates: Fall Magazine - August 1 / Winter
Magazine - December 1 / Spring Magazine - March I Membership Form 60
Advertising Policy: All ads should be sent camera ready.
Size of ad and issues in which it should appear should The front cover painting was done by Bob Haggart, commissioned by Andy
be specified. First time advertisers must pay for ads in
fun in advance. All advertisers receive a complimentary Sordoni, who asked him to paint his own version of Big Noisefrom Winnetka.
issue in which their ad appears.
@ 1987 International Society

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987


I N THIS ISSUE we fea-

ture the research of the noted
General Manager's Column
bass scholar Adolf Meier from
As I complete my first year as General Manager, I have seen
Worms, West Germany. One of
the ISB grow with continuous improvements in the quality and
the leading authorities in the
scope of the magazine, the organization of bass clubs throughout
world on the Vienna double
the world, the addition of the Job Information Hotline on the
bass during the time of the Vien-
~orth American Continent and the computerization of our opera-
na Classic, Herr Meier has pro-
tIons. Also, the ISB has opened a MasterCardNisa account to
vided us with a compelling doc-
make the renewal process even simpler. This is but a small begin-
umentation of the most prolific
ning for the numerous projects and goals of the ISB.
period of musical composition
As a membership organization, the ISB's purpose is to serve
in double bass history. Herr
you, the member. The ISB has seen a slow, steady increase in
Meier first presented this article as one of the featured lectures at
membership this year, due in large part to the help of current mem-
the 1984 Innsbruck Double Bass Conference Kontrabass und Bass-
bers. The prospect cards and gift memberships continue to be very
successful and these programs will be continued next year. As you
The bass world lost a great pedagogue this Spring with the pass-
can see from the enclosed information, the ISB Portrait Calendar
ing of Oscar Zimmerman (b. Sept 21, 1910 - d. April 2, 1987). His
and the ISB Raffle have become annual programs.
works as a teacher, performer and publisher was well known to us
Short term goals for the ISB are to increase its scope to include
all. He performed with the Philadelphia, St Louis, NBC and Ro-
the folk, bluegrass and country genres and investigation has begun
chester Orchestras; taught at the Eastman School of Music for 33
into offering our membership group health insurance on an inter-
years and at the Interlochen National Music Camp for 44 years;
n~ti~nallevel. Expansion of the Gold Card Membership category
and created Zimmerman Publications which published 37 solos
Wllltnciude many extra benefits such as first class mailing of each
and 10 volumes of the complete orchestra parts. His wife, Jane, will
issue of the magazine, discounts on Calendars, video tapes and
continue to run the business. Zimmerman's Memoirs is scheduled
other items available through the ISB, color photographs of the
to be published this fall.
double basses featured in each centerfold and a 20% discount on
As I mentioned in my column in the Winter issue, the large
admission to ISB sponsored Bass Conventions and workshops.
number of international bass activities that are taking place through-
As a member, the ISB is your organization and should selVe
out the world attest to the fact that there exists an ever-growing de-
your needs as a bass 'player. I urge each and every member to con-
mand for the sharing of pedagogy and performance on the double
tact me by telephone or mail with suggestions, ideas, complaints or
bass. This need is not only being met with an increasing expertise
wishes. Many of the project ideas listed above have come from the
but with an enthusiasm that is literally contagious. Rarely does a
membership. If at anytime there is something that you wish the
wee~ go by without a one-day or week-long master class being or-
ISH could or should do that would make your work easier, please
ganIzed, or a new bass club being formed, a catalogue being re-
let me know.
searched, a piece of bass music being published, or a student writ-
Other projects being considered at this time include publishing
ing a paper dealing with their profession. This type of enthusiasm
a membership directory, a listing of basses for sale and benefit
is self-perpetuating as one activity encourages another and ultimate-
concerts. If you feel that a membership directory or a listing of
ly fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of our Art
basses for sale would be helpful to you, please contact the office.
Combining this grassroots activity with the advent of many new
The ISB is always looking for people to help organize a bass club
method books and the keen and prolific interest of contem-
write an article, plan a benefit concert or assist on one of an;
porary composers for the bass, one realizes that a bassist has un-
number ofISB projects. If you would like to work to make the ISB
limited opportunities for personal challenge and artistic fulfill-
ment It is indeed an exciting time to be a bass player! 1 more successful please contact me and I am sure we can find a
project to utilize your talents.
Jeff Bradetich ~
Mary Oswald ~

International Bass Convention
Box 37,
Plan now to attend the largest., most comprehen- Honeymoon Bay, B.C.
sive double bass convention in ISB history Aug. VOR lYO
14-20,1988, at the University of California, Los (604) 749-6353
Angeles (UCLA). The organizing director for
this event is Paul Zibits, bass professor at UCLA. MAKER OF FINE BOWS FOR
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2 International Society ofBassists



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Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 .3

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4 International Society ofBassists

aanifi ent Mons1tei s
ll Gary Karr's February 14 master class at CD, Boulder, was cer-
I tainly an exciting inaugural event Gary began with words of encour-
Their Glory" agement for basses to "stand up for their own rights." The bass has
been the last of the string family to be taken seriously as a solo instru-
Such was the headline in the local press reviewing a gathering ment, and it still has a long way to go. Part of our problem is that ma-
of double bass players in Somerset, England, on Sunday 1st Febru- jor Classical and Romantic composers did not write concertos for
ary. Twenty-four players had been convened by Hugh Bushell, the bass. Only now, in the second half of the 20th century, are com-
double bass with the Taunton Sinfonietta: some professional and posers realizing the wealth of musical potential inherent in the
ex-professional players, some amateur, and some children learn- bass and are writing important works for the bass. This is not to
ing on half.. and quarter-size instruments. A solo quartet per.. say that the concertos of Dittersdorf, Dragonetti, and Koussevitzky,
formed first: April Prentice and her father Ronald Prentice, Harry et aI, are not great works, but when compared to Beethoven,
Archer and Terry Ravenor gave a spirited account of Darrel Runs.. Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Prokofiev they fall a bit short. Times
wick's delightfully skittish Strauss ifb the Doghouse which went down are changing and the bass is emerging as a major voice in classi..
extremely well with the audience. Later in the programme the en- cal music and jazz. We need to take ourselves seriously and aspire
tire ensemble of double basses came together to perform the Flan- to the levels set by violinists and cellists.
ders & Swann number The Hippopotamus Song, more familiarly. The Master Class consisted of the following performers:
known as Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud. This was in an elementary ar- Chris Wood, Boulder High School
rangement in the key of G major which even the most limited Bach: Cello Suite #3, Bourrees I and II
players could encompass, and musical frills were added by an Karen Quinn, University of Northem Colorado
obbligato for two violas. It was a fine sound and a worthwhile Vivaldi: Sonata #5 in E minor, 1st and 2nd Movements
afternoon, and a good time was had (as they say) by all. The only Michael McHugh, University of Colorado
doubt which still lingers in some minds is whether the news head- Koussevitzky: Chanson Triste
line "Magnificent Monsters in their was intended to refer to Michael Fitzmaurice, University of Colorado
the instruments or to the double bass players themselves. Faure: Sicilienne
Hugh Bushell "fhe following are the main concepts which Gary Karr addressed:

1. Approaching the bass with the idea of releasing tension

when playing rather than getting uptight
United States 2. Stand up rather than slouch over the instrument.
3. Use of a tight bow for better articulation as well as a brilli-
Bass Clubs ant sound.
4. When playing works like Bach, experiment with your own
The Front Range ISB (pRISE) - a Denver-area Bass Club . . . . . bowings. Preferably begin work on the piece using all sepa..
got off to a strong beginning February 14, 1987, with Gary Karr's rate bows, then gradually decide what notes to slur together.
master class at the University of Colorado, Boulder. a 5. Start developing vibrato early rather than waiting several
snow storm, people drove from as far away as Colorado Springs to years. Vibrato enhances the sound and expressivity. Since
attend. The enthusiasm of the 60 or so in attendance confirmed music is about expressing oneself: vibrato should be an
what I had been hearing from bass of the need to bring lo- early part of one's vocabulary.
cal yers into contact with each as well as with 6. Practice passages on one finger to develop clearer concept
traveling through the Denver area. Our goal is to make Colorado of pitches.
a vibrant center for the bass. There are excellent players who can 7. Four steps to learning a piece:
share their knowledge and experience with the younger students. a. First learn the rhythms
coupled with exposure to and interaction with the major b. Learn the intervals by singing them
symphony, jazz, and rock bass players coming to Colorado will c. Decide on fmgerings
make for a strong, current, and realistic learning and performing d. Decide on bowings
One of the keys to making this club a continued success is get- Recent events of FRISB included:
ting members involved on the organizational and participatory March 10, Tuesday Warsaw Philharmonic in Colorado Springs
levels. The members have to feel that the club is benefitting them Master Class with Principal Bass
directly and that their help is needed and wanted.
artist traveling through Denver may write or call me in March 15, Sunday Master Class with David H. Young, Principal
advance so that a master class, performance, etc., can be arranged Bass of L.A Chamber Orchestra
For more information, write Paul Erhard, FRISB, c/o College of March 20, Friday Erhard Arrucci Jazz Duo Concert at
Music, Colorado University - Boulder, Campus Box 301, Boulder, Nyingma Institute in Boulder
CO 80309-0301. April 13, Monday Michael Fitzmaurice Recital at CD Boulder

continued on page 6

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 5

continuedfrom page 5 for Contrabass."
The FRISB will strive to achieve the following goals: In this undertaking, I was fortunate enough to have a ready-
made "group" at my disposal. This collective of open-minded
1. Present guest artists workshops: classical, jazz and luthier.
musicians from my class were ready and able to carry the weight of
2. Help organize and publicize reci~ls by FRISB members. the Event Our guests (Paul Breuer, Fernando Grillo, Barre Phil-
3. Publish a newsletter announcing bass events and provide a lips, and Bertram Turetzky) satisfied our demands, each with his
forum for voicing interests and concerns of FRISB members. own appropriate seminar topic and with concerts. The presence
and the artistic contributions ofeach personality had a penetrating
4. Promote the double bass in the public schools. effect which imprinted the entire festival and which was the idea of
5. Sponsor performance symposia for high school students. the Event from its conception. The diverse themes and their corre-
sponding personalities allowed for an unusually broad spectrum
Paul Erhard of instrumental possibilities specific to the contrabass. In this man-
ner, the danger of rivalry was fully shut out (And unfortunately,
such rivalry often disturbs events of this sort.) To the contrary, an
appealing and harmonious cooperation developed, radiating and
benefitting visiting participants and composers as well.
21st Annual Midwest Doubl
Consider the basis of the Event as established in our motto:
58 posi
Bassists seek their domain,
The 21st Annual Midwest Double Bass Symposium will be held Bassists are engaged,
April 23, 1988, at Indiana University School of Music in Blooming- Bassists breathe life into requested compositions.
ton, Indiana. Hosts for next year's event are Professors Bruce
We in Freiburg, as initiators, made contact with several composers
Bransby and Lawrence Hurst. Detailed information about this
and cultivated the relationships. As a result, we were able to pre-
longest standing annual bass event in the world will be announced
sent the entire opening contact evening, a concert of pieces com-
in the Fall magazine.
posed specifically for us. In Paul Breuer's Aspekte (1985), we expe-
rience the composer as contrabassist, friend, teacher, and colleague.
'8a 4t:onv Ii n It is just the sort of meeting musicians wish. In like manner, Wer-
ner Jacob's Sirengesiinge (1986) spoke to us early in the rehearsals.
The LA '88 International Double Bass Convention will be held
This work, like Breuer's Aspekte, confronts the inherent instrument-
August 14 - 20, 1988. In addition to workshops, master classes, lec-
al problems of the contrabass tone quality. It is noteworthy that
tures and solo recitals by renowned jazz and classical artists, a solo
both composers, independent from one another, felt it necessary to
competition is planned for both jazz and classical participants. For
unite the contrabass with the voice. This phenomenon will occupy
complete information on what promises to be one of the largest and
us in the years to come! From this opening concert, I would also
most comprehensive bass conventions in history, write to the
mention Leonard Payton's Third Quiet Music (1986) for eight con-
organizing director of the event: Paul Zibits, Professor of Double
trabasses, a work which was born of direct contact and collabora-
Bass, University of California Los Angeles, Department of Music,
tion with the composer. This music could be design.ated as a
405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024.
"sound and tone color vision," music which demands highly sen-
sitized contrabassists and audiences exercising intensive listening.
The experiences mentioned here produced important insights
Wi st Germany and results for us contrabassists - rewards for our efforts. ,In this
vein, I would like to draw some general conclusions which could
Kontrabass Workshop in Glengen not have been anticipated, but rather became more and more evi-
dent over the course of the Event. Most strikingly, the contrabass
From 23-30 July, 1987, the American-born Michael Wolt: cur- is essentially effective as a solo instrument when collaboration with
rently bass professor at the Folkwang ConselVatory in Essen, West vocal, rhythmic and visual effects compensate for its inherent
Gennany, will present a Kontrabass Workshop at the Giengen handicaps. This insight is deeply grounded in the disproportion
School of Mu~ic. The workshop will include recitals by Michael between the "heard" and the "seen." For the uninitiated, it is the
Wolf as well as the participants in addition to master classes. Fee shocking discrepancy between the ominous physical dimensions
for the course is DM 150, for active participants; DM 100, for audi- of the instrument (a sort of "physiognomy") and the unexpected
tors; and DM 10, for daily tickets for auditors. Michael Wolf has befriending ~nd gentle sound. The contrabassist needs expanded
received a Fulbright grant, Rotary International Scholarship and a contours in order to validate himself artistically! This acute con-
North-Rhein Westphalian graduate scholarship, and has made flict can be re-shaped into a lively stimulus. Searching contra-
one solo album on etc. Records. For complete information and bassists are subject to a constant metamorphosis which they can
application write: Workshop fur Kontrabass, SUidt Musikschule, use artistically and which they can integrate into their interpreta-
Kirchplatz 9, D-7928 Giengen/Br., West Germany. tion.
Our guests supported this point of view primarily through their
concerts. We need only think of Fernando Grillo, whose "tone
reib language" with corresponding movements synthesizes the poles of
canonized contrabass technique! Barre Phillips with his scurrilous
miming and his mobile asides brought about heightened contra-
The hSecond International Freiburg Contrabass 2vent 86" in bass scenes and, in his own way, presented the union of his and
the foyer of the State Conservatory, Freiburg, turned into "Scenes the audience's personalities. In a highly concentrated form, Ber-

6 International Society ofBassists

tram Turetzky unified manual, visual, and vocal techniques,
pointing to the path which the present day contrabassist must take
in order to come to terms with his relationship to the instrument
Professor Wolfgang Stel1
Freiburg im Breisgau
with the
Intemational Mastercourses of
BadenmaBade MANcEE
Klaus Stoll, of the Berlin Philharmonic, win be the bass
teacher at the Intemationale Baden-Badener Meisterkurse from
6 - 22 August, 1987. The course offers gifted young string musici- A Better Solution
ans the opportunity to study with artists of international repute
primarily in developing more constructive methods of practising
and to help students solve individual problems of technique and
interpretation. Bass repertoire for the course includes one work
from the traditional solo repertoire and the recitative from Bee- Once again, the original MANcEE
thoven's 9th Symphony. The course is open to active participants
by audition and auditors. Auditions for bass are 6 August, 5:00 available, offering and accurate
p.m. Application fee is DM-30, and tuition is DM-600 for active
participants and DM-200 for auditors. Some scholarships are low C& Not just another extension the
available. For complete information write: Konzertdirektion MANcEE uses a . ".. . . ..","', .... _.n.'iIl-&"'ll+-ii1ll"llltnr cam
Fritz Dietrich, D 6000 Frankfurt/Main 50, Eckenheimer Land-
strasse 483, West Germany. changes the of the E to low C&


ugal P.. 00 BOX 1117
XXIV Intemational Music rses
"Co do &storll" 06033
Ludwig Streicher win be the bass teacher in residence at the
Costa do Estoril International Music Course in Portugal from 3-
15 August, 1987. The fee for the course for active participants is
DM-500 and DM-l60 for Auditors. A DM-300 deposit is required
at the time of application for participants. Students will be able to
attend other courses as auditors at no extra charge. Each course
will have a minimum of eight lessons. During the course the XIII s v's
Music Festiva~ Costa do Estoril will take place. Teachers will per-
form at the Festival and aU Festival rehearsals win be open to the
students. For complete infonnation write: International Music "The
Course "Costa do Estoril,"
Av. de Saboia No. 1146, 2765 Monte
Casa-Museu Faria,
t ~~~

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Info: (415) 924-2731

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 7

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Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 9

by AdolfMeier (Worms, West Germany)
English translation by Klaus Schruff(Aachen, West Germany)

