Linton Contra

Discussion in 'Eb Contralto Clarinet' started by pete, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    <coughs politely>
     
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Ooh, pretty... :cool:

    It'd be cool to have on many levels, but getting Suzy to approve the expenditure probably won't happen after we sprung for the contrabass clarinet last year.
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Any idea why the bell is so large?

    Also, it would appear that the Linton instruments are not well regarded in instrument repair circles. Anyone know anything about this?

    Anyone??? Hello, is this mic on? :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  5. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    My linton oboe had uselessly soft keywork. Not so much a deal breaker with me, as I keep things in adjustment and do not use a gorilla grip. But when it cracked the upper joint through all but one tone hole, I sent it to Mojo for electrification, in return for a little facing work.

    I bet it is a dandy lamp!
     
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I think the bell is conical to make up for some of the size issues.

    I'm not positive of the range of the horn. If the low note is a bari sax's Bb, I wouldn't be overly surprised (and the tubing seems to indicate that), but your average contralto player would be: where's my low Eb? If I don't have a low C, I want an Eb, at least!

    There are also side altissimo keys, but they're not really sax-like. Looks kinda like a regular clarinet's A/G#/Bb assembly.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFpY9X6SU4E

    Allegedly, these things were produced by Orsi for Linton (reference ... and it's mentioned in other places).

    This reference also mentions that the size of the mouthpiece is bigger than a bari sax mouthpiece, but not quite a contrabass clarinet mouthpiece. That's a little odd. (Then again, I also think the number of "only 40 made" is low -- primarily because I've seen five of these horns.)

    I'm also not positive it's an Eb instrument. Primarily because other folks mention "contrabass" rather than "contralto" -- although I know folks call contraltos Eb contrabasses on occasion.

    It does look a lot like a range-reduced version of Eppelsheim's Bb contrabass clarinet, so maybe it is ....

    I have a directory of pics from a 2002 eBay sale of one of these on saxpics.com.

    I suppose we could write Orsi or Linton and ask :).
     
  7. bpimentel

    bpimentel Broadway Doubler List Owner Distinguished Member

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    I'm acquainted with Linton oboes and bassoons and find them to be real duds.

    This clarinet(?) raises a number of questions in my mind. Range to low E-flat - meaning the pitch that would be low E-flat if this were a contralto clarinet (concert G-flat)? Or is it low concert E-flat? Or saxophone-fingering E-flat? Either way, if you were going to play a contralto clarinet part, you would have to transpose.

    I see a right hand low C key, but I don't see a LH low B-flat key. Looks like just G-sharp, C-sharp, and B in the left hand table. Looks to me like the bell keys confirm a saxophone-fingering low B as the lowest note. How do you reconcile that to "range to low E-flat?"

    I can't imagine trying to play the thing, either--playing on a clarinet-type mouthpiece, making clarinet-like sounds, but trying to remember to use saxophone fingerings? A nightmare even without having to transpose.

    Shiny, though.
     
  8. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    "Shiny, yes my precious." Golem from Lord of the Rings. I sent them a low ball offer which they immediately turned down. It's a freak of nature all right that might be cool when playing bari sax. But other than that, a bari probably sounds better in most Big Band and Concert Band applications.
     
  9. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear.

    A standard contralto clarinet is pitched in Eb, just like a baritone saxophone. A contralto clarinet can have a keyed range to low Eb or low C (in the pic, it's the horn on the right; there are a few straight ones, as well, but I can't find a pic at the moment).

    For some ungodly reason, some people call an Eb contralto clarinet an "Eb contrabass clarinet". If you think about it, this is wrong: the next highest Eb clarinet is called an "Eb alto clarinet". Heck, it really could be called an "Eb contralto saxophone", not a baritone (it's called "baritone" because it sorta matches the vocal range of a baritone).

    This Linton, if it follows saxophone fingerings, has a low Bb as it's lowest note -- or the fingerings are massively scrrewed up.

    That's why I wonder if the horn's pitched in Bb. Same range as a Bb bass saxophone and essentially the same fingerings. Hey, it's cheaper than a bass sax. However, you are correct that if this horn only has fingerings to low Bb, it sucketh muchly as either a Eb contralto or Bb contrabass clarinet -- unless it's an Eb contralto with range to a low Bb below the standard low Eb (I NEED to upload those note-heads!). Which I don't think it is.

