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Contrabass or Double bass clarinet


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
A friend of mine who is borrowing my contrabass and contra alto clarinets for an upcoming concert came across the terminology of Double bass or double alto clarinet. Anyone ever heard of that? It sounds like it might be an archaic term.
I'd rather use the contra-something term, even if it reminds some of an affair Ronnie R. had during office.

Or maybe BBb or EEb? That conveys the "double" thingy in its acronym...


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Whenever I've heard "Double Bass," it refers to a string bass. Following what TTT mentions, it's why a a contrabass clarinet is called a "BBb bass" in some literature. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bass


Old King Log
Staff member
Is not "double bass" really nothing more than a translation of the German term for the upright bass viol? I seem to recall this from a long time ago, but my memory (like much else about me) is a bit fuzzy...

Besides, as we all know, while an alto clarinet is an "alto" clarinet, the bass clarinet is really a "tenor" clarinet, the so-called "contra-alto" clarinet is really a "bass" clarinet, and only the Bb contrabass clarinet is really a contra-bass clarinet.
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