The formulated theme of this article implies the existence of a bout and the back trebleside, sometimes being equipped with a
specially designed Vienna-type double bass for at least the above- four-notched ironthorne to give additional solid support to the
mentioned era, which was being manufactured by resident violin- bass. The most important result of the examinations is the fact
makers, and which might have stimulated the Viennese double that all instruments except two were originally 5-string basses that
bassists to certain playing manners because of its construction can be recognized effortlessly by looking at the pegboxes. A small-
characteristics, including number of strings and tuning (as only er number of the instruments still exist with five strings (for in-
two of the characteristics!). We will also be engaged in the ques- stance, the two Posch instruments 1729 and 1733). The others have
tion how far did this playing manner lead to a soloistic or concer- later been changed to four strings. The instrument by Martin Stoss
mnte practice, and finally, how extensive was the Vienna group of from 183611 is very remarkable as it is the first to be conceived as a
bassists that can be associated with this practice. 4-string instnlment by the maker. From this time on, Viennese in-
strument makers started building 4-string basses in general, still
Thesis 1: The Vienna double bass manufacturing creates a special keeping to the mentioned characteristics and measurements. This
type ofinstrument differingjrom the simultaneous double bass development has been examined and proven by looking at basses
consnuction ofItaly and TYrol (Upper Bavaria) in substantial by Wilhelm Rupprecht 12, Franz Feilenreiter 13, Gabriel Lembock '4,
details. two by Joseph Hamberger 15 and David Bittner 16. We thus have to
About 20 years ago this author had the chance to examine a state that at least forthe time from 1729 until 1830 nlainly (and per-
great number of Viennese basses in Vienna and its environs, with haps only) 5-string basses were built in Vienna!
the aim of making a typological comparison of Tyrolian and Before entering into the tuning of the Viennese double bass let
Italian basses. The fonowing is a presentation of those basses in us have a look at the situation in Tyrol,.Upper Bavaria and Italy.
chronological order: first of all, four basses by Anton Posch dated Tyrol and Bavaria stuck to the Gamba shape. Jacobus Stainer and
1729, 1733, 1738 and an unknown date 1 ; a bass by Johann Chris- his school built 6-string basses with third-fourth tuning. Already in
toph Leidolf, built in the 1740s2 ~ a bass by Martin Fichtl ; one the early 18th century the 4-string basses were regularly made in
instrument by Johann Georg Thir4 built in the 1780s; two basses this area of violinmaking, which was widened out to Salzburg and
by Mathias Thir, built at the end of the 18th century and 18065 ; Linz. Also, Italy began with 6-string instruments of the viola da
two basses by Sebastian Dalinger of unknown dates6 ; two instru- gamba family in the 16th and early 17th century, but carried out a
ments by Joseph Stadlmann, built in the second half of the cen- reduction of strings in the 17th century until reaching the domi-
tury7 ; one instrument by Michael Ignaz Stadlmann from 17988 ; nance of 3-string basses in the 18th century. Simultaneously Italy
three basses by Martin Stoss from the first decade of the 19th cen- leaves off the gamba shape and concentrates on violin shape with
tury and from 1822 and 18369 (this latter instrument earns special falling shoulders. Also, the vaulted back was being constructed by
consideration, but more on this later). There was a bass Jakob the Italian luthiers during this time. Hence, the following clearly
Stohr 10 from 1822 and a bass from 1819 by Johann Hinle. describes the special situation of the Viennese double bass of five
The measurements of these instruments cannot be mentioned strings for at least the period 1729 to 1830. Two complementary
here, but the fonowing is a summary of the results. AU instruments specifications are necessary: 1) It could be proven that the de-
are distinguished by keeping to the shape of the 44Gamba." The scribed type was also used in the Esterhazy band 17 and in other
Viennese instrument makers, who were open-minded to Italian nobility bands such as PreBburg, GroBwardein and Ludwigslust '8 .
influences when making violins, violas and cellos, showed no In the west of Vienna the chapter house (monastery) Lilienfeld
sympathy at all to assimilating details of the violin shape when could be ascertained as the location of the Vienna type.
building double basses. The back is always flat and slants at the The Viennese 5-string bass has typically nothing in common
top. The measurements differ only slightly. For the instruments with the current 5-string basses of our symphony orchestras. The
named above (18th and early 19th century) the following average latter are derivatives of normal 4-string basses of the 19th century
measurements result: tuned in fourths by lowering the regular playing limit of contra-E
by a major third or a fourth, thereby achieving a 16-foot register in
Overall length without endpin: 196 em
the low region (one full octave lower than the violoncello).
Body length: 112 em
Upper bout breadth: 48 em
Lower bout breadth: 63.5 em Thesis 2: The tuning tones ofthe Viennese 5-string bass include
Ribs sides: 22-23 em the third10urth tuning which was regularly Fj-Aj-D-F#-A.
String length: 108 em (42V2")
Already in 1677 Johann Jakob Prinner states in his Musikal-
Stylistically remarkable is the regular occurrence of the typical ischen Schlissl (Musical Key), that the above-mentioned tuning must
Viennese pegbox profIle, and a wood knob flXed between the lower be preferred to the higher 6-string bass tuning with G1-C-F-A-d-g.

10 International Society ofBassists

Therefore, supplying the answer to Thesis 1 - that the beginning of keys Eb, Bb and Ab major and c minor. Thus the double bass be-
the Viennese 5-string bass can be found in the 17th century and that comes a transposing instrument because notation is made a half
furthermore, the 5-string bass asserts itself over the 6-string bass in tone lower. In 87 movements of Viennese concertante composi-
the second half of the century. In the first edition of his Violin tions for double bass and orchestra the keys are represented as fol-
School (1756) Leopold Mozart gives preference to the 4-string bass lows: D major 26 times, Eb major 29 times, d min9r 3 times, A ma-
above all other kinds of stringing, but on the contrary he mentions jor 8 times, Bb major 14 times, G major 2 times, Ab major 2 times, c
a special aptitude of the 5-string bass for solo or concertante play- minor 2 times, C major 1 time. A special interest must be lent to the
ing in the second and third editions of his book (1769 and 1787). keys D and Eb major which, being represented very often, show up
Those statements by Mozart don't surprise us when we realize that mainly in the fast movements because of their figurative potential.
they were made from the Salzburgian point of view (double bass The delivered "Incipit" of the lost double bass concerto by Joseph
making in Salzburg is now in close relationship with that of Tyrol) Haydn suggests D major as the primary key.
and that Leopold Mozart got to know the Viennese double bass Let us tum to a question of bowing technique: what about the
practice on the spot before composing the second and third edi- curvature of the bridge? It is obvious that the curvature of a 6-string
tions. bass bridge must be less than that of a 4-string bass and here even
The Viennese third-fourth tuning is mentioned by Diderot in less than with a 3-string instrument Also the Viennese 5-stringer
1765 19, by Laborde in 17802, in 1790 - very important for us - by must be assumed to have a small curvature only. Since the-instru-
AlbrechtsbergeJ?l, also by Seyfried (who edited the collected essays ments of this era were strung with gut strings of a minor tension, as
of Albrechtsberger) at about 1825 and 183722, by Joseph Frolich in is well known, there is the danger of bowing neighboring strings
1810 and 182923, by Gustav Schilling in 183524 and finally, by Ferdi- especially for the inner strings, and even more when they are played
nand Simon GaBner in 184925 The account of the Esterhazy band with a strong tone (Le., pressure). This problem can, of course, be
during Haydn's time gives another proof of the third-fourth tuning. encountered by a specially trained right hand. On the part of the
It must be noted that a tuning mainly fIXed to the D major composers of the concertante works it can be encountered, on the
chord was not new. Thomas Mace26 mentions a "highway sharp" one hand, by demanding the cantabile playing on the upper A-
scordatura for the viola da gamba. Similarly, we learn from Jacob string (thus the A-string would become the traditional Chanterelle
Kremberg, 168927, that playing in the key of d minor was favored by of the elder gamba practice), and on the other hand, by using the
the d minor scordatura of the gamba. Finally we find twelve dif- middle and low strings for a harmonically conceived figurative play.
ferent scordaturas for the viola da gamba in the Museum musicum A third way is using the two upper strings for double-stop playing.
from 1732 by J. Fr. B. C. Majer; the seventh is the broken D major But the problem can also be looked at from another side: playing
chord28 Nevertheless, the Viennese third-fourth tuning must not be fast scales in the first position means changing strings after each
seen as a scordatura. It was, rather, the normal tuning thus giving a second note because of the D major tuning of the open strings, a
starting point for a number of scordaturas that were used whenever fact that, in general, caused the Viennese composers of concertante
needed, e.g., when using different keys. music for double ba'ss to be concerned and careful with virtuosity
and brilliance in fast scales. Rather, solo playing was from the be-
Thesis 3: The Viennese tuning allows and promotes an efficient, ginning based upon cantabile and chord-oriented figurations by
harmonically orientedfigurative playing, especially in the keys using inner and lower open strings as often as possible as
and G majoF; and Q rY!inor. functional-harmonic support notes. These facts, concerning the
There are a number of fingerings delivered by the Viennese majority of double bass concertante compositions, caused the
bassist and composer Johannes Sperger(17So-1812i9 showing that players to tune the lowest string F 1 up half a tone to F#I.
he used the fingers 1 - 4 for a whole tone in the first, second and
third positions and 1 - 2 and 2 - 4 fot a half tone. In fourth posi-
tion his playing of the major third interval e b on the A-string
Thesis 4: The accepted possibilities ofplaying the Viennese-tuned
was produced with the fingers 1 - 2 - 4; in third position on the A-
double bass, and its limits, have been used and respected by all
string the notes d-eb-f with the fingers 1 2 - 4; in sixth position Viennese composers ofconcertante music for the double bass.
on the A-string the notes g-a-b b with the fingers 1 3 4. This It must be mentioned that proving this thesis is very difficult in
may not seem unusual to today's bassist. Comparing Sperger's the context of this article, without looking at the musical docu-
applicatura (of systematic fingering), which is certainly representa- ments, which are hard to understand. Publishing a manuscript
tive of the Viennese way of playing the bass in that period, with edition, for instance within the DTO (a series of editions containing
other ones by Corette, 178Wo, Samuel Petri, 178231 and Joseph Fro- Austrian music) seems important to me because the few new edi-
lich, 1810 and 182932, we recognize the extraordinarily progressive tions at this time represent incisive arrangements of the original
standard of the Viennese applicatura! solo part for the purpose of realization on modem 4-string basses
When using the aforementioned Viennese tuning, this fingering in fourth tuning, with the editors not being shy about changing
applicatura makes the playing of the B, F and C major scales figurations, transposing keys, simplifying chords, embezzling
possible in half position without shifting, and the G major scale flageolet passages or even leaving out whole episodes. Transfor-
needs a shift from first to half position when changing from the D mations of this kind can be found in both Dittersdorf concertos, in
to F# string. The A major scale can be played in the first position the Vanhal concerto and in the seventh concerto by 1. M. Sperger.
on the four high strings. These advantages don't seem to be worth The development of double bass technique can be traced to the
mentioning to a technically gifted bassist The advantage of the following compositions:
Viennese third-fourth tuning manifests itself fully when playing the Dittersdorf, Sinfonia (concertante for bass, viola and
early classical figurations. There are, for instance, the arpeggiated orchestra and two concertos for bass and orchestra)
chords with the open low string as bass of the harmonies. Thus it is Wenzel Piehl, two concertos for bass and orchestra
possible to represent a tonic arpeggio in A major with the help of Anton Zimmerman (bandmaster in PreBburg), one
both A-strings, a subdominant arpeggio by using the D-string and bass concerto
- in the form of a first inversion chord - with the F#-string, and Johann Baptist Vanhal, one bass concerto
also the subdominant parallel arpeggio by means of the F#-string. Franz Anton Hoffmeister, three bass concertos
The same can be said for D major and b minor. Tuning all strings
up a half tone (scordatura) corresponds in the same way for the continued on page 12
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 11
Vienna Double Bass, cont.
Joseph Haydn, a missing bass concerto elberger; the Zimmermann concerto 1778, Vanhal probably toward
Johannes Sperger, eighteen bass concertos; one sin- the end of the 1780s, the concertos by Hoffmeister (which were
fonia concertante for flute, viola, bass and probably all meant for Sperger) at around 1790. Sperger's concer-
orchestra; two arias for soprano, bass obbligato tos cover the time span 1777 to 1807.
and orchestra Now let me answer thesis four as well as possible within this
W.A Mozart, Aria Per questa bella mano, KV 612, article. The development of bass technique progressed extremely
composed 1791 rapidly between 1760 and 1780. Already the standard of the solo
parts in the trios of symphonies No.6, 7 and 8 by 1. Haydn frorn
The mentioned works by Dittersdorf and Piehl were com- 1761 is surprising.
posed between 1765 and 1768 in GroBwardein for Wilhelm Pich-

Symphony No. 6

ymphony 0.7
e i

12 International Society ofBassists Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press.
Symphony No. 8

The bass writing in the sixth symphony is still limited to a

figurative style, paying attention to the harmony supporting repe-
tition of the open A-string, but already in the seventh symphony
we find a contrast by introducing a cantabile figuration. The posi-
tion play is extended to the seventh position.
Also here we find the figurations based on arpeggios. The
double stop in measure 14 of the trio may easily be expected to have
FROM OUR COllECT ION a solo instrument tuned in third-fourth tuning. The trio of the 8th
symphony extends position playing up to the sixth position. For
.. French and German Bows the first time Haydn uses scales in eighth notes. The succeeding
development of the solo play of the bass in Haydn's symphonies
by Reld Hudson ond others can be traced to symphony No. 31 (from 1765) and No. 45 (from
Flne Bosses The decisive development of soloistic bass technique began at
AND this time by the solo concerto for which the starting point is repre-
sented by the Sinfonia Concertante of DittersdorL The use of posi-
llEBENZEllER MET ALROSIN tions is limited to the five lower positions and chords and double
stops are used carefully and in the known manner. Dittersdorf ex-
tends his claims to the sixth position, one time even to the eighth in
TEL 213 669 5269 BV APPOINTMENT both concertos, but the solo part shows clearly that the use of the
BOX 1592 STUDIO CITY CALIFORNIA 91604 thumb could be done without Here the cantabile figuration is used
in a very different way. Often striking is the composer's demands
for complete flageolet episodes. Also, double-stops are concentrated
on series of thirds and the use of broken chords reaches an aston-
ishingly high technical level.
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 13
dorf, S.
cone. I

dar f $ 1e
Konz. I
darf. 1.
Konz@ I
dorf@ 2.
Kanz@ III

darf@ 2@
Konz@ I

Both concertos by Piehl are demanding for the eighth position. pOSItion. Once being attained in the course of the solo part this
These works show obviously that the use of the thumb can no position is used with a certain persistence, a fact we also find in the
longer be dispensed with: the thumb rests on the octave flageolet Violoncello practice of this era.

,PichI, ,@ Konzert
1 Satz

Piehl, ,@ Konzert
3 e Satz

Also in the Mozart aria KV 612 we find the eighth position to were composed in these years. The concertante works associated
often be the distinct upper limit. We know that Mozart wrote the with the name Sperger are far more pretentious. Much evidence
solo part for the bassist Wilhelm Pichelberger, and it is documented makes us suppose that Sperger was a student of Pichelberger (Sper-
that Pichelberger counseled both Piehl and later also Mozart on ger studied composition with Albrechtsberger). Sperger's first con-
the technical possibilities of his instrument. Thus we recognize the certo, composed in 1777, can be technically tied to Piehl's standard,
technical standard of Pichelberger. The introduction of the use of though dashing into the twelfth position in the third movement
the thumb in Vienna can be determined quite exactly: it must Here the thumb rests on the twelfth position. The transition from
have been between 1766 and 1768, because both Piehl concertos the standard eighth position to twelfth is lacking.

