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Bass tárogató

#1
Has anyone ever seen one of these around? Does anyone play them?
I can't find very much on them. I'd like some generalized opinions and experiences. Not sure if more than two or three of them even exist anymore.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#3
'Course the tenor taragoto happens to be the instrument o' the month in my calendar.

I'd contact Steve Fox and take a look at the reference linky we have.

Looks like http://taragato.hu is now officially dead, unfortunately.

Grant Green might drop on by. He's the guy to talk to about really low horns, but he doesn't have a bass taragato listed on his website. Someone asked way back in 1998 if there was such a beast and there was no answer. Hey, if you Google "bass taragato" (with the quotes), nothing comes up.
 
#5
I never know how to spell tárogató, taragato, tarogot, taragot...
I tried all three ways, most are repeats of the same less-than informative articles and auction stories as depicted.
And I thought Heckelphones were difficult to come by.
Not too much on production years or materials or really anything all that interesting/informative so to speak. There's tons of information on any other kind of tárogató.
Perhaps people just didn't take to it's sound in comparison to similarly pitched bass instruments (bass oboes, heckelphones, etc), but I like it. It's most definitely an endangered species from my observations. Thanks guys for responding so quick!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#6
However, Heckelphones are still being made by at least two companies: Orsi and Heckel :D.

Gandalfe, you'll note in your screenshot that it mentions Gregus Pal. He's the gentleman that made the tenor taragato in my calendar. I think his contact info is at http://kezmuves.sugovica.hu/GregusPal/index.htm. However, while it does picture "basszus" taragatos there, it looks awfully like the tenor one in my calendar.

Anyhow, it never hurts to e-mail!
 
#8
My thought too about it lookin' like a tenor except somewhere in the literature it talked about being so long you needed a ladder to play the bass one. :cool:
Or a levitation setup.
Literally, it looks to me like an exact replica of the tenor, just enlarged a little (a lot). Same structure, similar neck/mouthpiece.
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#10
I remember wandering around Baltimore several years back and stumbling upon a music store near Peabody. On the wall were two tárogatós - an alto and a tenor.

Never seen the likes of them again.

I've briefly tried some tárogatós. One that Steve Fox was working on, and another that a customer brought into Gary Armstrong's shop several years back. They definitely put the fun in funky.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#11
Let's see. I've already expanded into researching Laurent flutes. Maybe I should do something on Taragatos.

Anyone want to send me some funds as a "research grant"?

FWIW, I've not heard taragato music outside Hungarian compositions and that music's not to my taste. I think, however, that it could be a really interesting color for a symphonic setting.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#12
FWIW, I've not heard taragato music outside Hungarian compositions and that music's not to my taste. I think, however, that it could be a really interesting color for a symphonic setting.
I'd think that a similar sound could be emulated with a soprano sax and a suitably shaped mouthpiece. (maybe with the reed upside down or so...)

Friend of mine can emulate an oboe on his trumpet, by means of some mute (and technique, I gather).
 
#13
I'd think that a similar sound could be emulated with a soprano sax and a suitably shaped mouthpiece. (maybe with the reed upside down or so...)
Or a loose embouchure with a soft reed perhaps. It would be difficult, the tárogató is such a distinct sounding instrument.
I don't know of anything that could imitate the amazing bass tárogató sound though, it's got an unusual "feel" to it's tone.
 

Heckelphone

Double Reed CE
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#14
Orsi heckelphones?

However, Heckelphones are still being made by at least two companies: Orsi and Heckel :D.

Gandalfe, you'll note in your screenshot that it mentions Gregus Pal. He's the gentleman that made the tenor taragato in my calendar. I think his contact info is at http://kezmuves.sugovica.hu/GregusPal/index.htm. However, while it does picture "basszus" taragatos there, it looks awfully like the tenor one in my calendar.

Anyhow, it never hurts to e-mail!
News to me! Heckel still makes heckelphones, and Guntram Wolf makes a bass oboe (to low F!) called the lupophone, but as far as I know, Orsi is concentrating on clarinets and (soprano) oboes these days. They do (or did) make sarrusophones and reed contrabasses: perhaps that was what you were thinking of?

I still haven't run across a bass tárogató (or any size other than Bb soprano), but then, I haven't been looking much for them either...
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#15
News to me! Heckel still makes heckelphones, and Guntram Wolf makes a bass oboe (to low F!) called the lupophone, but as far as I know, Orsi is concentrating on clarinets and (soprano) oboes these days. They do (or did) make sarrusophones and reed contrabasses: perhaps that was what you were thinking of?

I still haven't run across a bass tárogató (or any size other than Bb soprano), but then, I haven't been looking much for them either...
No; Orsi used to have them on their price sheet. Orsi is interesting because they'll make just about anything. For the right price, like the $84,000 contrabass sax.
 
#16
Tenor and Bass tárogató are the same thing. The original Stowassers were sold as bass tárogatós but they were the same pitch as a tenor sax so they also tend to get called a tenor. I heard this at the world tárogató congress last year where I took the picture in the calendar.

Gregus Pal has made a maybe half a dozen of them patterned on an unrepairable Stowasser he found at a flea market. They sound like a tenor sax with intonation issues. I think he sells them for about 3000 Euros.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#19
In that video it looks like the next has been replaced by a modern-day tenor sax neck.
...and the classic attire by modern-day street wear. :-/
(I don't think it's necessary to play in tux or formal wear, but apparel like this somehow devalues a performance, no?)
 
#20
...and the classic attire by modern-day street wear. :-/
(I don't think it's necessary to play in tux or formal wear, but apparel like this somehow devalues a performance, no?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1KdgVlUEes

I was present at that performance and as I remember that tenor/bass tárogató was a gift from Gregus Pal, the maker to Miklos who was playing it. You see Gergus Pal at the start and looking worried in the background later. Miklos had only had it a couple of hours and didn't have a decent reed/mouthpiece hence the odd things happening here and there. Here he is playing in full regalia. Is that better tictac? (tux is unnecessary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOLffFmsCG8

Of course it's a modern crook incidentally. It's a modern tárogató. Perhaps it's a part from some saxophone that he uses but I don't know.
 
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