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Linton Contra

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

  1. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Wonderful horn! I got to try several Eppelsheim horns a couple of years ago, when I was in Munich on business. Bass, contra to low A, tubaxes, soprillo, and his (then prototype) contrabass clarinet. Among the best horns I've ever played (even the prototype!).

    Enjoy,

    Grant
     
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I think I'll write to Orsi after my class is over. It's an intriguing instrument.

    Remember: the horn was made in the 1980's. It's not exactly "old". I can grant that the horn has non-standard fingering, but too many people have said "saxophone fingering". That's why official documentation or actual hands-on experience would be a good thing.

    ===========

    Occasionally, you might see a saxophone referred to as a "bass in contra Bb" or something like that and theat does confuse people. The clarinet family is much larger than the saxophone family, so standardization is a necessity.

    It's more fun when you're talking about different languages. Yes, your horn's pitched in B ... if you're German.
     
  3. bobsax

    bobsax

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    I agree also
    soprano = good
    alto = fine also
    bass = should be tenor
    conta alto = should be bass
    contra bass = fine

    another interesting note
    Soprano clarinet can almost get as low as an alto sax.
    Alto clarinet can almost get as low as a tenor sax.
    etc and so on.:-D
     
  4. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    ...and soprano clarinet descends almost as low as the bass flute, bass oboe, and contrabass recorder (alto clarinet goes lower than all of them).
     
  5. EliR

    EliR

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    How would you classify the small Eb clarinet and the rare (and even smaller) Ab clarinet? And then there's the basset horn...
     
  6. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    We've still got some ultra high soprano term that I don't recall, mezzo soprano, contra alto and contra tenor to play with, not to mention (cough, cough) baritone...
     
  7. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Works both ways...

    Sopranino and soprillo.

    Many years ago, I sat in with a jazz band, auditioning for the bari chair before I had a bari. I played alto, but referred to it as a "piccolo bari". ;-) (I bought a bari, and my first bass clarinet, after I passed the audition.)
     
  8. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I'm aware of those, but I was referring to a normal music term (like mezzo-soprano), rather than some sax-based one. I don't know enough about sopranos (other than not to hire one who doesn't have "mezzo-" in front of the term) to be acquainted with all of the obscure operatic terms.
     
  9. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Too d*@& high anyway...

    Ah, so you mean characterizations like "coloratura soprano", lyric, spinto, etc. Wikipedia has an entry on sopranos (without guns).

    It was the contra tenor that threw me: I think you mean "countertenor".
     
  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    "Counter Tenor" = "Insanely high tenor voice". A counter tenor is the replacement for castrati. Seriously.

    The question becomes, "Are you talking range or tone quality?" A Counter tenor can easily sing as high as a soprano, but has a much different tone quality. Hey, I know quite a few women that sing in the bass range, but they don't sound "right" singing that part. If I needed to fill out a section, fine. If I needed someone to sing the solos in Messiah, I'd get a male bass.

    Anyhow, the sopranino range on the clarinet is the Eb. You could consider Ab as sopranissimo, I suppose, but there's no Ab soprano clarinet, so that's a challenge. "Soprillo" is the name of the Bb sopranino/sopranissimo saxophone from Eppelsheim; it's not a musical term. HN White made a Bb sopranissimo prototype.
     
  11. Yamahaaltoplayer

    Yamahaaltoplayer

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    Really? Can I see?;-) (Do you have a link?) Btw, isn't it considered a piccolo saxophone? Along with piccolo oboe, trumpet, flute, heckelphone......
     
  12. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    "Piccolo", while it can be used as an adjective for "small", is actually short for "piccolo flauto" -- Italian for "small flute" (Merriam-Webster). In other words, I used to play bari sax. I think an alto is a toy and it's smaller, thus alto sax is a piccolo :)

    (My point: "piccolo" has no musical meaning beyond denoting the thing that's pitched an octave higher than the flute, in my opinion, at least.)

    Let's take the piccolo trumpet. The regular trumpet is a melody instrument. Let's call that a soprano. An instrument one octave above that would be a sopranissimo or sopranino, depending on whether or not there's a higher-pitched trumpet (while these words are interchangeable for and are defined as "voiced higher than soprano", they mean "ultimate [i.e. 'the most'] soprano" and "little soprano", respectively, thus "sopranissimo" should be for the highest-pitched instrument in the group and "sopranino" is just "higher than the soprano instrument, but not the highest pitch").

    (I took several years of Latin in high school and college. Italian is close to Latin.)

    "Soprano coloratura" is, literally "high voice with color". Wikipedia says, "The term normally refers to a soprano who has the vocal ability to produce notes above C#6 and whose tessitura is A4-A5 or higher (unlike lower sopranos whose tessitura is G3-G4 or lower)."

    In any event, provided you know what someone's talking about, there are no problems. Usually.

    =============

    I don't have any personal pictures of the HN White instrument. The info I got was from a couple of very old The Saxophone Journal articles -- which did have pictures -- but I'd have to dig up my old copies and sort through 'em to tell you the correct TSJ issue. 1984/5, and then another 6 or so months later. I think. Hey, Ed! You've got the whole stack, right? These aren't "Vintage Saxophone Revisited" articles, IIRC.
     
  13. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Don't know if you were just joking, he said fondling his soprillo, but here are some links:
     
  14. saxophyte

    saxophyte

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  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Saxophyte, it's normally against the rules to post sale ads outside of the "Mall" area. I'm allowing the exception, because you're the only one I've been able to talk to that HAS one of these, so I ask that you answer some of the questions brought up in this thread:

    * Bb or Eb instrument?
    * What's the keyed range of the horn?
    ... etc.
     
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    While I dunno if the above poster is selling this, but there's another Linton on sale on eBay and he does answer a few questions:

    * Keyed range is low E. Just by hearing that, you know that this horn doesn't have "saxophone" fingerings, it has Boehm-like fingerings.
    * It's a Bb contra, not an Eb contra.

    According to the ad, only 40 of these were made since 1972.

    Now, the Linton that started this thread was sold as an Eb contralto. I wonder what percentage chance there is that this is the same horn.
     
  17. bobsax

    bobsax

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    It went for $3,123.57
    Seems like a good deal for such a rare instrument .
    I hope the buyer enjoys playing it .
    The buyer had a good size feedback number (1151), so it may have gone to a reseller like Quinn the Eskimo.
     
  18. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, the last one fetched $4K, so it's not bad.

    I think that a new owner could definitely get used to the fingering, but the problems of the uniquely-sized reeds is something completely different. I suppose it's possible that someone out there has an old box they want to sell or Orsi might custom-make 'em for you, but both sound like an expensive proposition.

    I liken the Linton, in a way, to high pitch instruments. You could have a breathtakingly beautiful Conn New Wonder alto sax with the Virtuoso Deluxe finish of triple gold plate and elaborate engraving, but in high pitch, the horn is virtually worthless to anyone except a very small group of collectors or soloists.
     
  19. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think QuinnTheEskimo's feedback is in the tens of thousands.

    I wanted to like this instrument, but those who've played it said it was a terrible experience.
     
  20. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    But I'm certain it builds the character. :emoji_rolling_eyes:
     
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