Sparger, ,@ Konzert

14 International Society a/Bassists

The further development of position technique can here only used for breaking chords. Double stops and flageolets are still of
be indicated. The positions eight and twelve lose their preference great importance. The following music examples give an impres-
because the other positions get more and more use. This also ap- sion of the demands:
plies to the sixth and seventh position. Higher positions are also

Sperger, 2.Konzert, 1.Satz sowie Sperger, 8.Konzert, 1.Satz

.~ ~ r ~. ~
0 9

The glorious days of the concertante bass playing in Vienna National Museum in Niimberg.
ended finally with Sperger's death in 1812. The Sinfonia Concer- 2. This instrument is owned by the Vienna Philharmonic and
tante with solo double bass by Leopold Anton Kozeluch can cer- documented in the collection Schreinzer.
tainly not, however, be regarded as a last farewell. The decline of 3. Compare collection Schrelnzer.
concertante bass playing must without any doubt be blamed on 4. Society of Friends of Music, Vienna; also Schreinzer.
the fiXation to a few keys caused by the third-fourth tuning. The 5. The early Thir instrument belongs to the Society of Friends of
absolute central function of the main key for a symphony or Music, the 1806 instrument is owned by the monastery
concert-movement does not disturb classical aesthetics at all. rfhe Gottweign North Austria) - see Schreinzer.
valveless French Hom and the woodwinds (being poor in stops) of 6. Both instruments Schreinzer.
the Haydn-Mozart era also preferred one main key of a symphon- 7. Belongs to Isolde Ahlgrimm, Vienna; the second instrument
ic movement in the same way. Romantic aesthetics, however, once belonged to collection Schreinzer, the present location is
longs and demands for tonal richness, and the mediant relation- unknown to the author.
ships fascinated both composers and listeners. The answer con- 8. Kept in the museum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck.
cerning the bass had to be: departure from the Viennese 5-string 9. The undated instrument has been examined by the author in
bass and introduction of the 4-string bass tuned in fourths. the monastery Lilienfeld, North Austria; the 1822 Stoss is kept
The exceptional position of the 5-string type of construction of in the Viennese collection of ancient music instruments in the
the Viennese double bass based on a third-fourth tuning, its tech- museum for history of arts; the Stoss 1836 is private property
nical possibilities of playing, the uniform concept of its playing of Johannes Auersperg, Vienna.
technique used by all representatives (both composers and players), 10. The author has examined the instrument in the year 1968 in
the manifold concertante literature applicable to this type and, the Catholic rectory near Vienna, and found it in a destroyed
finally, its representation by the bassists Pichelberger, Sperger, also condition on the contrary to the Schreinzer documentation
Joseph Kampfer, Joseph MannI and eventually Ignaz Woschitka where it was listed as uninjured.
who worked in Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein, give us the authorization 11. See 9., above, third instrument.
to talk about a "Vienna Double Bass School" for the Vienna area 12. See collection Schreinzer.
during the space of time from 1760 to 1800. 13. The Feilenreiter 1842 belongs to the Vienna Philharmonic;
the 1847 is owned by the Laimgnibenkirchen in Vienna; 1871
Annotations also Vienna Philharmonic.
The preceding explanations are mostly excerpted from the author's 14. Property of the Society of Friends of Music, Vienna, has been
book: Konzertante Musik filr Kontraba~s, in der Wiener Klassik, added to the collection Schreinzer.
Munchen und Salzburg 2/1979, Schriften zur Musik, Band 4. 15. There is a photo of the Hamberger I in the collection
(Concertante Music for Double Bass in the Time ofthe Viennese Classic, Schreinzer; the bass by J. Hamberger II is property of the
Munich and Salzburg 2/1979, Publications on Music, volume 4). Vienna Philharmonic.
Detailed information and descriptions of the enumerated instru- 16. The bass by D. Bittner is property of the Burgtheater, Vienna,
ments can be found in this book, likewise, information concerning and also documented in the collection Schreinzer.
manuscripts and impressions of the examined literature for double 17. See Arisztid Valko, Haydn Magyarorszagi Miidodese a
bass and the development of technique on this instrument Leveltari Aktak Tukreben (Haydn's activity in Hungary
mirrored by archive material),
1. The Posch 1729 instrument is owned by Nikolaus Hamon~ Part 1 in: Bence Szabolczi es Denes Bartha, Kodaly
court, the 1733 Posch by Ernst Knava, both in Vienna; the.. . Zoltan, 75. Szuletesnapjara Budapest 1957;
1738 instrument is owned by the Society of Friends of Music, Part 2 in: Szabolczi Bence es Bartha Denes, Haydn
Vienna. The undated Posch is part of the pictorial documen- Emlekere 1960, 527 ff.
tation Karl Schreinzer - in future called "collection
Schreinzer" only. This collection is situated in the German continued on page 16
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 15
Vienna Double Bass Annotations, cont.
18. Joseph Kampfer worked in the courtband of the prince of 27. Dresden 1689.
Batthyany in PreBburg from 1779 to 1780, Johannes Sperger 28. a.a.D., 82 (Schwabisch Hall 1/1732,80; NA Kassel und Basel
between 1777 and 1783. Wilhelm Pichelberger was bassist in 1954).
the band of the bishop of GroBwardein under Dittersdorf 29. Annotations referring to this can be excerpted from "Einzelne
between the years 1765 and 1769. Johannes Sperger was Blatter, Bruchstiicke etc. von Sperger," Landesbibliothek
member of the duke band in Ludwigslust from 1789 until his Schwerin, Mus 5872/4, lfd. Nr. 2.
death. The author has to mention the friendly hint to the 30. Michel Corrette, Methode pour apprendre ajouer de la Contre-
bassist Klaus Stoll (Berlin Philharmonic) about two basses of a a a
Basse 3, 4 et 5. cordes, Paris (0. 1. 1780 oder 1781), 5 and 9.
Viennese origin at present kept in Berlin which probably 31. Samuel Petri, Anleitung zur praktischen Musik, Leipzig 2/1782,
once belonged to Sperger. This still needs more research. 456 ff.
19. Diderot, Denis, Encyclopedie . .. des arts et des metiers, Paris 32. See annotation 23! Reprinted by permission.
1751 ff.; Planches T.V., Lutherie, PI. XXII. Kontrabass und Bassfunktion
20. See 1. B. Laborde, Essai sur la Musique, Paris 1780, Band 1,293 Edition Helbling 1986, Innsbruck
and Band 2, 5.
21. See 1. G. Albrechtsberger, How to Compose, Leipzig 1790,386
and 400. BA
22. Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried, Albrechtsberger's collected docu-
ments, Vienna l/no year, Vol. 3, 185; Vienna 2/1837, Vol. 3, PIPER CO. PUBLICATIONS
165. OF
23. Joseph Frohlich, Vollstandige Theoretisch Pracktische
Musikschule, Bonn und Frankfurt/M. (0. J.; vermutlich
1810/11); ders., Systematischer Unterricht in den vorziiglichsten
Orchesterinstrumenten, 2, Teil, Wiirzburg 1829,474. now distributed by:
24. Gustav Schilling, Encyclopiidie der gesamten Wissenschaften
oder Universal-Lexicon der Tonkunst, Stuttgart 1835 ff., Band 2, Liben Music Publishers
304. 6265 Dawes Lane
25. Ferdinand Simon GaBner, Universallexicon der Tonkunst, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Stuttgart 1849, 211.
Write for free catalogue today!
26. See Robert Haas, Musikalische Auffiihrungspraxis, Potsdam

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16 International Society ofBassists

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~ stBmes j]
by Giuseppe Verdi
In the opening 6 bars, respondents were evenly split between a
bow change after the open E or one beat later.
J Cazauran, Paris

Poco piu mosso 4 I 4 I

Soli con sord. ~

2:~bbP C ~ ~ q~

Paul Ellison, principal of the Houston Symphony

Poco piu mosso 1 IE 4 IA 2 20 1

In the next 6 bars there was very little agreement as to what

works, exemplifying the purpose of Different Strokes.
Roger Scott, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra
20 1G 4 3 1 4 1

-1lIIIl:::==== f ppp

Thomas Martin, co-principal of the English Cham- first order to be as legato as possible in the string
ber Orchestra: "I use the second fmger opposite the crossing in bar 12."
2A 10 4 1 2 2 4 4 1 4 4 4 41424 10 2A 10 2A

un poco marcato
3 34313 = 4 4 1 3 3D 4
ppp morendo

I asked all to comment on the absence of an accelerando mark occasional and well-placed portamentos). Lastly, there was a 3-to-l
in all scores. Without an exception, everyone stated that is tradi- ratio of those choosing to shift from the Eb to the Cb in bar 20 as
tional to move in bar 24 and some chose to move in bar 23 as well. opposed to those who play it across the string.
Also, most participants made comment of the "Italian" flavor (i.e.,

his marks the end of the second year of Different Strokes. would like to solicit comments, inquiries and suggestions
Of course, the purpose of the article remains to show the from interested readers. My address is: Harold Robinson,
\Vide variance~ of choices by respected bassists worldwide. I 2196 Old Ironsides Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192 USA

20 International Society ofBassists

Frank Diliberto, principal of the Oregon Symphony style and is imperative to Verdi. No accelerando is
Orchestra: "In bar 13, don't stop the bow with each called for in the score. 'Move' toward the end with
note! Play like one very legato up bow with three a slight increase in tempo, but this strictly depends
'impulses.' Pick and choose a few 'lazy' shifts for a on the conductor's taste and lack thereof:"
little portamento which adds an Italian flavor or
421214 1

1 104 1 1 2 1A2 4 2 1 1 4 1 2 1A 2 24 10 01 2 4 1 4 1A 10

9:~~~ ~
) >
y i

Iy~ 9

Stuart Sankey, University of Michigan: "Although the opera without an accelerando in bar 23,
no accelerando appears in the printed part, it is tra.. though the amount of increase in speed varies
ditional, and I have never heard a performance of greatly from one performance to another."

4 2 2 40 4A 1 2 1 4

1 4 2A4 1 2 4

: cresco ff

continued on page 22
Vol. XUI No.3, Spring 1987 21
continuedfrom page 21
Gabin Lauridan, principal of the French National Orchestra
4 3 1 20 2 4A G---------------------------------------
~ ~ ~

':Jl Il Ii I!J~~i I)I-J~---y-

...... ------..---,- ---

-==== : p

10 ~ 1 4 4 1 4 3 1 40

.... ~" "I\,~ . . . . . . . ---.y,..,--
P = dim. p

1 1 1A3 4 3E4 1A 1 4 10 0 1G3 4

) )
91~1),,~ ~ :t J 9

Josef Niederhammer, principal of the Munich the rest of the orchestra enters. One reason is tradi-
Philharmonic: "In bars 13, 14 and 15 -- NO cres- tion, and the other could be a dramatic one: it is
cendo! In bar 14 prepare the Gb. In bar 20 watch moment when Desdemona awakes because she
very carefully to play the high C b long enough!! It has noticed Othello in her bedroom. All of the
is no problem with the conductor, but in an audi- piano dynamics are to be played with little bow
tion everybody is waiting for this note to be played pressure and comparatively much bow speed so
out of tune or too short! Especially if you play the that the tone is very warm, dark and smooth.
three upbeat Eb '8 ritardando and count a tempo the places with the three upbeat Eb's: the second note
Cb. may happen that the jury prefers to count on is more important than the first and third ('main
in the slow tempo of the upbeats, thus the long upbeat' and 'side upbeat). During the whole solo
note will be too short! Bar 23 should be played off make differences between more and less important
the string and bar 24 on the string. Concerning the notes, avoid upbows that are louder than the down
accelerando, the Munich Opera we play no ac- bows, avoid wrong crescendos and play parlando
celerando in bar 23, but we do one in bar 24 when which means as if there were a text"

P = dim. p

1 4 1 1 2A 4 1 1 2E 1 1 20 1 1 10
> )
~~3 ~ _> > j
"=1l~b:lt:~==: =====

= y
= b

cresco 11

22 International Society ofBassists


for short!)

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la.urien laufman, Shapiro, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi BW~= Jacob Berg, Kathryn Cernauskas, Stephen Kujala
Ruth laredo, Lee Harmon lewis, Rachelle McCabe, Robin McCabe, Bela Siki, Ronald Turinl,
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Vol XIII No.3, Spring 1987 23

The Double Bass Breaks round
in Finland by Jorma Katrama
I have the pleasure of telling you a little bit about my country, Helsinki, we have 3: The Municipal Orchestra of Helsinki, The
Finland, and about Finnish double bass music. Finland is, except Radio Symphony Orchestra (est in 1927), and the National Opera
for Iceland, the country the farthest north in the world. In fact, one Orchestra. The number of bassists with a monthly salary is 63.
third of our country's land area is situated beyond the polar circle. They have the right to 2 months vacation and they can retire at 63.
Finland is a small country in population, but in land area, it's the The total number of Finnish bassists is about 200, including stu-
fifth largest of Europe. Because of its geographical location, Fin- dents.
land is a country of paradoxes; the winters are cold, but bearable In Finnish orchestras, there are very few foreign musicians, due
all the same; in summer, it can be rather hot In winter, the 75,000 to our efficient system of music schools, the first ones existing
Finnish lakes are covered with ice. Winter days are quite short, but since 1882. The current number of these schools is approximately
in the summer, especially in the Lapland area, one can admire the 100, 7 of which are conselVatories that give professional training.
famous "White nights." Even in the south, in the middle of The most important among these schools is the Sibelius Academy
summer, cities don't need any lighting at all during the night The which has been giving high-quality training for 100 years already.
population of Finland is currently about 4.7 million people. Today, the new musical trends arrive in Finland at about the same
Interest in Finnish double bass music has a short history, and time as in Europe. Finnish double bass teaching has drawn from
we know relatively little about it Its origins are found in Turku, the French school as well as the German. French as well as Ger-
the former capital of the country, in 1790. There were 5 musicians man bows are used.
who worked at Duke Juhana's court, at the Turku castle. For the An important date in the teaching of the double bass in Fin-
most part, they played light music to accompany dances. A much land is the year 1956 when Ovia Nummelin, the "Grand Old Man"
more important date in the history of orchestral music is the year and the first soloist of Helsinki's Municipal Orchestra, began his
1640 when the Abo Academy University was founded. work as professor at the Sibelius Academy. He contributed, thanks
In 1790, "Turun soitannollinen seura" was established in Turku, to his experience based on the German school, to the increased
a sort of "musical society" whose principal task was to organize interest of double bass music. The new bass performers were well-
and maintain an orchestra. To our knowledge, the first virtuoso, a received by the public; only the critics continued to be a bit sus-
foreigner, was the Hungarian Josef Kampfer, who came to Turku picious. However, that began, little by little, to change.
from Paris via Stockholm in May, 1796. Kampfer performed a Ovia Nummelin based his teaching on the method of Franz
solo and a duet on the double bass and played in a quartet for 2 Simandl, taking into consideration, however, his students' differ-
violas, cello, and double bass. Old documents of the "musical so- ences. The maestro himself was not a soloist He especially
ciety" tell us that, in order to facilitate movement of this large instru- wanted to give his students good basic technique and'the compe-
ment, it could be taken down aQd then put up again by means of tency of efficient work. One can say that, currently, all the bassists
screws! It's obvious that Josef Kampfer was a true virtuoso of his of the Municipal Orchestra and those in charge of teaching, like
instrument, but we don't know if his visit to Finland contributed in myself for example, are former students of Ovia Nummelin, or of
any way to the increased interest in double bass music. his students. I was the first at the Sibelius Academy to receive a
It was only during the 19th century that orchestral activity in double bass diploma - it was in 1963 and was then considered to
Finland found, little by little, a more stable and continuous form. be something unusual; today, it's a completely normal thing among
The year 1882 marks a turning point in the musical history of our bassists.
country; it was then that Helsinki, the current capital, had its first The main teachers of the Sibelius Academy and of Helsinki's
professional symphony orchestra, thanks to the young Finnish ConselVatory, OUi Kosonen, the first soloist of the Radio Sym-
composer, Robert Kajanus, who had studied music, composition phony Orchestra, and myself, have all studied in Paris with
and violin in the 1870's in Paris and Leipzig. With the help of Gaston Logerot, and thus we've been subjected, in a way, to the in-
several influential businessmen, he founded an orchestra of 35 fluence of the French approach by learning French methods, like
musicians, called "The Orchestral Society of Helsinki," and later, that of Edouard Nanny. The various musical trends have always
in 1914, renamed "The Municipal Orchestra of Helsinki." Cur- been welcome in Finland; to greater facilitate their arrival in our
rently, this orchestra, more than one hundred years old, is the larg- country, we established in 1976 a Finnish Double Bass Club
est in Finland with 95 musicians. The number of double bassists whose current membership is about 140.
grew from 2 to the current 8. Between 1916-1918, an Estonian, Lud- In Finland, it's easy enough to obtain financial aid from the
wig Jucht, played the double bass in the municipal orchestra. He state for further study, like for study abroad; thus many young
was invited to the U.S. by Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Bos- Finnish musicians continue their studies abroad after having re-
ton Symphony Orchestra. Jucht had great success as a soloist in ceived their diplomas in Finland. The countries preferred of late
Finland as well as in the U.S. The time he spent in Finland is are W. Germany (Klaus Stoll), Bulgaria (Todor Toshev), Italy
characterized by an unending apartment hunt because he loved to (Franco Petracchi), England (Thomas Martin), Czechoslovakia
practice, often late in the evening until the wee hours of the (Frantisek Posta), and France (Jean-Marc Rollez). These foreign
morning, afte~ opera performances and concerts, thus bothering contacts have greatly favored Finnish double bass music and,
his neighbors. above all, have informed us about what's happening in the musical
The number of professional orchestras has increased during life of other countries.
the 20th century; at this time there are 25 in the entire country. In Several Finnish double bassists have already had some success

24 International Society ofBassists

in international competitions - like Esko Laine, a young Finn- because during long cold periods, the air's humidity falls drasti-
ish musician who received 3rd place in the Isle of Man competition cally. Moreover, the difference between the temperature inside
in 1982; at this same competition, another Finn, liri Parviainen, re- and outside can be as much as 50 degrees. Thus it's obvious that
ceived the Nottingham Prize. Esko Laine continued his outstand- rather few musicians succeed in keeping their instruments intact
ing performances at the Munich competition where he received the whole winter. Fortunately, Finnish instrument repairers are
2nd place along with another participant. Furthermore, the com- skilled and work quickly.
position Kadenza by the Finnish bassist and composer, Teppo Winter, with its cold and its short days, fails, however, to silence
Hauta-aho, was the compulsory piece of the Munich competition. the Finnish double bassist; besides, it's not winter forever, and in
The increased interest in double bass music is especially seen the summer he can play, sitting under a silver birch by the side of a
in the considerable number of new compositions for the instru- blue lake, and if he gets tired of it, he can always go to the sauna
ment that offer composers new possibilities and solutions that were and then continue with renewed strength. ~
not in use before. Besides Teppo Hauta-aho, other Finnish com-
posers also write for the double bass, like Tauno Marttinen who
wrote 2 pieces for 2 double basses: Vipunen s Visit, based on Kale-
vala mythology, our national epic, and Septemalia.
The most important Finnish composer, however, is Eino-Juhani
Rautavaara, who's known worldwide for his work Requiem of our
Time for brass orchestra. He's a former student at the famous
JuiUiard School of New York. In New York in 1977, he met Olga 18 ifiedAd
Koussevitzky who suggested that he write a double bass concerto. MUST SELL - RETIRING No reasonable offer refused. Wd. %
The composer himself mentions it in his diary as follows: Flat back, V.G. Great tone, Fancy Gears, $9,000. Wd. large % pos-
sibly Italian, big full sound, needs work, wine $10,000. Ply % Karl
STORY OF A CONCERTO - Hoffner 1971 like new $975. Ply 2-Hung, new $1,195. Ply, small
From the diary of the composer Kay (Pickup) $895. 50 fine bows. Acoustic bass guitar Frettless
May 1977e New York is as charming as always - that is, Jazz. Bass tools, very old bridges, etc. 6 string bass, bass necks $9
twenty years ago when I studied at the Juilliard. Manhattan (500 available). 18" speaker. 3 tuba bells and other parts. Original
is exactly the same, only dirtier if possible. But the atmos- Fender repair center and parts. Maesel cello, wood $600. Guaran-
phere is the same. And some of the old friends are there:
tees. Don Scott Russo, 3068 Shore Rd., Bellmore, NY 11710 -
Mme. Koussevitzky answers the phone with the same fragile,
refined, warm voice. (A mixture of recorder and alto flute (516) 221-6644.
playing high notes.) When I met her at the Attache's house
we had a long conversation and she made an interesting
suggestion: to write a Concerto for Double Bass and
orchestra. Quite an idea. She had of course Sergei K in
mind, and she mentioned Gary Karr, who seems to have
Sergei's instrument now. But the idea really ignites my
imagination. When returning to Manhattan in the taxi I had
a vision of something that at last was realized in three words:
Angel ofDusk. Full of atmosphere, pregnant, creative ...
What it means I don't know, except that it means music.
About a concerto? Maybe.
January 197ft ... the very sad news of passing away of Olga
Koussevitzky. So suddenly - of course she was old, but
really, last spring she looked exactly the same as twenty years
ago when she was my maecenas in New York.
Now this means also the end of my Angel, at the moment.
The Foundation hardly will be interested in her plans, post-
humously. Wen, there are other
November 19790 A call from OUi Kosonen, solo DB of the
Radio Symphony. He wants me to write a concerto.
January 19800 Contact with Antero Karttunen, Head of the
Music Department. OK with Performance late '80
or early '81.

