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Video: Is this a Tárogató?

I was looking for Scott Robinson's C melody saxophone on YouTube when I found him playing with somebody in a jazz festival.
Darned if the instrument didn't look like a Tárogató.
And I think a bass Tárogató shows up later.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
You are correct. It is a tárogató and it is played extremely well. It gives a nice contrast to the clarinet in this setting. Thanks for sharing this.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I think a bass Tárogató shows up later.
I think you're right.

Several comments:
* This is the first time I've heard a Taragato played where it actually sounds better than a badly out of tune, very harsh sounding soprano sax. Great job.
* While the soprano Taragato sounds to me almost exactly like a soprano sax, the bass Taragato sounds like someone's forgotten to remove his padsaver from his tenor. (i.e. It's a very muffled sound.)

I did some fooling around with numbers. Currently, the "base" soprano sax I'd buy -- if forced to, like someone was going to kill me or my family if I didn't comply, because I don't want a soprano sax -- would be the Yani SCWO10. That's just under $4800. The highest-end Taragato from the best company, Stowasser, is 3925 Euro (appx. $4500 US). So, any reason not to use a Taragato as a soprano sax replacement?
 
I think you're right.

Several comments:
* This is the first time I've heard a Taragato played where it actually sounds better than a badly out of tune, very harsh sounding soprano sax. Great job.
* While the soprano Taragato sounds to me almost exactly like a soprano sax, the bass Taragato sounds like someone's forgotten to remove his padsaver from his tenor. (i.e. It's a very muffled sound.)

I did some fooling around with numbers. Currently, the "base" soprano sax I'd buy -- if forced to, like someone was going to kill me or my family if I didn't comply, because I don't want a soprano sax -- would be the Yani SCWO10. That's just under $4800. The highest-end Taragato from the best company, Stowasser, is 3925 Euro (appx. $4500 US). So, any reason not to use a Taragato as a soprano sax replacement?
Scott is amazing. I toured Hungary with him a few years ago with the World tárogató ensemble.

One reason you wouldn't get one in preference to a decent soprano is that, unless you're Scott, it may well sound like a badly out of tune, very harsh soprano sax. :)

Seriously though. learning the fingering system is the main issue. Unless you play German system clarinet you'll have a bit of a learning curve.

A few highlights:

Fork F (xxx|xox), F# is xxx|xoo
No bis key or long Bb
No articulated G#
Thumb key for low Bb. (that might be better sometimes but it takes a while to get used to)
No palm keys - above C you have to find altissimo fingerings.
Two octave keys to manage manually.

An there's the more difficult intonation. It's much more flexible and less centred in pitch than a saxophone. I think that's due to having far smaller tone holes.

The harsh sounds you've heard are down to Romanian style mouthpieces. They have a ridiculously high baffle. Hungarian style pieces are more 'normal'.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Note that I'd probably sound out-of-tune and harsh on both instruments :D.

IIRC, the entire idea behind the (modern) taragato was to have smaller tone holes. The inventor thought the ones on the sax were "offensive" or something.
 
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