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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #1
OK, bass clarinet fans, sax players who want to get a bass and emulate David Murray, etc....

Bass clarinets come is several flavors OTHER THAN low Eb and low C models.

They come in:
Low E
and
Low D models!

I was recently educated on this, and well, I hope that no one else makes the same mistake I did.

mea culpa
caveat emptor
and my favorite latin phrase, "Doh!":banghead:
 

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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
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What mistake? They used to come in low E and low D and you can find (although less common) models like these if you look for older ones, but pretty much only low Eb and low C models are made now.
 

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They also come in the rare A bass clarinet too. Never actually seen one, but I hear they are handy for Grofé.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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the bass is the most fun woodwind there is-try some eric dolphy-forget david murry! you wont believe what that cat could do on the bass!. i almost bought a selmer paris low e but opted for a leblanc low eFLAT instead
 

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I've seen a Low D only once... a Conn. A low E Conn was my main horn until I bought my Linton.
 

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Über Geek, Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SO
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They also come in the rare A bass clarinet too. Never actually seen one, but I hear they are handy for Grofé.
And just about any large orchestra piece written by a Russian composer...
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #8
Zen, we are talking about the keywork here, not the pitch of the horn itself ;)
 

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Bass clarinets (other than a very few 'special-order' ones made by Selmer-Paris) are always in the key of Bb. If you get a "bass clarinet in A" part in an orchestral works, you transpose it. And such "A" parts are too common, thanks to Ravel, Mahler, etc. (or more likely their clueless copyists).

Since ca. 1920 nearly all bass clarinets have a standard range to low-Eb, with low-C bass clarinets starting to become available ca. late 1950s (although many Russian composers, e.g. Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Stravinsky, wrote parts needing the extended range before those instruments even existed -- go figure!).

The only bass clarinets I've ever seen that came from the factory with range to low-D were one Conn model, and my F. Arthur Uebel German-system instrument (which dates probably from the 1960s).
 
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