The work titled Angel ofDusk was perfonned for the first time in Hel-
sinki in 1981. The soloist this time was Olli Kosonen, and the
Radio Symphony Orchestra was directed by Leif Segerstam. The
work is dedicated to Olga Koussevitzky. The conductor, LeifSeger
starn, is also known as a composer; he wrote several pieces for 2
double basses. Angel ofDusk by EJ. Rautavaara was recorded and
made into a record by Finlandia Records. At the present, only two
records of double bass music have been produced in Finland:
Angel ofDusk by Rautavaara, and Double Bass with Love, for which
I am the performer. This record came out in 1983 under the Finn-
ish Record house, Fuga.
To conclude, a few more words on instruments and the Finn-
ish climate. Our harsh winter is a critical time for instruments

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 25

Chamber Music Survey Results
by Michael Cameron
In the Fall 1986 issue of the ISB, a survey form was included the results, it occurred to me that I should have included the piano
with the purpose of determining which chamber music ensemble quintet as a distinct choice, rather than relying on the respondents
bassists prefer, with an eventual aim of building a repertoire to add piano to the category of four strings. While this change may
around that group or groups of instruments. A point system was have moved the piano quintet into third or possibly even second
devised on your order of preference. Here are the top three vote.. place, it certainly would not have overtaken the winner, due to the
getters in the two categories: substantial margin between first and second. In the category for
strings and winds, the results were not nearly as conclusive. Per-
haps the fairest way to resolve this would be to declare the flute/
145 - 2 violins, viola, cello, bass bass/percussion trio and the "Beethoven Septet" arrangement as
55 - violin, viola, cello, bass the choices in this category.
45 - violin, viola, bass In the string category, it was a pleasant surprise that an over-
Frfl'f111Ip'nt write-ins: piano quintet, bass quartet whelming majority chose the string quintet as the most desirable.
My one major concern about this sUIVey was that the vote might be
and Winds evenly split among a few contenders, making the choice of which
59 - flute, bass, percussion ensemble to promote somewhat arbitrary, and therefore draining
47 - clarinet, hom, bassoon, viola, the entire project of any real authority. Let us consider for a mo-
cello, bass ment the practical advantages of this choice. While the literature
38 - oboe, clarinet, violin, bass for this ensemble is not large, it is no smaller than that for any
i-irp'1lI11,pnt write-in: viola, bass other group, and there are several worthy pieces by important com-
posers (Milhau<L Reger, Onslow, Hindemith, Bottesini, Leslie
the strongest here by far is for the string etc.) which are almost never perfonned. Another is the ease
quartet with double bass added. A.s I was tallying with which one can form such a group: simply link with

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26 International Society ofBassists

an established string quartet In terms of sheer numbers of string Quintet #2 for Strings. Darius Milhaud
players, the proportions of a quintet are closer to the existing ratio Les Reves de Jacob (Jacob's Dream) . Darius Milhaud
of an orchestral string section than is the standard quartet (this fact
should calm the fears of those composers who suppose such a quin-
tet bottom-heavy). Finally, many of us feel very strongly that any Quintet in G,Op. 77 . Antonin Dvorak
gesture that can bring us closer to our string colleagues is most wel-
Darius Milhaud composed four quintets between 1952 and
come indeed.
1956, each for a string quartet with one additional instrument The
Unfortunately, there is not such a clear consensus in the strings/
Quintet #2, which includes the double bass, is a rarely heard work
winds category. The flute/bass/percussion trio received the most
which deserves to be known by more bassists. The score requires a
votes, probably due to the fact that several prominent contempo-
five-stringed instrument, but as the C string is rarely used, one could
rary composers have already written such trios. In my conversa-
get by without it Les Reves de Jacob (1949) is scored for oboe, violin,
tions with various composers, they often relate how they enjoy writ-
viola, cello, and bass and consists of five relatively brief movements.
ing for groups with highly contrasting individual characters, ex-
Both of these works feature independent and virtuosic bass parts,
ploring the resulting timbral variety as much as possible. Certainly
and display the same range of musical expressiveness as the other
there is great potential for such exploration with this trio, and the
parts. The common belief about Milhaud's music is that ~hile he
use of percussion adds an almost limitless potential for coloristic
remained prolific throughout most of his life, there was a gradual
variety. The principal asset of the septet is the number of classical
lowering of creative standards, particularly after WWIl Though I
and romantic works already written for this or similar groupings:
am not in a position to debate the general accuracy of this view, I
works of Beethoven, Schubert, Hindernith, Hummel, Berwald, etc.
feel that these two works nevertheless warrant more perfonnances.
There is one important question we must decide when commission-
Bassists often feel a bit frustrated when they penorm chamber
ing works for a larger ensemble, however. When contemporary
works from the 19th century, in that they are often relegated to the
composers write for such groups, they are often of such complexity
background by larger numbers (septet or octet) or by the inclusion
that a conductor is needed. To simplifY matters, we should
of a piano (Schubert, Hummel, etc.). The 19th century composers'
perhaps request that they be playable vvithout a conductor in order
reluctance to showcase the double bass in a chamber setting is no..
to retain the true spirit of chamber music.
where m.ore evident than in the lack of pure string works that
Although space does not pennit me to reply to all of the various include the bass. While the bass does not have as prominent an
comments I have I would like to respond to one concern
individual presence in the Dvorak as in the Milhaud works or
raised by a few individuals. The purpose of this sUlVey is not to
other 20th century chamber pieces, it is certainly more satisfying
focus aU of our efforts to the extent that only compositions for
than most works of its period. ~
these three groups will be encouraged. Throughout the history of
music, composers have written primarily for the available forces,
and there is no reason to suggest that this will ever end. Pieces
should and will be written for specific occasions, and we should
never discourage this practice. However, we must develop a long-
term praglnatisffi, and realize that a work for three bassoons, tri-
angle, and double bass will never establish a place for itself in any
standard repertoire. I firmly believe that composers continue to
write for the string quartet not primarily because of any divine per- Wa
fection inherent in that particular combination, but because there
are countless potential performers in that medium. If we endeavor Information on 20th Century
to focus our efforts to create a viable chamber music for
our instrument, we can expand the professional option of the next Chamber Music with Bass
generation of bassists. If you know of any composers, student or
professional, toss out the idea of writing for one of these three en-
(2 1 instruments)
sembles. And please, me results. & Transcriptions (all periods)
SAMPLE PROGRAM for Bass Duos, Trios, Quartets
Those of us bassists who look for opportunities to petfonn
chamber music often find ourselves in a recurring predicament
@ Have you played, or do you know of a
We choose a standard work from the small handful of major work that is not widely distributed?
works which include the double bass, and because we can seldom 4) Have you written a work, or done a tran-
recall another piece which would conveniently fit the program, we scription that you would like to share
surrender the rest of the recital to other more conventional ensem-
with fellow players?
bles. Most bassists are unaware that with a little digging one can
usually discover works that can fit in quite nicely, without having 4) Would you like to have your work listed
to wait backstage until the Beethoven quartet (as could easily hap- in the upcoming catalog: 20th Century
pen with a string quintet program) wraps up the first half and Chamber Music with Double Bass?
catches a breather during intermission. As a frequent concert-goer,
I am always attracted to a program which displays not only music
of different periods, but mixes the well-known with the seldom-
Please send any information to:
heard. Though all of the music may be first rate, I personally grow Carolyn White Buckley
a bit weary of the typical HaydnlBeethovenlBartok quartet route. 6flJ7 Waterman Ave.
The following program combines a familiar maj9r work with two
University City, MO 63130 USA
shorter works which are both new and accessible to the average
Vol. XUI No.3, Spring 1987 27
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28 International Society ofBassists

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Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 29

Fine Double Basses
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The 1831 Vincenzo Luccarini Double Bass
Vincenzo Luccarini (Lucarini) lived at Faenza, Italy, in about
the first quarter of the 19th century. Very little is known of him,
but he is recorded as a maker of guitars, lutes, double basses, and
mandolins, as well as a repairer of violins. In light of his interests
as a guitar maker, it is not surprising that this bass should be guitar-
The bass bears a handwritten label, in Italian, dated 1831. As
one can see in the photos, his name is stamped on the machine-
plates as well.
Luccarini's name is often misspelled as Lucarini in textbooks.
When one considers the impoverished circumstances suffered
by the vast majority of provincial makers in 19th century Italy, it is
likely that Luccarini's efforts were devoted to repair and restoration
too a much greater extent than actual making. We are indeed for-
tunate to be able to present this unusual maker's work before our
The back length is 43.5 the string length is 41.5 inches.
continued on next page
The 1831 Vincenzo Luccarini Double Bass
Our featured Luccarini bass is owned by William V. Blossom, of
New York City. A native of Cleveland, his teachers include Harry
Barnoff, Jacques Posen, David Perlman, Oscar Zimmerman and
John Schaeffer. Mter receiving his Bachelor's degree from the East-
man School, Blossom was a member of the Rochester Philharmon-
ic, the Air Force Band, and the Milwaukee Symphony. Since 1975
he has been a member of the New York Philharmonic.
From 1978 to 1981, Blossom studied bowmaking, instrument
making and restoration with the noted luthier Lloyd Liu. Since
1981 he has operated his own workshop in New York City where
his principal work is in the restoration of instruments and bows. ~

Centerfold photography copyright 1986 David E. Harris.

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Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 31

Bob Haggart: MusicianIPainter
by John Bany
Robert ShelWood Haggart was born March 13, 1914, in New Mr. Haggart's well developed sense of composition in painting
York City. He spent his childhood in Douglaston, Long Island, as well as in music, has served him well in providing tpe bottom
where he began playing banjo and guitar. He studied guitar for a part for improvising music ensembles. He isn't, technically, a bas-
time with George Van Epps. At a prep school in Salisbury, Con- sist from the Jimmy Blanton-Ray Brown genre, but everything he
necticut, he played trumpet and piano in the school band. When plays seems to always perfectly "belong." I'm not trying to com-
the band needed a bass player, Bob switched to bass. He attended pare the two styles. That would be as pointless as comparing Pi-
the Art Students League in 1931-1932, studying drawing with the casso and Renoir, or Dati and Chagall. And I don't want to sound
great Kimon Nicolaides. For the past 55 years, Mr. Haggart has like I believe that intricate melodic bass lines began with Jimmy
had two great loves - music and painting. Blanton. That would be like choosing to ignore Dragonetti or Bot-
The Russian modernist, Wassily Kandinsky, wrote about the tesini.
link bet\veen music, literature and the visual arts in his book, Con- In 1935, he became one of the founding members of the Bob
cerning the Spiritual in Art. As a child, Kandinsky had been equally Crosby Big Band, and was a member of the famous combo inside
fascinated by painting and music. He used musical terms such as the band called the Bobcats. Mr. Haggart played with this very
"melodic" and "symphonic" to describe his own paintings, which popular orchestra until 1942 when Crosby joined the U.S. Marines
he hoped would, like music, speak to the soul of a subject, rather and the group disbanded.
than simply describe the outer image. It was during the Crosby era that Mr. Haggart wrote three of his
"To me," stated Mr. Haggart, "there is a definite parallel between most well-known compositions: What's New, South Rampart Street
composing a piece of music and painting a still life. The play of Parade and Big Noise from Winnetka.
light in figurative art is very similar to the play of counterpoint in
music." What's New
"As one attempts to create these effects of light and shade, What's New was written in 1938, and was originally titled ['tn
music and painting seem to go hand in hand. In forming a still life, Free. In an interview with Leonard Feather, Mr. Haggart stated:
or in orchestrating a beautiful piece of music, there is an identical "I was with Bob Crosby's band at the Blackhawk Hotel in Chi-
search for good balance, color, form, and space. cago," he says, "and during intermission, while the plates were rat-
"The end results seem to have a similarity as well. The finished tling, I'd sit at the piano and make up melodies. Well, one day I
painting will acquire a life of its own, living on, hopefully, to give came across this idea.
pleasure to the viewer. The written arrangement or newly com- "I took it out to a friend's house where a lot of us went on week-
posed melody will be dormant until it is performed by a group of ends. They had a primitive disc recorder there, and we'd make
musicians. Only in performance can it spring to life, bringing ex- records and play them back. That was when I played this tune for
citement and joy to the listener." Billy Butterfield, the band's featured trumpeter, and we decided it
Besides his prowess as composer, arranger and painter, Mr. would be worth recording. I made an arrangement, and a week
Haggart, in performance, is a well seasoned, very musical, sensi- later the band did it on a Decca session, built around Billy."
tive group improvisationalist The melody was unusual in that instead of the then-customary
In the liner notes for the Miles Davis album, Kind ofBlue (re- A-A-B-A structure, it repeated the same eight-bar strain fOUf
corded for Columbia in 1959), the great Bin Evans, simply shifting it up a fourth during the third statement. As
stated: "There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced for the original title, Haggart says: "I'd been married in March, and
to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thin stretched parchment, we were at the Blackhawk for six months starting in April. I'd been
with a special brush and black water paint, in such a way that an very lonesome, but now w~ were together, away from our families,
unnatural or interrupted stroke win destroy the line or break and I was freed from the loneliness, so I decided to call it['m Free."
through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These Haggart wanted Johnny Mercer to write a lyric, and Mercer
artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the kept assuring him that he was working on it, though he confessed,
idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a "I keep coming up with 'Free as the birds in the trees,' but don't
direct way that deliberation cannot interfere. worry, III find something."
"The resulting pictures lack the complex composition and tex- Meanwhile, Crosby's brother, Larry, sent a telegram to Haggart.
tures of ordinary painting, but it is said that those who see well find It read: "Tune I'm Free recorded by Bing. New title: What's New.
something captured that escapes explanation. Lyric by Johnny Burke." "That was the first I'd heard of it - I'd
"This conviction that direct deed is the most meaningful reflec- never heard the lyric or even met Johnny Burke."
I believe, has prompted the evolution of the extremely severe After the Bing Crosby recording came the deluge. During 1939,
and unique disciplines of the jazz or improvising musician. it was recorded by the Charlie Barnet and Benny Goodman or-
"Group improvisation is a further challenge. Aside from the chestras, Hal Kemp, the Golden Gate Quartet and numerous oth..
weighty technical problem of collective coherent thinking, there is ers. "In 1940, it was on the Hit Parde," Haggart recalls. "Kate
the very humah, even social need for sympathy from all members Smith sang it on her opening radio show in the fall; it stayed on
to bend for the common result" the Top 10 list for three or four months, though it never reached
Discarding form in jazz would be like discarding the parch- number 1.
ment in the Japanese art
32 Intemational Society ofBassists
"After that, it went into a lull that lasted about 10 years. Then a the bass, while Haggart fingered the bass line with his left hand.
lot ofjazz musicians and singers began to pick up on it Zoot Sims Sticks played on strings, though rarely, if ever, experienced by
recorded it in 1954; so did Helen Merrill, though I didn't even the average listener, is not a new idea. Instruments from many dif-
know about that until long afterward, when Marian McPartland ferent cultures worldwide have been played this way. Appalachian
told me about it and sent me a copy. It was a beautiful version, music from the eastern part of the United States makes use of a
with Clifford Brown on trumpet" technique called "fiddle sticks," whereby two small sticks are held
Soon the recordings" proliferated again: Stan Kenton in 1955, in the right hand of a fiddle player, instead of a bow; one stick
Billie Holiday soon after, Frank Sinatra on his Only the Lonely above the string, the other below. The fiddler fingers notes with the
album in 1958 with Nelson Riddle's orchestra. This was, of course, left hand, while rapidly striking a string or strings back and forth
the album that inspired Linda Ronstadt to hire Riddle and to re- with the sticks. The term collegno (an indication to strike the strings
cord, among other songs out of that album, what became the title with the stick of the bow) is still another application of this tech-
tune of her multimillion-selling LP. nique.
Mr. Haggart told me that Ray Bauduc used to tune one of his
South Rampart Street Parade tom-toms to a "G." He would get the note by hitting Bob's "G"
South Rampart Street Parade was written in 1936, and was origi- string with a stick while tuning. And that's how that idea came
nally titled Bulls on Parade. From an article in the traditional about
music publication, The Mississippi Rag, Mary Lee Hester states: In 1938, drummers used calf skin drum heads, and bass players
used gut strings. The combination of these two sounds produced
South Rampart Street Parade represented another inspiration one percussive effect Also Mr. Haggart didn't whistle in the nor-
which underwent a title change before it was recorded by Decca. mal way, but through his teeth. All of these factors seemed to con-
Haggart said the idea for the music was Ray Bauduc's. Bau- tribute to the overall "magic" of this composition.
duc was from New Orleans, and his idea for the music came A transcription of Big Noise accompanies this article. During the
from the New Orlean's traditional marching bands.
"Ray came to me with an idea for a number he had whirling introduction and first sixteen bars, the bass plays an open "G" and
around in his head," Haggart said. "Bauduc couldn't write mu- a fingered "D." As the left hand stops the open "G" to make the "D"
sic, therefore, he was unable to transfer the idea to paper." note, an "extra" percussive note is felt Using the III position to play
"So, I drew ledger lines on a table cloth at the restaurant at the both notes would destroy this effect
New Yorker, where we were playing at the time, and wrote down Depending on how the band stand is set up, the drummer may,
the notes as Bauduc hummed them to me. Then, I took the or may not, have to leave his throne in order to play on the "G"
table cloth home with me and worked on the idea until I had string of the bass. If he does have to walk a short distance to the
developed the tune as Bauduc conceived it." bass, he usually keeps time by striking various objects (front of
Haggart's association with Bauduc (who was out of the Zutty drums, mike stands, floor, etc.) until he can begin playing on the
Singleton school of drumming) goes all the way back to
.Haggart's association with the Bob Crosby band
Said Haggart, "Bauduc had been with the band even while it Letter "F" of the transcription can be extended by improvising
was still under the leadership of Ben Pollack. He just stayed on a sort of "fantasy" at the beginni~g or the end of this section, using
when Bob Crosby took it over and renovated it. familiar melodies or different rhythmic patterns. Remember, this
"After we completed working out the march, Ray decided to piece was conceived in spontaneity.
call it Bulls on Parade. That idea came from a social club in New After touring with the Crosby band from 1935-42, Mr. Haggart
Orleans called The Bulls, which now and then had a parade at became a free-lance New York musician, working with Perry
Mardi Gras time. Como and Frank Sinatra. He worked at NBC, where he played on
"Wh~n we went into the studio in New York to record it, Jack The Tonight Show from 1963-69. During the 1950s Bob recorded
Kapp of Decca Records said, 'I don't like the title - can't you eleven albums for Decca Records with a former Crosby colleague,
give it a title that is more descriptive of New Orleans?'
trumpeter Yank Lawson.
"So, right away, someone came up with South Rampart Street
Parade. At that time, I had never been to New Orleans, but
Regular appearances at Dick Gibson's fantastic annual jazz
during that same year we did play the Roosevelt Hotel, and I parties in Denver, Colorado, led to the formation in 1968 of what
finally got to see South Rampart Street!" was called, at Gibson's suggestion, ''The World's Greatest Jazz
Band," again with Haggart and Lawson as co-leaders. Haggart's
This was strictly an instrumental piece until Steve Allen wrote arrangements gave this nine-man group its distinctive personality.
lyrics for it in the mid-1950s. The band recorded eleven albums. Many of these included pop
hits (Mrs. Robinson, Up, Up and Away) as well as traditional num-
Big Noise from Winnetka bers.
Big Noise from Winnetka was a spontaneous composition which A few years ago the W.G.J.B. disbanded Since then, Bob and
came about while the Crosby band was playing at the Black Hawk his wife, Windy, have spent the winter seasons in San Miguel de
Restaurant in Chicago in 1938. On Sunday afternoons, hordes of Allende Guanajuato, Mexico, where Bob studies art at Mexico's
young fans (mostly from the suburbs just north of Chicago, better Instituto with James Pinto and Fred Samuelson. San Miguel does
known locally as the "North Shore") would ftIl the dance floor, and, not have a cellist in residence, so Bob plays classical music on the
in their enthusiasm, would make a great deal of noise. The young 1:1ass, taking the cello parts in orchestral and chamber groups. Mr.
crowd was particularly stirred after a rousing rendition of a tune and Mrs. Haggart recently moved from New York to Carlsbad,
called Big Crash from China. For an encore Bob and drummer Ray California.
Bauduc improvised a duet Winnetka is one of the suburbs situated His schedule is less hectic now, but Haggart still plays concerts
on the shores of Lake Michigan north of Chicago (an Indian word and festivals "if they sound like fun." Bob has two basses - a
which means "beautiful land"). So from Big Crash from China came French bass around 100 years old, and a plywood bass - a Hopf.
Big Noisefrom Winnetka. It was such a success they recorded it, and He uses a German bow.
it soon became one of the first juke-box hits. Mr. Haggart's bass teachers include Fred Zimmermann. Fred
Several factors contributed to its charm and appeal. The most Bevensee (fonner principal bassist with the National Orchestra
sensational factor was Bauduc playing sticks on the "G" string of Society) and David Walter (former President of the ISB and mem-
continued on page 35
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 33
conttnuedfrom page 33
ber of the NBC Symphony Orchestra). He said his first influences
were Pops Foster, Artie Bernstein, and his early guitar teacher,
George Van Epps.
The Bob Haggart Bass Method, published in 1941 and edited by
Dave Berends, has been used by such master bassists as Ray
Brown, Richard Davis and Rufus Reid.
I discovered that Bob is another Ellington bassist, hav-
temporarily replaced Junior in that orchestra in 1946.
Mr. won and Down Beat from 1937
1941. these years, he and Slam Stewart were the
two most popular bassists in the country. In 1983 in Bern, Switzer-
Bob shared the bandstand with Slam Stewart, Milt Hinton
and Arvel1 Shaw!
It was indeed a and an honor and
with Mr. He epitomizes the words "gentleman," "scholar"
and "artist" The title of one of his compositions is The Musician
Meets the Painter. In Bob they truly have met. The
gart touches both a Its.

