A most intriguing opportunity...

Discussion in 'Tárogató' started by kymarto, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Looks like I have a chance to buy a most unusual tárogató. It has some great upsides, and one big downside.

    The pros:

    It is a Stowasser. In as close to mint condition as one could hope to find. Absolutely intact with only minor wear to the lacquer they put on the wood. Comes in original case, with original key. Case is also in great shape. It comes with two original mouthpieces, with an original wooden cap. All in excellent shape. It's being overhauled to fit new pads and corks as we speak.

    It is the only tárogató that anyone has ever seen that has an extension down to low A. The Bb key is on the front of an extra long body, with the A key on the bell. It has double thumb keys like an old Heckelphone.

    It's not cheap, but neither is it expensive--at the low end of the normal price range for Stowassers.

    The con:

    It is in Db...
    (Also the only one anyone knows of. It seems to have been a super-special order to the factory, possibly in order to play along with accordion. Apparently there were some old Austro-Hungarian ones tuned to Db at the end of the 19th century).

    There you have it. I'm very intrigued, but Db?? I can't think of a worse key for a jammin' horn, and I'm not like super-rich, but damn....

    What are your thoughts?

    Toby tarogato.JPG
     
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  2. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    I had a chance to buy a "most unusual taragoto" once myself. :p

    I would say it all depends upon the motive for purchasing such an instrument. If it is to be a collector's piece, then by all means buy it. It would be a wise choice based upon how rare it is. On the other hand, if the motive is to own an instrument to be played frequently it could be more trouble than it is worth. One would have to read oboe parts down a half step, or clarinet/soprano sax parts down a minor 3rd - up a 6th. Oh wait that's what I've been doing all my life on alto saxophone transposing from concert pitch and its not that hard. Never mind. If you want it, go for it. Who knows, you might find someone who has a Db piccolo someday who wants to play duets.
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    You could always buy it, re-list it on eBay for whatever price is good for the horn with the idea of putting that toward the pitch you want, and play the horn until it sells. Either you'll sell the horn and get what you really want or you'll get used to enough transposing that you won't need a different horn. Win-win :D.
     
  4. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    It's not like a Db piccolo, which is intended to play established musical literature. It is an unusual instrument, and the rare key makes it even more unusual. I'm not saying it's worth more, but I don't think it is worth a whole lot less. As far as an instrument for jammin' is concerned, if the band is in flats, you are in heaven.
     
  5. MrDibbs

    MrDibbs

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    Are you sure it's not high pitch C?
     
  6. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Not according to its former owner, who is an accomplished performer. Anyway AFAIK Stowasser never made a HP tárogató in any key. OTOH nobody knew they made one in C#, so that does bear investigation before any cash changes hands. Looking into my feelings, I have pretty much decided to go for this if it is LP, whatever the pitch.

    Tonight I jammed on the Bb tárogató--finally knowing my way around it well enough to feel comfortable, and it was great. Like a very sweet and dark sop, with spot on and solid intonation. Really a pleasure to play. At worst, one in C# will give me lots of valuable practice on accidentals, which I was always to lazy to study properly :p

    (And how can I resist a rosewood mpc cap?)
     
  7. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    And John, how is your pet tárogató doing? I was pretty impressed with the intonation based on the sound clips you posted, and you got a strong low B, so your work on the toneholes must have been good :)
     
  8. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    I have had to put the tárogató on the back burner for a while to work on other projects with more priority. I still need to smooth and seal the bore, revamp the lower joint key work to enable an in tune cross fingered F, and move the LH 3rd finger tonehole for a more natural fit. Eventually I want to come up with a more practical key for low Bb, but I haven't figured out a design that would accomplish that.

    Once I finish my new shop and get a few saxophones finished and sold, I can get back to the tárogató project.
     
  9. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  10. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Oops. I let the cat out of the bag. Seriously, I was going to post some pictures when I get it finished. At my age (65) things don't get accomplished quite as fast as they used to. It is getting so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel---I just hope its not a train. :tongue: Right now all my tools and supplies are in boxes. I just hope I remember how to use them by the time the shop gets finished.
     
  11. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    I promised to post some photos of the new shop when it is finished. It is becoming evident that it will always be a work in progress, but at least it is far enough along to be open for business. This link: New Shop will take you to a slide show if you are interested. My newest tool (came today) shown in the dent removal area is the long sax body mandrel affectionately known in the trade as "Sir Lancelot". I need to get busy and make some money to pay for what everything cost---or as my wife says, "work in my shop instead of on my shop".
     
  12. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    You get that too?
     
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    No matter how hard you try, the "set up" of a business operation is never, ever, EVER done.
     
  14. Anton Stadler

    Anton Stadler

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    Hi kymarto,

    I would say that the low A was fitted to give the tárogató the same range as one in C. I would agree that it was probably a special order instrument as Stowasser did not, to my knowledge advertise instruments in Db. It is a strange key to request an instrument to be made in though. It does look in very good condition and if you can afford it I would buy it. I love unusual old instruments and have been playing tárogató professionally for over thirty years. Good luck with your purchase.

    Best wishes from the UK

    Anton
     
  15. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Hi Anton,
    Thank you for your reply. There is news: the instrument appears to be in C after all. The present owner tried it with other mpcs and he says it plays beautifully at 440. I know that Stowasser made instruments in C, so this makes sense. I do plan to buy this lovely instrument,

    Another intriguing piece of news: I managed to buy an original Schunda instrument in excellent shape. It somehow ended up at an antique shop in Denmark. It looks hardly used. It is being shipped now. It has many characteristics of the Schunda instruments I have managed to research, including the maker's mark, tenon ring design, key linkages and design of the low Bb, B and C# keys, and other key similarities, including the separated upper joint side keys. So I'm pretty sure it is real. What is most interesting is that the little finger touches both left and right are flat with metal rollers--resembling later Stowasser designs. And it has the left hand alternate Eb, and a unique double octave key design.

    I've searched far and wide on the net. Overall the instrument is mostly identical to the one in the Horniman collection, but that one is single octave key, no Eb and more rounded touches. If you know anyone with any expertise in Schunda tárogatók, please let me know. I will post further when the instrument arrives.

    Toby
     

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