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Contrabassophone

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#1
Another of the oddments I came across today is a contrabassophone for sale.

Quoting our illustrious CE, Grant Green:

"The contrabassophone was invented around 1850 by the German bassoon maker Heinrich Joseph Haseneier, as a substitute for the contrabassoon (which at that time was too muffled to be satisfactory). The contrabassophone differed from the contrabassoon by having a larger bore (made of wood, and doubled in a similar fashion), and large tone holes covered by padded keys (without trying to duplicate the long oblique fingerholes found in bassoons). The resulting instrument was considered too powerful to play with an orchestra. The instrument is very rare: only a few copies were made by Haseneier, and a few later copies were made by Alfred Morton. It has a fingering system similar to the Boehm system, with single keys for L1-3 and R1-3, two keys R4, one or two keys for L4, with two keys for RT and four keys for LT. The lowest note is C1, "contrabass C" (the lowest C on the piano or contrabassoon)."

Hey, Grant: for what it's worth, I tend to think that the one I link to, here, and the one you link to at the National Music Museum are probably made by the same company. That little plaque on both of the horns looks a little too simular. Of course, I can't do that much of a comparison with the little pics ....
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
Well, from what I've read, it's possibly the rarest woodwind. That might justify the price. It also looks like most of the other Contabassophones are in museums. Additionally, a Fox contrabassoon costs $27K, so approx. $28K for this kind of horn isn't all that bad.

It's kinda hard for me to imagine a contrabassoon that's too loud, tho.
 
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