Peiforming a short work written by Ray Brown at the Dick Gibson Jazz Party over Labor Day, 1985, shortly after George Duvivier's death, are:
(left to right) John Herd, Carson Smith, Herb Ellis (guitar), Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Ray Brown, Major Holley and John Clayton. Photo by Tom Burns.
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 35
Big Noise from Winnetka

f" ...WIil .... "


l Whistle
:. - -. .... ...
- - ~
- "
..... .-.. ..... ....
- -

LJ L-.J '-- ~
- - -fA-
- _'" .'" ..,." ., -"
I ...
0'" 0'"

... .-.. ..- ..-
- - - ~
-.e .... -.

f~ : .... - -.


1- Y
A' .I :. I
" '"
.,. A'

fl;~b In ~ F
(Drums: Sticks on rims)
~~ F~i tS7J
(Drum Fill)

~ t F ~I--a_F==== +-+--+-'--D_.. t tJ E5?t~ (Drum fill)

36 International Society ofBassists


(Sticks on string
from here on)

Whistle ,--.....

fl I
--- ~

- - r- ,... lIIIIII'

'-- l-/
W -e-

4- 000- -0--
It=::. It=::. Ir:=: 11= Ir= 11= 11= 11=
"' &...

{W "
AIf "... ;; ;; r-
- ~
IIIIIIIf IIIIIlI .- ........ ;;
.. .. ..

... LJ U I
'--- /
1~. -III.
11= 11= 11= 11= 11= ~

Cym. Crash

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 37

'Round About lanllaht
endum to Round MIC1lnig t
Since the last issue of this magazine, the
Academy Awards were presented in Holly-
wood, California. For Round Midnight, Dex-
ter Gordon was nominated, but did not
win, in the category for best actor. Herbie
Hancock was nominated and did win an
Oscar for best musical score.
In my transcription of Monk's tune
EbM7 C-7b5 B9 Bb9 Eb- 0+ Eb-7
Round Midnight (ISB Vol. XIII, No.2, Win-
ter, 1987), there are two computer errors
(best to blame the computer). The second
chord in the second bar of the bridge should
C-7b5 F7b9 F-7 Bb7b9 Eb-7 Ab9
be an E7 b5. There is no such animal as an
E7 b7, even for the most modern, avant garde
jazz players. And in the first bar of the last
eight bars, the third note in the bar should
GbM7 DbM7
be an F, not a G. B-7 9 Bb-7 Eb9 Ab-7 Db9

When I made my version of Round Mid-

night I intended it to be played by two
basses or by one bass and a very simple
C-7b5 F7 F-7
chordal accompaniment, making no claims
that it was an "original" or definitive ver-
sion. I'd seen Monk himself perform this
piece on three separate occasions, and each
time he played it differently. He varied all C-7b5 F7 F-7 Bb7 C-7b5 F7 Bb7
aspects of the composition: bass line, melo-
dy, chords, etc. That's what jazz is. There is
no absolute, definitive version. Some mu-
sicians prefer Miles Davis' rendition of Ab-7 Db7 GbM7 BM7 C-7b5 F7 Bb-7 Eb7 Ab-7 Db7
Round Midnight, others don't The 0 rigi_

nal" key for Stella by Starlight was G. After

Miles recorded it in Bb, almost all jazz musi-
cians play it in that key. Benny Carter
F7b9 F-7 Bb7b9
wrote a very nice bridge to his tune When
Lights Are Low. Miles didn't use that bridge,
simply taking the A section up a fourth.
Now, Miles' simpler version is the accepted
Eb-7 Ab9 B-7 E9 Bb-7 Eb9 Ab-7 Db9
way to play that tune.
To give a fine demonstration of another
version of Round Midnight we have printed
the version by tenor saxophonist Joe Daley. 1
John Bany ~


Eb Bb-7 Eb7 Ab-7 Db7


38 International Society ofBassists

~ SEeqe----~

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 39

Every fine old bass
Was once a fine new bass m


These instruments are far superior to any

other basses being built today.

Thomas Monohan
Principal Bass, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

I found the bass supnsingly responsive,

with a depth that is rarely found in a new
Rufus Ried

Ontario, CANADA
416 344-7295

40 International Society ofBassists

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Chicago Symphony Orch.

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Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 41
~ ~
Ho for the Fl tore
by James Bates

The instruction of a beginning bass player in a school strings along with the method book's open string exercises, I begin teach-
class is a challenging situation for a teacher. The following scenar- ing the left hand using the notes of Twinkle. This simple tune pro-
io is often typical of many beginning classes. The lone bass player vides the students with a familiar melody they can sing (out loud
is placed in the back of the room, behind an impressive array of and in their head) so they can check pitch along the way.
violins, violas and cellos. The student is then given an instrument Having begun several groups of bassists I have joined the school
in such shape that a skilled professional could barely grunt out the of thought that promotes using fourth position as the ideal begin-
Jolly Dutchman using it Due to minimal instructional time, the ning position. Fourth position is the easiest of all to find and works
teacher's attention turns to the upper strings which represent the very well for young children with weak hands and fingers. The
majority of the enrollment, and the student's frustration can be felt shape of the neck selVes to support the hand and promotes an ideal
after the first few lessons. The ending of this drama is obvious- hand position. The strings are easy to press in this location, and the
low enthusiasm and a high drop out rate. student can see his hand without pulling his body out of correct
Probably the single most important factor contributing to a posture. Also all the notes used in the early pages of beginning
beginner's success is having an instrument that is set up properly. method books can be found in this position. Once a correct hand
The string height must be quite low for ease of fingering. A child position is established the student can be oriented to first position
that is learning on a quarter or jr. size bass should have a bow that using the same familiar exercises. If you are wondering why go to
fits the instrument A small hand struggling with a full-size bow will all this bother, the answer is, because it works! As a teacher of
develop tension instead of a flexible, expressive bow hold. Now that youngsters you want to establish correct habits from the very first
the student has an instrument he can cope with, put him in the encounter with the instrument.
front of the room or near you. You will be less likely to ignore the A bass section that fails to agree on pitch will cause an orches-
child and more able to watch the bow to make corrections. In ad- tra to sound dull and muddy. Bass pitch is difficult for most un-
dition, the student will sense that he is a special and valuable part trained ears to hear, and a director's angry plea for the basses to
of the group. "tune it up" does little to solve the problem. Because of the wonder-
I find quite often that the children attracted to the bass are very funy rich resonance of the bass there is, however, a solution -
individualistic and seek recognition and challenges. Take advan- sympathetic vibrations. These magical vibrations provide some-
tage of this. Assign them special exercises. I assign my students ex- thing a student can see as well as hear.' Total involvement of the
ploring activities in the early weeks, which entail locating harmon- senses is important to young musicians' development. From the
ics, pizzicato and playing glissandos. The fascinating sounds get very first note (first finger A or E) I teach them to watch and listen
them listening to themselves, while moving around the fingerboard. for these resonant sounds. I use this as a means for locating fourth
Early free movement all over the fingerboard helps remove the ap- or first positions. The following exercise is full of resonant tones
prehensions later encountered in the high extremities of the bass and one I use to develop intonation awareness. (see Example 2)
range. This simple warm-up also provides opportunities to teach tone
Beginning string class methods usually start with open string development and smooth bow changes and string crossings, while
exercises. Challenge your bass students by having them play these establishing accurate hand positions. Sympathetic vibrations
exercises in different octaves using harmonics. Eager youngsters won't solve all intonation problems, but it will begin to raise the
think it is fun to have three or four ways to playa single line. This student's awareness of correct pitch and promote a fuller tone.
activity serves to lay the foundation for shifting, which I believe After a bass studen~ completes his first method book he is faced
should begin as soon as possible. Shifting is a fact of life with bass with seemingly endless unmelodic and unchallenging orchestra
technique, and leaving a young player rooted in first position for a parts. Many times the parts are not as technically demanding as
year or more is a disservice. their beginning book. The resulting technical stagnation often
I teach the Twinkle Variations as part of all my beginning string ends in dwindling interest. After all, who wants to carry their bass
classes. The students find these rhythmic variations interesting. all over town to perform continual oompahs. A teacher must
Because the variations require the use of a very short amount of supplement a bass player's orchestra parts with technical exercises
bow, the student can successfully control the stroke, keeping it per- and solos. Solos selVe to motivate bass students who rarely get the
pendicular to the string. The result is a clear energetic tone. After opportunity to play melodic material, and if carefully selected, can
they have mastered the rhythms (see Example 1) provide for technical advancement while having fun.

Example 1

Example 2

42 International Society ofBassists

Another experience bassists miss is the thrill of playing cham- string teachers. Most string teachers are not bassists and readily
ber music. Look for chamber music that will utilize your bassists. admit they don't understand the bassists' needs. They will welcome
Better yet, if you have several bassists in your program form a bass your expertise.
ensemble. You will be rewarded with a section that listens to one One activity we are beginning in our area, and one I urge you to
another, plays better in tune, and possesses rhythmic vitality. If you try, is to organize a bass afternoon. One Saturday every other
have difficulty locating bass ensemble music then use trombone or month a local symphony player and myself invite all willing bass-
cello ensemble arrangements or transcribe your own. I formed a ists to come and play for an afternoon. We share our ideas on
bass ensemble two seasons ago that rehearses after each youth or- warm-up, technique builders, coping with nerves and auditions.
chestra practice. The students must indeed value the experience to The students play solos for one another, and of course we play bass
volunteer an hour of their time following a three-hour Saturday ensembles. This activity cultivates a fraternal spirit that affects both
morning rehearsal. student and teacher. It's always an afternoon that ends on a "low
Finally, young bassists must hear professionals perform outside note." Maybe you could give your new recital program a trial run in
of the symphony orchestra setting. Arrange for your students to a local school. This can have a remarkable impact on a young
hear a bass recital or bring a bass recital to your students. Hearing player and aid the teacher in recruiting new players.
a solo bass is essential for forming the concept of a fine tone. They There are endless possibilities to pursue. I hope you win take
will also begin to realize the potential of the noble instrument they the opportunity to nurture some of the talented musicians~in your
are learning to play. area. Through involvement with the young bassists in your area
I realize that most readers of the ISB are collegiate bassists and you will be ensuring the continual evolvement of the double bass in
active professionals, not public school teachers. At this point I the years to come, and you may be surprised by the rewards along
enter my plea for you to become involved. As a professional you the way.
are in a position to make considerable impact on the players and
James Bates is a string teacher in the Jefferson County Public Schools in
teachers in your area. Reread this article and look for ways to in-
Louisville, Kentucky. He is also active as a conductor with the Louisville
volve yourself. I will offer some suggestions that may spark your
Youth Orchestra and teaches bass in the University ofLouisville prepara-
imagination. Repairmen who service school instruments need to
understand how to set up a bass for a young player. As a profes- tory department. ~ 1
sional you may replace your strings two or three times a year. Don't
discard them; donate them to a school program. Since bass strings
rarely break and are very expensive, schools may not replace them
for ten or fifteen years! Maybe you could do a workshop for local

Page von Roenn, a first year bassist in the 4th grade, practicing the
Twinkle Variations in 4th position andfirst position.

7J?EA/c?!/ f(OW {!-{)2g

ca~veJ Lto-m Oal $ 50
velvet Lo-am I pall l <I.
1~" 2~U 30"1 1 Oweifl1.'3 l~ llJ3. (fJ
j( j( I

M. Montgomery 5416 sw 131 ave. Miami.F133175

Paul Pfieffer, a 5th grader, is in his third year ofbass instruction.