    Based on my experience playing contrabass clarinet, tho, and playing a bass sax, I'd say that it has about 1/2 the power and volume of a saxophone, so the Linton's not a great replacement for a bass sax, even if it is pitched in Bb.

    If you're wondering, in the article on sneezy.org I linked to, above, the owner of one of these Lintons was asked if the horn was a Bb instrument or an Eb instrument. The owner didn't answer :(.

    According to other research, other Linton clarinets were made by Robert Malerne. There seems to be a little debate on that, but the conclusion was a definite, "Linton never made their own clarinets."
     
  10. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Well there's a point in its favor.
     
  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I thought we'd decided that it was most likely made by Orsi.
     
  12. bpimentel

    bpimentel Broadway Doubler List Owner Distinguished Member

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    I think "Eb contrabass" is a much better name for the low clarinet than "contralto." Why would the contralto of the family be pitched lower than the bass?

    As far as the low B-flat--just calling it like I see it. Anyone see a low B-flat key on this beast?
     
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    For what it's worth, the "bass" clarinet really occupies the tenor slot in the clarinet family, and the Eb "contra-alto" is really the true bass of the clarinet family.

    However, try telling that to a bass clarinet player and see how far you get with the line of argument.
     
  14. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    As I said, "other clarinets". This beasty, and other metal Lintons, are supposed to have been made by Orsi.
     
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    "Pitched in Bb" does not mean that it has to have a low Bb key. That's what I'm referring to.

    However, looking at that G# cluster, you're right that it might not even have a low Bb key. If the keywork's following a saxophone layout :).

    I think I'll have to shoot Orsi an e-mail ....
     
  16. Yamahaaltoplayer

    Yamahaaltoplayer

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    This is so cool, I want to play other instruments when I'm older and I can.:emoji_relaxed: But I don't get the low Bb thing either. It has low C then a double low C# and then a low B, but then no tonehole for a Bb, yet the bell looks too long for it to end on a low B. And why are they THREE thumb keys?
     
  17. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    On extended range instruments, it is relatively common to duplicate the keys for the low end stuff to to enable more facile L-R-L changes.

    My bass clarinet has duplicates for all of the standard "four" little finger keys on the right side, but only a single Eb key for the little finger on the right hand, plus three thumb keys for the D, C# and low C. The way they are arranged makes it a bit easier to finger stuff down low, but there is a simple modification that can be made to allow more rapid changes from each of the thumb keys.

    (I've not had it done as I would have to have three keys replated once the modification was completed, and I don't really see that much of need for it.)

    Nowadays, it's not uncommon to see six key clusters for the right hand little finger, with four or five for the right hand little finger, plus a couple for the thumb. I prefer the older arrangement, but to each their own.

    Push comes to shove, all of the makers have their own system, and each has its pluses and minuses. These horns are so thin on the ground that I doubt anyone, even the most experienced repair technician, has seen the mall.
     
  18. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    This is probably not a "sax-fingered" contra so much as a simple system (pre-Boehm, less than full Oehler system) horn. The RH4 keys (that look like the RH4 keys on a sax) will cover low F and G#, while the three LH4 keys cover low E, F#, and middle C#. As far as I can tell, this horn only descends to low E, not even Eb. Concert pitch, that would be G below the bass staff, just below the bass sax's lowest note.

    The three LT keys would be your standard thumb F, a lower register key (for B to D#) and a higher register key (for E up to high C) -- many of these older horns did not have an automatic octave key. Or it could be that one is just for the throat Bb: hard to tell from these pictures.

    It looks like its in beautiful condition. The biggest problem with these horns is that (a) the bores are too wide to use other contra mouthpieces, and (b) you can't get reeds to fit the Linton mpc. Makes them hard to set up and play...

    Enjoy,

    Grant
     
  19. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Unless you are playing my Eppelsheim bass sax to low A. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    You'd think it was a blood relative as much as I show it off.
     
  20. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Linton contra-alto

    Eb contrabass was probably the original name, just as the Eb contrabass sax is the next step down from the Bb bass sax. I imagine that after the Bb contrabass was invented, people recognized that as the "true" contrabass, and began referring to the Eb contra as the Eb contra-alto ("alto" being just above the "bass"). This, unfortunately, gets shortened to "contralto", which makes no sense musically ("contralto" is simply "lower than alto" -- not necessarily lower than tenor).

    Almost certainly, it has pre-Boehm simple system keywork. Similar to sax fingering, but not in the sense that the lowest note is Bb.

    Enjoy!

    Grant
     

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