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 43


Child's Play News

The long-awaited publication of Gary Karr's method for child- The Bass Committee of the Suzuki Association of the Ameri-
ren will take place in the next few months. Volumes I and II will cas met in October to examine repertoire books for the proposed
be available by June from Amati Editions. Distribution of the Suzuki Bass School. Perusal copies of the repertoire recommended
material will be handled by Specialised Music, 1 Dogwood Drive, by the committee are available from the Washington Suzuki Bass
Pacific, MO 63069; phone (314) 938-6887. Project, 1935 Lamont Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20010. A
Specialised Music is also handling the import of miniature reference recording of the repertoire is also available on audio or
basses. Mr. Karr says that the price of basses he commissioned video cassette.
from Sakamoto in Japan has escalated due to fluctuations in cur-
rency. A similar model made in the Philippines is slightly less ex- The mass manufacture of miniature basses is taking place at
pensive at $850. Both of these models as well as a Hungarian V4- last Weaver's Violin Shop of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has caused a
size bass are available from Specialised Music. European source to produce carved basses in the 1/10-, 1/8-, and 1/4-
sizes at a reasonable price. The first batch of these instruments
Fine bows for young bassists are produced by the English mak- will arrive at the end of May and shortly thereafter a plentiful sup-
er Roy Collins. Mr. Collins works with pernambuco wood exclu- ply will follow. Mr. Weaver says the outfits which include a vinyl
sively and the bows are very strong. The hair lengths of the various bag and fiberglass bow (French or German model) will have a
sizes are 14: 17", lh: 15V2", 1/10: 14". The bows are well proportioned retail price around $700. The instruments will be displayed this
and play very well on the miniature basses now being produced. summer at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)
Both French and German models are available. The price is 93 trade show and at the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute. Orders
plus shipping from Mr. Roy Collins, 35 Clayball Place, Acton, Sud- to reserve the initial stock of these basses are now being accepted.
bury, Suffolk CO, 10 OBT, England. Address inquiries to: Weaver's Violin Shop, 7200 47th Street, Chevy
Chase, MD 20815 - phone: (301) 652-7070.

Oberlin Summer
Youth Symphony
William Jones,
Music Director
Priscilla Smith, Director and
String Faculty
June 16-27, 1987 at Oberlin
Intensive 10 day workshop.
Broad offerings in addition to
orchestra include chamber
music, classes, coaching and
sectionals with members of
Oberlin Conservatory faculty:
Ages 14-19.
Scholarships available.
W Henry Duckham
Director of Summer Programs
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Oberlin, OH 44074 U.S.A.
Tony Bianco working with Rasty Allen, age nine, during a Suzuki 216/775-8200
workshop at Shenendoah Conservatory.

44 International Society ofBassists

Hannings & Rubino
Fine Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass
Bows Made In The Freru:h Tradition


Hallowell Road
Pownal, Maine
04069 USA

TEN SOLOS/or Double Bass 7.50

1. 75
4671 State Park Highway
Interlochen, MI 49643 HMoses" by ROSSINI 2.75
616-276-9620 HARLEQUIN CONCERTO by Armand Russell 3.75
The C'omplete Double Bass Parts of 7 . 50 each HPROTEUS" by Armand Russell 2.75
Selected Works 0/ MOZART, HA YDN and WEBER by W. Pichel (1741-1804) 3.75
THIRTY-SIX 0 VERTURES by B. Schlemowitz 1.75
STRA USS Tone Poems by Antonio Scontrino 7.50
MENDELSSOHN, SCHUBERT & SCHUMANN Symphonies MOODS/or Double Bass, Percussion & Piano
Selected Works ofl.S. BACH by Kenneth Richmond 6.50
MAHLER Symphones (1 through 5) HDOUBLE BASS and SNARE DRUM" Op. 63
Selected Romantic Symphonies by Klaus George Roy 1. 75


By Giovanni Bottesini 7.50
BEATRICE OF TENDA by Bottesini 7.50
By Giuseppe Tartini .$3.75

Edited and Published by OSCAR G. ZIMMERMAN

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 45

Me and My Beau
by Beverly Manasse Lee

Bowmaking is not the sort of occupation that leads to a dull,

uneventful life. Or, to be more specific, it definitely doesn't lead to a
calm life when the bowmaker is my husband, John Norwood Lee.
John has two qualities in particular - a desire to make the very
best bow possible, and a natural bent as an adventurer - that have
led him to go to quite extreme measures. When he announced,
three years ago, that he wanted to go directly to Brazil to pick out
his own wood, rather than buying wood through the usual sources,
I calmly replied, "Yes dear," and assumed that within a few weeks
this project would go the same way as his plan to buy a house in the
country with a landing strip fOf a back yard and fly into work every
day. Well, I was wrong - in fact, severely wrong. Just to give you
an idea of how wrong I was, III fill you in on the latest: not only has
John recently returned from his second trip to Brazil, but we are
actually in the process of setting up our own shop in Brazil, some-
thing that John has decided is an absolute necessity.
His reasons for wanting to have a firm foothold in Brazil really
are quite rational (as much as it pains me to admit it) and actually The exploitation of the brazilwood forest for dyewood contin-
have their source in the discovery of Brazil by the Portugese in the ued until the appearance of synthetic dyes, around 1875, which
year 1500. Although there is still considerable dispute over who were less costly to make. Also, by this time the wood had become
actually discovered Brazil, it is generally considered to have been quite scarce, and the government of Brazil began to take means to
discovered by the Portugese commander Pedro Alvares Cabral, prevent its total extinction. Fortunately, brazilwood is not very us-
and in the way of many great discoveries, to have been stumbled able for construction or carpentry, so the trees which remain are
upon by mistake. The Portugese had been accumulating great now allowed to grow and are useful for the shade they give, and are
wealth in trading with India, which Cabral was heading for, but in cut in small quantities for use in making bows.
his effort to avoid unfavorable winds he sailed to the west. When Although any wood which produces a red dye may be called
his men sighted land they anchored at what they thought was a brazilwood, there is one particular species which is most usable in
large island, and claimed it for Portugal. Cabral sent a ship back making the modem bow and that is called pernambuco. The
to Portugal with reports of his discovery and a sample of the wood wood is named after one of the first Portugese colonies in Brazil,
he found along the coast and then sailed on to Asia. The Portu- where it was once found. There is no clear evidence to indicate
gese crown, finding its curiousity piqued by the reports, sent Ameri- which European bowmaker was first to use only pernambuco for
go Vespucci to further explore the new land, which turned out to bows., or how it became the wood to use. Although it is believed by
be the country of Brazil, and thus began a cycle that has led to the some that Louis Tourte., father of the great French bowmaker
success, and oftentimes the frustration, of modem bowmakers. Francois Tourte, was the first to use pernambuco consistently, this
The Indians that occupied Brazil at the time were quite friendly claim has never been substantiated, and there is some evidence to
and open and allowed the sailors to explore the coast. What they indicate that it was already in use by German bowmakers. Be-
found became the source for the name of the country. Ever since cause of its use as a dyewood, pernambuco was widely available
the twelfth century trees that produced a red dye were known as across Europe, so it is difficult to pinpoint its entry into the field of
brasile, the Latin word for red. The new land had such wood in bowmaking.
great abundance, and it was greeted with delight in Europe, espe-
cially among the ever fashion-conscious French. The wood became
known as pau do brasil (wood of Brazil) and of course the rest is
history. Trading brazilwood was extremely lucrative for the Euro-
peans and caused great competition, particularly between the Por-
tugese and the French, who tried to stake their own claim to the
land. Brazilwood trees were ruthlessly cut, and the trusting Indians
forced into slavery to carry and load the trees. The king of POrtu-T
gal was kind enough to empty the prisons of Lisbon to add to the
labor force, and the competition continued with a vengeance. For
four years in a row the Portugese burned the French brazilwood
before it could even be loaded, and in 1539 the Portugese decided
to colonize Brazil rather than just to trade with it as the solution to
handling the ambitious French. The volume of the dyewood cut
was enormous; by the end of the 16th century almost 100 ships per
year were sailing from Brazil to Portugal with cargoes of pau do

46 International Society ofBb"Ssists

From practical experience, we have found that pernambuco ing ourselves down there we will be able to help the economy while
has the best combination of strength, flexibility and beauty. How- at the same time be able to make some excellent quality student
ever, various other woods are often used in making student quality bows in our shop in Brazil. We also hope to be able to assist the
bows, and can be quite practical for such, as the cost of these country in the replanting of the pernambuco forest, by employing
woods is more reasonable, and they may have more strength than Brazilians, and by bringing bowmaking to the country where, by
a poor grade pernambuco which would otherwise be used for such all rights, it should now be established.
a bow. Since brazilwood is used to refer to any wood that produces As I said, our shop in Brazil is now established - barely! We
red dye, many "brazilwood" bows that are commercially available have made it through the first few months without any major cata-
today are actually made of wood that isn't even from Brazil. strophes, and my Portugese lessons are coming along nicely. (I
For any bowmaker, the choice of wood for a fine bow is a great haven't been down there yet, but John says that the lobster is won..
trial and tribulation. Often the wood that is the most beautiful derful, so I have a good incentive.) John's pipe dream is becoming
doesn't have the strength required for a bow, and, up until lohn's a reality, and I am settling down to the complexities of running a
trips to Brazil, the wood that was available to buy was generally multinational organization, another thing I never learned about in
chosen by wood dealers and not bowmakers. Honorable men that college. But best of all, we have a half ton of wood cut for bass
they may be, unfortunately these dealers had little experience of bows, and it is beginning to arrive here in the States. John has that
the extreme frustration of the bowmaker in his search for a good gleam in his eyes and is starting to sharpen his planes and knives
stick to plane. This holds true particularly for bass wood, as most in anticipation. I have the distinct feeling that I am once again
wood dealers don't even carry pernambuco cut thick enough to going to tum into a bowmaker's widow as he barricades himself in
make a bass stick. So this is how, after sampling many different the shop with the new wood. Ah well, like I said, life as a bow-
sources of pernambuco from this country and Europe, my hus- maker's wife is never dull ...
band decided that he must, to get what he really wanted, go do it
himselfl Sources: Red Gold, by John Hemming
The trip to Brazil itself had its ups and downs. John had more Brazil, ed. by Russell Fitzgibbon
difficulty in his most recent trip finding logs to look at, and reported Bows for Musical Instruments, by Joseph Roda
that, unfortunately, pernambuco trees were often cut and left to rot "Pau Brasil," by Hugo Lima Camara
while other types of lumber were taken. For the tree, this is the "Estudo macro e microscopico de madeiras 1
liability of only being valuable for bowmaking. The species is conhecidas por Pau Brasil," by Calvino Mainieri ~

The ISB Phone Number is:

Please call during office hours
9 am 5 pm (Central Time Zone)

Monday - Friday

find Out Why hundreds of musicians

obtain their supplies at ...
'& All Major Brands of Strings, Rosin,
and Accessories at JO-SOetfo off list
$ Most orders shipped in 24-48 hours
III send today for a free list.

The incredible String Shoppe

Box 438, Brighton Station, Boston, Mit. 02135

under government protection however, and the amount of wood THE YORKE MINI BASS
available for export is limited, which should help ensure its future. In conjunction with the Yorke Trust we are able to
The other great advantage is, of course, that it takes only a very offer a Mini Bass Kit to the specifications of the Yorke
sm~n piece of wood to make a bow, and one fine tree can produce Trust, comprising the following: $700
hundr~ds of them. John spent a month in Brazil searching for fine 'ANDREAS ZELLER' % SIZE DOUBLE BASS
wood, and was able to find some of exceptional quality, including STRINGS
some logs that had been cut and properly aged. The trees can grow THICK PADDED COVER WITH LARGE MUSIC POCKET AND
to enormous diameters (see photos) but they do grow quite slowly, BOW POCKET
and can take 150 years to achieve their full size. ENDPIN ANCHOR LOCArlON BOARD It WOOD BASS STOOL
We hope that our shop in Brazil will achieve several aims. CORRECTlY FlrrED BRIDGE AND NUT ROSIN
Most importantly, of course, we have found that the wood we can
get by going directly to the source is vastly superior to any that we
have been able to secure before and therefore helps us produce the
best bow possible in our shop in Chicago. Secondly, Brazil's eco-
nomy needs all the help that it can get We hope that by establish-

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 47

4: Other Chamber Music 7: Record Albums
1; Music for Double Ba~ and Keyboard

BOTTESINI: Grand Duo Concertante

for Violin, Bass & Piano
BOTTESINI: Three Grand Duos (basses) 7.98

Rabbath Plays Proto (Rabbath Solo Bass) 10.98

Reflections (proto)
Sound of the Bass Vol.] (Proto)
HANDEL: Sonata in G Minor 5.98 Sound of the Bass Vol. 2 (Proto) 8.98
for 2 Basses & Keyboard David Walter In Recital Vol.] 8.98
BACH: Sonata No. 1 in G Major 6.98 HANDEL/HALVORSEN: Passacaglia 3.98 David Walter in Recital Vol. 2 8.98
BEETHOVEN: Sonata in G (or A) Major 5.98 for Violin and Bass Bass Evolution (Green) 8.98
BLOCH,E: Prayer 5.98 HOFFMEISTER: Solo Quartet No.1 7.98
BOTIESINI: Elegy in C (or D) Major 4.98 HOFFMEISTER: Solo Quartet No.2 7.98
COHN,]: Sonata Romantica 5.98 HOFFMEISTER: Solo Quartet No. 3 7.98
DEBUSSY: La Plus Que Lente 4.98 I.S.B. SPECIAL: On orders over $50.00 (not
PROTO: Duet for Violin & Bass 3.98 including shipping charges) get a free copy of the
ELGAR,E: Two Songs Op. 15 3.98 PROTO: Duets for Double Basses 4.98
GRANADOS: Intermezzo from Goyescas 5.98 BOTTESINI: Three Grand Duos for Double
PROTO: Duets from Renaissance - Baroque 5..98 Basses. A $7.98 value. You must be an LS.B.
MISEK,A: Sonata No. 1 in A Major 6.98 PROTO: Quintet for Piano & Strings
MISEK,A: Sonata No.2 in E Minor 6.98 member and refer to this add when placing your
Score: 9.98 Parts: 15.98 order.
PROTO, F: Sonata "1963" 6.98 SPERGER: Sonata in C (or D Major) 5.98
PROTO,F: Concerto No. 1 6.98 for Viola & Bass
TAUBE,H: Nocturne 3.98
VIVALDI: Concerto in F (or G) Major 6.98 New Service
Order by telephone with your Visa or MasterCard.
2: MUSic for Violin or Viola and Bass Minimum credit card order: $10.00 not including
DRAGONETTI: Concerto in G Major 5.98 shipping charges.
GLIERE, R: Intermezzo Op. 9, No.1 3.98 513 232-6920
BACH: 15 Two-Part Inventions 6.98 GLIERE, R: Praeludium Ope 32, No. 1 3.98
BEETHOVEN: Three Duos (Sonatas) 6.98 GLIERE, R: Scherzo Op. 32, No.2 4.98
BEETHOVEN: "Eyeglasses" Duet 5.98 GLIERE, R: Tarentella Ope 9, No.2 4.98
GLIERE: Suite 6.98 KOUSSEVI1ZKY: Concerto 6.98 Mail Order Shippjnl: Instructjoos
HAYDN: Two Sonatas 5.. 98 1: U.S. ORDERS: Payment must accompany all orders. All
KOUSSEVIlZKY: Chanson Triste 2.98 U.S. orders will be shipped via UPS unless you give us other
MOZART: Duo No. 1 in G Major 6.98 KOUSSEVIlZKY: Humoresque 2.98 instructions. For UPS service we must have a street address.
KOUSSEVIlZKY: Valse Miniature 3.98 No P.o. boxes. On orders under $50.00 please add $3.00 for the
3: Strina: Trios (viQlin, Viola and Bass) VANHALL: Concerto in D Major 6.98 first item and .20 for each additional item.
Orders over $50.00 are shipped free.
2: ORDERS OUTSIDE THE US: Payment in U.S. funds must
ALBRECHTSBERGER: Trio in C Minor 4.98 6: Music for Double Bass Alone accompany all orders. For shipping charges please refer to the
BACH: 15 Three-Part Irwentions Vol I 4.. 98 chart below:
BACH: 15 Three-Part Inventions Vo12 4.98 BACH (Rabbath): Suite No. 1 in G Major 4.98 Total of order: Shipping Charge:
BEETHOVEN: Trio No.. 1 in Eb 6.98 $20.00 or less $10.00
BACH (Rabbath): Suite No.2 in D Minor 4.. 98 $20.01 - $30.00 $12.00
BEETHOVEN: Trio No.2 in G 6.98 GREEN: Fundamentals of D.B. Playing 8.98 $30.01 - $50.00 $15.00 ~
BEETHOVEN: Trio No.3 in D 6.98 GREEN: Advanced Techniques 15.98 $50.01 - $75.00 $20.00 .~
BEETHOVEN: Trio No.4 in C Minor 6.98 NANNY: Three Caprices 4.98 $75.01 - $99.99 $25.00 ~
DOHNANYI: Serenade Op. 10 6.98 Orders over $100.00 are shipped frl.'C. ~
PROTO: Caprice 3:98 <:::>
GIBBONS: Four Fantasies 4..98 PROTO: Twenty One Modem Etudes 5.98 .~
HAYDN: Three Trios 6.98 RABBATH: Solos for the Double Bassist 6.98 ~
MOZART: Divertimento in Eb 6.98 Send for a free copy of our complete catalog. ~
RABBATH: ANew Technique Vol. 1 14.98
PROTO: Trio Parts: 6.98 Vol. 2 14.98 .~
Score: 3.98 VoL 3 29698 Liben Music Publishers ~
6265 Dawes Lane ~
Cincinnati, Ohio 4 ~
2 4 + 1 3 2 III 1 + 2 1

Imagine saying (adieu)


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or further details, write
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Seattle, WA 98146
(206) 938-3681

Principal Double Bass
The Cleveland Orchestra
more information about the double bass program at Oberlin, contact
Michael Manderen
Director of Admissions
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Oberlin, OH 44074
Three Modern Lyrical Works
by David Neubert

Each of the following three works are stylistically different, but natural harmonics and lightly accompanied by open-string left-
they have one common quality - lyricism. In contrast to the hand pizzicato. There is a brief middle section of pizz, chords with
many eclectic, percussive and often dissonant works of the "avant.. four chord changes (improvised) followed by a return of the har-
garde," these pieces maintain more of the romantic tradition. monics. Soft, simple and straightforward - how better to describe
your wife the flautist
Spiritual, Op. 63, by Gardner Read (published 1985, Oscar G. Zim- Lou Harrison, who is well-known as an American composer
merman Publications). specializing in World music, is depicted by pentatonic melody frag-
This work is based on a "Christmas Plantation Song" which is ments ("melodicules" as Dr. Harrison would put it) in a constantly
played with the bow in a free moving, slow gospel style. It is changing, assymetric rhythmic pattern (5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 9/8 ... ). The
written for orchestral tuning and was originally dedicated to opening collegno section may also be played with what else but a
Jacques Posell. The work is performed in a traditional blues idiom "chopstick." The shifting syncopations and playful pentatonic line
by incorporating sliding minor thirds (ascending), slow syncopated make this a delightful and charming piece.
rhythms, arpeggiated triplets and also a short section of double- Lament is a contemplative piece based on a poem written by
stopped thirds in the middle register. The tempo and dynamic in- Soloman that describes the nature of a sunset - "mourning the
dications, written in English, clearly explain the intended style - death of Jekuthiel." The mood is established by simple, melismatic
""with vigor, dramatically. . . freely, like an improvisation. . . with chant-like lines accompanied by an open drone on the D-string.
tender expression. . . with infinite pathos." Technically, the piece After an elongated introduction, the text is spoken during the sus-
is not very demanding, although there is a climactic point where it tained cadential points of pure intervallic sonorities (fifth or oc-
reaches a high f. It does require a lot of steady bow control to main- tave). The final section combines both the spoken text and free
tain a legato, singing line and for dramatic nuance. The piano ac- moving melody making an appropriate close for the evening.
companiment is primarily chordal, with the bass often playing
solo with plenty of room for interpretation. The suggested duration A.ground on Star/alee, by Robert Stem (published 1986, Rinaldo
is about 8 minutes and an orchestral version is available for rent Music Press).
The most intricate and technically difficult of the three works
Poems, Portraits, Ballads and Blues by Bertram Turetzky, 1984-1985 discussed, Aground on Starlake requires solo tuning and was written
(composer furnished copy, soon to be published). for Salvatore Macchia. It evolves from a simple ground bass melody
This is a group of six short pieces that make extensive use of (passacaglia style) into a denser, rapid moving chromatic texture.
the bass's melodic potential. Like the famous 18 character pieces The opening melody is played with a thumb pizzicato using
by Robert Schumann, Davidsbundlertanze, Turetzky's pieces are double stops and is lightly accompanied by piano chords. The
also titled after a given personality. Three of the pieces use pizzi- first variation begins by adding the bow, very expressively, as the
cato and improvisational techniques - Segovia (guitar pizz), piano texture increases. The thumb pizzicato section returns, this
Mingus (funk style), and Sonny Rollins (poetic free form). The other time with ornamented triplet eighth-note figurations, and a nice
three are arco pieces, each emphasizing a different technique to ""arco sneak entrance" (continuing the vibrations of a pizzicato
bring out a unique personal characteristic - Nancy (flute-like har- note 'With the bow) begins the next chromatic section. This part is
monics), Lou Harrison (Javanese col legno battuto in a pentatonic made up of some very difficult, rapid pizzicato flourishes (perhaps
mode), and Lament (inward expression). serially conceived) that create an intense feeling. The tempo picks
Segovia is a beautiful application of guitar or thumb pizzicato up in a more rhythmicAlltgro Moderato section with the piano play-
with lots of open chord sonorities in a slow tempo. The "guitar ing steady chromatic sixteenth note patterns against quintuplet
pizz" is clearly described in Turetzky's well-known book The figures in the bass. This agitated passage finally gives way once
Contemporary Contrabass, as being played with the thumb striking again to a legato Andantino, adding natural harmonic figurations
close to the left hand in a pushing away motion (opposite of regular over a duple against triple piano ostinato. The final section,
pizz and similar to strumming a guitar). There are a few rapid note Adagio Espressivo, combines all the previous elements (chromatic,
ornamentations that are characteristic of flamenco-style writing. rhythmic and legato ideas) into a flowing lyric passage. The last
The closing passage of ascending pizz harmonics demonstrates a few bars quietly close with a very high natural f#2 harmonic while
very nice melodic effect. the piano echoes the last remnants of the ground bass. ~
Mingus, written in a fast 6/8 time, has the characteristic drive of
straight-ahead funk complete with hemiola triplets (3:2) and "du- For anyone interested in having a recently published work reviewed,
wah" sliding chromatic grace notes. It is divided into four sections please submit a copy and/or recording to David Neubert, Department of
which may be performed with or without free improvisation Music, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78758; please send a second
(changes provided). copy to the ISB office as well.
Sonny Rollins combines poetry, written by David Henderson,
'With music written tq portray the text Each of the four lines of poet-
.ry is depicted by various musical effects, such as "jamming with the
subway train" is accompanied by the player imitating a jazz brush
beat followed by a pizzicato tremolo above the left hand.
The piece Nancy is simply a lyric melody made up of flute-like
50 International Society ofBassists
searching through volumes of magazines and newspapers and Records
hundreds of listings that do not apply to double bassists.
Paul Ramsier
Subscribe to the
The Louisville Orchestra
Job Information Hotline First Edition Records an-
nounces the availability of
and receive monthly listings of symphony jobs, college its record devoted to two
teaching positions and other miscellaneous bass openings on major works for double
the North American Continent via first class mail. bass and orchestra by
The Job Information Hotline will provide*: Paul Ramsier. Gary Karr,
soloist, and Robeft Bern-
$Announcements hardt, conducting the Lou-
@Audition Dates isville Orchestra, perform
~Salary Range Ramsier's Divel1imento
eStarting Dates Concel1ante on a Theme of
@Application Procedures Couperin and Road to
Hamelin. Record # LS 785, this recording is available from: First
*Subject to availability of information from prospective Edition Records, 609 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202 USA
Peter Prisco: It's About Time
One year subscription fee: $10.00 in U.S. funds ISB members
$20.00 in U.S. funds Non-members Zinnia Records announces
the release of a new rec-
ISB, School of Music, Northwestern University, Evanston, ord featuring Peter Prisco,
IL 60201 (312) 491-4764. guitar, and Lou Stelutti
and Earl Sauls on bass.
Record # ZINNIA 101 is
available from: Zinnia
Records, 4144 Ely Ave.,
1979 QUALITY STRINGS New York, NY 10466 USA

The Joshua Breakstone
La Bella Ropecore Silk (7720) $55
La Bella Ropecore Nylon (7710) $55 Sonora Records announces
La Bella Gut (980) $59 the release of a new album
(415) 521-2613 La Bella Nylon on $29 featuring Joshua Break..
24 hr. answering Thomastik Spirocore $61 stone, guitar, and Earl
Free Discount Rotosound Electric $18 Sauls, bass. Sonora Rec-
Catalog POSTPAID ords # SA322 is available
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clair, NJ 07042 USA; or
~~u THE GAINES BASS WHEEL Sonora Records Canada,
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~ Handcrafted by a Bassist for Bassists ton, Ontario L6W 2Y6
Renowned bassist RICHARD DAVIS: This new design
is the best in the worlde Great for rough
going~ curbs~ grave1 9 cobbled streetso
Joining or Renewing ISH?
International members (or members-to-be) can renew or join the
floats your bass on airo
International Society of Bassists and pay their dues through either
Custom fitted for your end pins the London, Amsterdam, Caracas, or West German accounts. See
the masthead (pg. 1) for rates and addresses for foreign members.
Fop details 'lilPite: Cl uster Research
118 Richland Lane
Maeli son, WI 53705
(608) 238-8793
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 51
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o s much substance to the wealth of Martin's two earlier albums: Vir-

tuoso Double Bass and Romantic Double Bass. In this new recording
Rabbath Plays Proto. Concerto No.2 for Double Bass and Or- he offers four works of which three are recording premieres. Lead-
chestra (1981) - Slowly, Fast, Slowly, Presto. Fran90is Rabbath, ing the list is the Gran Concerto in F-sharp minor which we have
Double Bass; David Stahl, Conductor, Les Symphonistes de Paris. always known as Concerto No. 1. In its first movement form, re-
Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra (1983) - Agitato, Ad Lib, vised, transposed and edited by Nanny it has been part of the
Slowly, Allegro. Fran90is Rabbath, Double Bass; David Stahl, Con- bread-and-butter literature for all advanced bass studies. (A re-
ductor, WOLFGANG! Chamber Ensemble. Available from Liben cording of this Nanny version exists in the Laureate Series - Music
Music Publishers, 6265 Dawes Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45230. Minus One, performed by this reviewer). But now Hoffmeister
(Leipzig) has prepared a handsome new edition in its original key
Reviewed by Edwin Barker, Principal Bass, Boston Symphony. and Martin has granted us a performance of exceptional beauty.
Collaborative efforts Both musically and technically of the highest caliber, this is a re-
between creative musical cording to treasure. His playing is in turn suave, tender, passionate,
artists sometimes produce reflective, light-hearted. He convinces the listener that Bottesini
very impressive art works. was indeed a major composer of the last century.
The music-loving public To make this point more compelling Martin presents the little-
and bassists in particular known ~~cousin" of the Gran Duo, the Duetto for Clarinet and
should note that Francois Double Bass, in which he is joined by a glorious young clarinetist,
Rabbath's recording of Emma Johnson, whose pellucid sound offers a happy foil to the
Frank Proto's Concerto No. darker sound of the bass. And, to cap the gift-giving, Martin has
2 and Fantasy has all the included the Andante Sostenuto for Strings, a tender, lyrical piece
signs of a fine collabora- tinged with melancholy and reminiscent of the slow movement in
tive effort that results in a Tchaikovsky's String Serenade. Finally, to round out this rich pro-
compelling, highly-eharged gram, we are treated to the ubiquitous Gran Duo. Here Martin is
performance. joined by the English Chamber Orchestra's concertmaster, Jose-
Frank Proto's music is quintessentially American. His pieces - Luis Garcia. Again Martin demonstrates his superb technique in
Concerto No. 2 and Fantasy - are representative of a "melting pot" effortless running passages and his musicianship in warm lyrical
kind of creativity. Proto's juxtaposition of popular and classical moments.
idioms, his colorful orchestrations, and his use of extended improvi- A word must be said about 'the recording, electronically and
sational passages makes for music that is fresh, vital, and exhilarat.. acoustically. Balances are a constant problem. Martin's rich
ing. sound is often overwhelmed by the orchestra; the entrance of tutti
Francois Rabbath's performances are at once sensitive and passages after quiet solos is at times shattering. And aside from
dynamic; it is the kind of playing that can easily inspire awe. His balance there is the question of proper miking techniques: the
technical command is astounding. Rabbath's pronunciation of orchestral sound is always bright and shining; by contrast, Martin's
the phrases is done with exactitude and clarity, and his improvisa- sound often lacks "presence." One guesses that every instrument
tional style contributes significantly to Proto's pieces. in the E.C.O. (which provides Martin with an accompaniment of
Conductor David Stahl shows impressive ability as the coordi- rare sensitivity, under the direction of Andrew Litton) had its own
nator of all these efforts. The orchestras on this recording play microphone. Except Martin's! Is Frank Proto the only expert and
with expertise and style, particularly percussionist William Platt. knowledgeable bass recording engineer?
One senses, however, that this recording is simply a great and In sum, Martin has given us one of the most notable of recent
symbiotic collaborative effort. Rabbath and Proto speak the same additions to our evergrowing catalogue of recorded bass literature.
musical language. The result is a compelling synthesis of two Buy it!
complimentary creative energies.
Sun Dial and Dilad. Bill Elgart Trio (Wayne Darling, bass; Peter
Giovanni Bottesini - A Showcase. Thomas Martin, double bass; O'Mara, guitar; Bill Elgart, percussion). RST-Records, Rudolf
Emma Johnson, clarinet; Jose-Luis Garcia, violin; English Cham- Staeger, A-I024 Vienna, Austria.
ber Orchestra, Andrew Litton, conductor. ASV (Academy Sound
and Vision) digital recording, LP DCA 563. Also available on cas- Reviewed by Frank Puzzullo, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
sette and CD. Bassist Wayne Darling is thoroughly distinctive. His playing is
Reviewed by David Walter, Juilliard School ofMusic beautiful and exciting. I feel that Wayne represents the next logical
step in the newer generation of bassists through his tremendous
Cynical musicians often claim, with some justice, that musicol- emotional and physical involvement, his concept of freedom, his
ogists and critics write about music because they can't play it. Not own sound and his own brand of excitement He is one of the
always true. ISB readers will recall, with gratitude, the splendid young rabbits-playing straight through. And the way he gets to
biographical study of Bottesini by Thomas Martin (ISB Fall '83 it-the feeling is beautiful. The composition Secret Shove is a
Vol. X No.1; Winter '84 Vol. X No.2; and Winter '85 Vol. XI, No. typical example of the above accolade. It is obvious that this acute-
2). Now Martin has added to the written word a series of ly probing group of contemporaries has established a remarkable
recordings which enrich our appreciation of Bottesini as composer rapport.
and bassist. The drummer, Bill Elgart, is an astounding drummer. His
The third in this series has been released recently. It adds
continued on page 54
Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 S3
continuedfrom page 53 nome setting. The pieces are visually unintimidating. For instance,
sharply essential accents" colors and textures show why he has Schubert's Ave Maria, in No. 3A, is written using quarter notes and
been teamed with Darling at least on these two albums. His playing eighth notes, rather than eighths and sixteenths. Perhaps the best
is tremendously rewarding for the attentive listener. His contour- part, or the worst, depending on your point of view, is that the
ing comes out in a natural manner and he is never gauche. In fact, music has few bowings and no fingerings.
he is a very tasteful drummer. The table of contents does not always correspond to the music,
The guitarist, Peter O'Mara" is a most interesting rhythmic play- but this probably will be corrected in future printings.
er and is equally imaginative. Most of all he listens. Many guitar- The pieces progress somewhat in difficulty but remain always
ists in this type of setting want to lead the group" to push things in easy keys, with pleasing piano accompaniment In No. IB, a
their way. Peter does not. He tries to blend with the groups and few of the pieces that are written in the key of D can be played en-
with each soloist. tirely with high harmonics. After first learning the piece in its in-
Both of these albums, flliad and Sun Dial, represent this decade tended range, the student can jump two octaves for a "virtuosic"
of revolutionary change. Too little notice has been given to the new version. I find that this adds interest to a simple melody" helps the
generation of musicians which has quietly but effectively been student to learn the harmonic series, and gives a young player a
mastering the bop and post-bop idioms. It is a generation which, if real sense of accomplishment. A more advanced student can
it cannot quite accurately be described as avant garde, is reaching make good use of these pieces by playing them all an octave higher.
toward goals not too far removed from those sought by the revolu- I would like to have seen some brief text in this series. For be-
tionaries. These goals" whether approached by traditionalists or ginning students" a written suggestion here and there is helpful.
iconoclasts, center on the development of a vocabulary of sounds David Walter does this very well in his collection, The Melodious
and sound devices ranging from a nearly human, vocalized expres- Ba~s, which teachers have used successfully for over twenty years.
sive ~~cry" to noise effects not unlike those produced by oscillators" By using collections of this type we are helping to answer the
filter and other electronic instruments; rhythmic freedom, either age-old question, as David Walter puts it, "How do you learn to
through liberated, near anarchistic rhythms or, conversely, from a playa tune tunefully and a melody melodiously?"
highly sophisticated use of traditional, pulsating jazz swing.
Such is the case with these three artists, Wayne Darling, Peter
O'Mara and Bill Elgart. They all three approach these problems in Music
the truest Jazz Traditional form with powerful responsiveness to the
challenges of contemporary techniques. There can be little doubt l,eichte SpielstUcke flir Kontrabass und Klavier (Easy Pieces for Double
that the direction of jazz for the rest of the decade will depend Bass and Piano). Part 1: For Beginners (half position-fourth posi-
strongly upon musicians like these who have a deep knowledge of tion. Part 2: For Advanced (fifth-seventh position). Edited by
tradition. Klaus Trompf, published by VeB Deutscher Verlag fur Musik"
Leipzig 1983.
Reviewed by Alfred Planyavsky, Vienna Philharmonic (English transla-
Method Book tion by Klaus Schruff, Aachen, West Germany).
Classical Pieces - Easy pieces for double-bass and piano, by Bernard Concerning the literature of those pieces that are meant for the
Salles, published in six volumes by Gerard Billaudot, 14 rue de
training of a melodious performance, there is a new collection by
PEchiquier 75010, Paris.
Klaus Trompf. His Easy Pieces include both original soli and trans-
Reviewed by Paul Robinson, The Ohio State University. criptions in a progressive grade of difficulty. Compared with other
more or less successful editions of a similar kind" Trompf can put
forward his extensive experience as soloist and pedagogue paired
The Suzuki Bass movement with his knowledge on the historical function of our instrument.
Bernard Salles
now being developed in Wash- So we are indebted to him for helping us to know two important
ington, DC, by George Vance composing bassists of the past, who have been neglected in defer-
and Harold Robinson, as well as Classical pieces ence to other better-known ones, although their good reputation as
the numerous other organiza- Klossische StUcke composers Was also for the benefit of the double bass. Indeed, the
tions world-wide devoted to tui- virtuoso type is neither represented by Jan Dismas Zelenka nor by
tion for the young bassist, will Johann Gottlieb Janitsch and their contribution to the virtuoso
undoubtedly inspire a new gen- literature is none, but their names would pay honour to all instru-
eration of perfonners who learn ments. Fortunately, Trompf did not fail to enrich his project by
and appreciate melodies from little biographies of the masters and their work, thus raising the
the start. Books such as the series value of the edition essentially. Another plus of the edition is the
by Bernard Salles win be very decision to collect single movements from the reuvre of a compos-
useful in teaching these young er and put them together like a suite according to the grade of diffi-
musicians to sing, with their Gerard Billaudot, Editeur culty.
basses, popular melodies of our Some examples now to characterize the choice: the beginning is
great composers. made with easy melodies by Beethoven and Mozart followed by the
Of six available collections, I examined Books No. IB, 2A, and Mahler solo transposed one octave lower. A folksong beside a
3A These are similar to other collections of "name that tune," but melody from a Zelenka opus; an original piece for beginners
with some nice additions. In most of Salles' volumes the dates of followed by the wistful melody by Beethoven sung by the basses in
each composer are given. Every melody has a suggested metro- a trio with viola and cello after the recitative in the ninth sympho-

54 International Society ofBassists

ny; the Andantino from the Trout quintet and Cimarosa's "11 been made playable for all well-trained bassists (without scruples
Maestro diCapella" solo, etc. conceming impracticable runs in thirds!). The out-of-the-question
In the second part the demands are naturally growing and the piano part of the Malaric edition has been replaced by an expertly
aim to moderately build up a synthesis of nlelodic orchestral ex- unobjectionable one. ~
cerpts and true virtuosity becomes obvious. Trumpf justly charac-
terizes his choice as "Music for beginners completing any school"
l"Olrtlllt1at:ely there are piano parts for both solo and orchestra tun-

Sonata in D for double-bass and by Johannes

Edited Klaus VeB Friedrich
Hofnleister, Leipzig 1985.
Reviewed by Alfred Planyavsky, Vienna Philharmonic (English transla-
tion by Klaus Schroff, Aachen, West lTerma:nVJ

This sonata is one of three that Sperger with "Viola

obbligato" and which is here arranged for bass and piano. The fre-
quent doublestops in the bass verify that used the so-
caned Viennese -D-F#-A without which none of
the solo works that have been in this cultural area could
be refers to it in his foreword and offers a
version that has been fundamentally by David
Walter and that has now been edited with great care corresponding
to The main desire was to elilni-
nate the personal style which opposed the
Intef()re1tatllon -::lrn",rrtJ,nn-::ltp to taste. We Inay not ignore that
activity already falls into the last phase of the period that
is known as the age of double-bass virtuosity in
music history. This period was characterized the clainls of
passages in the nos. 6, 7, 8, 31, 45
and 72 one double-bass concerto (1763) so that finally
two dozen bass concertos came into within 30 years besides
chamber music by all masters of the Viennese classic. During this
several bassists appeared in Europe as virtuosos who are
forgotten But as their appearances caused a massive com-
within a genre hardly known until then, the audience ex-
wilder of virtuosity. aU merits
about our instrument we have but to that Sperger some-
times overshot the goal by overzealously opening up new virtuoso
t,o.rnfr'\1f"'1iT for the bass, thus called to his excessive-
ness in towards a new In a concert
review from 1779 he is reproached with having Hstuffed his music
with new thoughts." Finally Mozart showed at the end of this
how brilliantly the bass could be used as an obbligato
instrument in his concert aria KV 612 without fizzling out his A~ :MENGOLI
qu~al1tles in vain virtuoso tinkling. intending to perform
the present sonata originally has to make use of the -D-F#-A
But who is ready to adapt to a tuning with a third, some- Edited by
customary to gamba and bass players of former times? Thomas Martin
As the strings and D accommodate an original interpretation
is normally never used) I prefer the solo tuning AI .. D- An important addition to bass mastery. A must for all serious bass
G-c for those works of about 30 years during the Vienna classic. It players. The great Giovanni Bottesini praised these studies for their
was recommended and used for solo works by no less a person technical fluency written by the founder of the modern Italian School
than Wenzel Hause (who created the most important presupposi- of Double Bass playing.
tions to Franz Simandl!). Walter and Trompf followed the prac- published by
tice of mastering old literature with the help of the newer solo tun.. EXCELSIOR MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY
-E-,A nevertheless being forced to use some inteIVen-
tions. Indeed, some difficult passages could be eliminated that Sole Selling Agent
were based upon the old third-tuning and could .unintelligibly be THEODORE PRESSER COMPANY
found in fOffiler editions. With this edition Sperger has, after aU, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010

Vol. XIII No.2, Winter 1987 55

Conference on Medical Problems PRACTICALITY FROM
of Musicians L U T HIE R
The first of its kind in the midwest region of the United States,
"Playing Hurt: A Conference on the Identification, Prevention,
and Treatment of the Medical Problems of Musicians," will be
held on September 19-20, 1987. Co-sponsored by the Minnesota
Orchestra and the University of Minnesota, the conference will E ORSEMENTS
provide an overview of the causes of medical problems and strate-
gies for prevention, and will feature nationally-known performing Over the years, I have seen and played most of the port-
artists and medical professionals specializing in performing arts able, collapsible basses. The Banchetti Practical Bass is, in
medicine. Teachers, students, physicians, professional and ama- my opinion, the best application of this concept. The
teur musicians will hear from the experts and participate in small string length dimensions feel great. The flexibility of the
focus sessions on specific techniques. For information and regis- two different pick-ups give the player much more varia-
tration materials, contact Leslie Denny, Professional Development tion of sound before any adjustment is made with an amp-
and Conference Services, 220 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Drive lifier.
S.E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455; (612) Every detail has been considered for the comfort of
625-0727. the player. The craftsmanship is also superb. This instru-
ment sounds great and will surely carve a place for itself in
the contemporary music world.
Kana Foundation Awards Bass
The Banchetti Practical Bass in my opinion, the most
practical bass in its idiom I have ever seen. The wood is
beautiful and the workmanship impeccable.
I highly recommend the instnlment.

Paris Banchetti is an excellent traditional luthier and

craftsman. The Banchetti Bass is practical and innova-
tive and should be examined by all bassists who have
need for an electronic instrument.
Chairman, Music Department, Bass Professor,
University of Miami

The Practical Bass is a great instrument. The sound

and feel of the bass is the best I have experienced in
From left to right: Gary Karr, Dennis Whitaker, the winner 0.( the
this type of instrument. The variety of sounds obtain-
award, and Mark Whitney, his teacher.
able is of excellent quality, and the workmanship is
Gary KaIT, president and founder of the KaIT Doublebass
You can be assured of an instrument that sounds
Foundation, is pleased to announce that the Shirley Restivo La
good, feels good, looks good and has integrity behind it
Doublebass, valued at over $10,000 has been awarded on
loan to Dennis Whitaker of Waco, Texas. The recipient of this RICHARD APPLEMAN
award was determined by a panel of judges including bassists Chairman, Bass Department,
David Walter and Stuart Sankey, and composer Paul Ramsier. Berklee College, Boston, Massachusetts
Gary Karr established the foundation to advance the use of
the doublebass as a solo instrument, with the objective of grant- A statement about the Banchetti Practical Bass.
ing to promising candidates, the use of fine instruments to help I have played it and have found it to be a superior a-
them further their careers. daptable instrument for upright and electric bassists. The
Dennis, age twenty, is a student of Mark Whitney, professor of sound for plucking and bowing is utmost. I highly recom-
bass at Baylor University. His future plans are to combine profes- mend it and also feel that it is the answer to easing travel
sional symphonic bass playing with teaching on the public school hassles.
or college level. ~
Chairman, Bass Department, University of Wisconsin

56 International Society ofBassists


with 2 electronic pick-up systems. The Underwood Trans-
ducer is mounted on the sides of the bridge. The pick-up
box located between the lower side of the fingerboard and
the bridge is equipped with an Alembic Activator having a
preamp plus volume and tone control. The box is installed
over a wooden reel in order to change its height and place-
ment. This enables the player to choose from a wide range
of sound. The customer can choose to have either his own
pick-up the Underwood, or the Alembic system
The opening arm can be rotated and placed in the most
convenient position. Lately a smaller arm has been added
on the other side of the instrument to make the transition
into thumb position natural.
An unfolding and opening piece of wood has also been
installed in the back (which, in the opening position, looks
like a large violin). Here, the player can rest his knee so
that the Practical Bass feels like its acoustic counterpart.
Actual size (closed): 55" high, 7 1/2" wide, and 6" from
flat bottom to top of bridge. It can be raised 26" more.
3/4 upright bass scale length. The same can be
adjusted, on special order, to full 4/4 or 1/2 bass scale.
Completely crafted in fine laminated mahogany, maple,
rosewood, teak, and walnut.
Direct inquiries to:


2800 s.w 67th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33155
Tel: (305) 666-5520

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 57

Co David Horine Memorial Fund
The following is a list of the contributors to the C. David to the ISB in any amount, can be sent to: C . David Horine Memo-
Horine Memorial Fund established by the ISB in the Fall maga- rial Fund, International Society of Bassists, School of Music,
zine. This memorial fund is a pennanent extension of the spirit of Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201 USA
David's generosity to other bassists. Tax-deductible gifts, payable
Three Anonymous Donations Charles Hoag Sue Lyon
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Albright Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra John and Joel McGee
Wayne Anderson Double Bass Section: Mrs. Alan G. Marshall
Edward Castilano Stewart Arfman Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R Molina
Karen Christman Henry W. Boerner III Rich Nanista
Nick Coulles Helen Carrol Frank Proto
Wayne E. Darling Leonard Bennett Crantford Tom Reel
James Donahue Gregory Dugan Ann Stafford
Bruce Gertz Robert V. Goodlett II John W. Wade
Laurence Glazener Peter A Hansen Delbert L. Williams
Barry Green Don McKibben

Classified Ad
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A new collection of quality antique instruments
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Trades welcome.

For details telephone:

Michael Leiter
( )
) (
58 International Society ofBassists
Use your 3D-day return privilege
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That invention of yours is the greatest thing to have happen to the string responding instrument in two minutes.
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Repair; restoration, set-up & adjustment

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Bow rehairing Fingered C extensions
Stenholm products
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cavallaro instrument and case covers

By appointment
2190 Carter Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

Vol. XIII No.3, Spring 1987 59

Able-Tech, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 18 L.A '88 Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2
Adams Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 28 Ledergerber, Franz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 30
Arvi, Kai Johan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 28 Lee, John NOIWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 4
Ashley, Hammond Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 7 Lemur Musical Research Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 29
ASV 4 Liben Music Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 48
Banchetti, Paris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 56, 57 Lyman, Fred . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 58
Bass Shop, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 52 MANcEE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 7
Bass Viol Shop, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 8 Metzler, Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 26
Basso Continuum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 58 Montgomery, Mike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 43
Black, Robert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 30 Mooradian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. CF
Cluster Research : . . . . . . . .. 51 Myriad Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3
Dery, Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 59 New Virtuoso Technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 49
Edwards, Stephen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16 Oberlin ConseIVatory of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 44, 49
Elgar Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 41 Ped Xing Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 25
Elias, Peter 40 Pierre Josephs Violins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 7
Excelsior Music Publication Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 55 Prentice, Brenda & Ronald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 41
Fishman Transducers, Inc. Be Robertson & Sons Violin Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 49
Gage, David String Instrument Repair . . . . . . . . . . IFC Shar Products Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CF
Gertz Music 17 Smith, John Michael . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 59
Green, Barry - Piper Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16 Stentor Music Company Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 47
Grunert, Horst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 30 Super-Sensitive String Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 41
Hannings & Rubino . " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 45 Thin Man String Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 51
Hudson, Reid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2 Thwaites Fine Stringed Instruments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 19
Incredible String Shoppe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 47 20th Century Chamber Music with Double Bass Catalog . .. 27
International Society of Bassists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 51 Ultra 28
Johannesen International School of the Arts . . . . . . . . . .. 23 World of Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 55
Kolstein & Sons Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Ye Old Rosin Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 13
Krahmer-Pollman, Gunter & Sons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9 Zimmerman Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 45

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International Society ofBassists
Samuel Kolstein & Son, Ltd.
International Violin Dealers and
Instrument and Bow Makers
Sales Restorations and Repairs 48 Appraisals Security Vault Facility
offer a most impressive collection of fully certified
Bass Violins and Bows at most favorable prices.
Examples of recent Bass Violins added to our fine collection:
Sebastian Ceruti, 1650 Valentino Siani late 17th century V. Fetique Fr. model
Jacobus Brandini, 1790 Carlo Loveri, 1880 P. Bisch Fr. model
Giovanni Baptista Grancino, 1703 Paul Claudot, 1860 A. Lamy Ger. model
Paolo Antonio Testore, 1724 Charles Francois Gand, 1838 Lapierre Fr. model
Bernard Simon Fendt, 1827 Neuner & Hornsteiner, 1878 A. Nuremberger Ger. model
Domenico Montagnana, 171 5 E.M. Pollmann Bass G. Vitale Fr. model
J.B. Vuillaume, 1790 19th century Mirecourt Bass Leclerc Fr. model
Pietro Antonio Malvolte, 1727 Grunnerts Bass 1964 I. Siefert Ger. model
Tarlieta Budioni, 1778 20th century Glaesel Bass Husson Fr. model
Testore School Bass Violin, 1721 E.M. Pollmann Special Edition A. Nuremberger Fr. model
Carlo Giuseppi Testore, 1715 by Gunter Krahmer, 1982 W. Siefert Ger. model
Carlo Antonio Testore, 1724 19th century Berlin Bass E. Ouchard Fr. model
John Brown, 1840 Abraham Prescott, 1798 A. Schuster Ger. model
William Tarr of Manchester, 1846 Bernard Simon Fendt Maggini copies E. Dupre Fr. model
English Hawks Panormo, 19th cent Kolstein Orchestral Bass Violin H.R. Pfretzschner Ger. model
Charles Nicolas Gand, 1869 Kolstein Grande Panormo Bass Violin E. Sartory Fr. model
Bernadel Gand, 1838 R. Reichel Ger. model
Carlo Tononi, 1704 V. Deluccia Fr. model
Testore Pear Shaped Bass, 1721 W. Siefert Fr. model

Samuel Kolstein & Son, Ltd. offers quite an extensive collection of fine student calibre
instruments and bows comensurate upon individual budget and requirements.

Samuel Kolstein Master Bows


Samuel Kolstein Bows must compare

to the Master Makers in craftsmanship
and fine playing quality in accord
with todays playing requirements.

Trimmings in Silver and Gold. Frogs in Ivory,

Pearl, Tortoise Shell and Ebony. A most rare
collection of Pernambuco.

Acclaimed for over 45 years.
Members of the Appraisers Association of America ~
When you amplify your bass . .. you owe it a chance to sound as great as can!


equipped with a low-noise, low-capacitance cable terminated
with high quality, repairable, solderless 1/4 inch audio con-
nectorss The resulting sound is even and acoustic at all
volumes~ And you enjoy precise frequency control as well as
natural response over the entire range of the bassm gfrom B

the lowest E (or C) to the highest harmonics.

THE DESIGN - At the heart of the Fishman Bass Self..sufficient! Needs no other parts, no hardware, no
Transducer are not one but two sensing elements that electronic interfaces. Even has its own cord!
deliver a responsiveness you've got to hear to believe.
This extraordinary sensitivity comes from two innova.. ENTHUSIASTICALL Y ACCEPTED
tions. One is ,the unique construction of the laminated Gene Cherico. Featured with the Frank Sinatra
piezoelectric crystals; the other is the transducer's con.. orchestra for the past 10 years. "Provides the clean,
figuration which permits it to be mounted precisely precise, 'natural' sound I need."
where it provides optimum sensing, and extreme feed.. Marc Johnson. Recorded with the Bill Evans Trio; played
back resistance. with Stan Getz. "Suits my open style to a 'T'."
EASY MOUNTING - No modification to your instru.. Red Mitchell. The incomparable bass player's bass
ment is required .... the mounting is done in player. "I'm a pick..up nut. I've tried them all.
minutes. Absolutely no risk of damage to the This one -is the answer."
instrument because you use felt..padded, Harvie Swartz. Mister Versatility. Performer,
brass compression clips to provide a simple composer, teacher. "At last a pick..up that
but positive mount for accurate tracking. keeps pace with today's bassist."


5 Green Street. Woburn, MA 01801, (617) 938-8850