Strange Instrument #1: The Contrabass Saxophone

This video spotted on Monuzz reminder of the strange instrument, the contrabass saxophone… Among the woodwind instruments family (yes, saxophone is a woodwind and not a brasswind as the sound is created by the vibrations of a reed), it is the largest and heaviest one standing almost 2 meters tall and about 20 kilograms.

It is a pretty rare instrument insofar as only 30 pieces seemed to have been produced during the 20th century. However, since 2000, some instruments manufacturers started to produce their own versions of the contrabass saxophone according to traditional specs (J’Elle Stainer from Brazil) or bringing some technical improvements (Benedikt Eppelsheim from Germany). The total yearly production of contrabass saxophones is limited to 4 or 5 pieces though.

The contrabass saxophone is mainly used in classical and jazz music either as a rhythm foundation or as a solo instrument… One thing for sure, I love the low and heavy sound of this instruments even though it is sometimes hard to hear a well defined melody.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsqEYwaTWCg[/youtube]

The following video is the one that reminded me the existence of the contrabass saxophone…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXBeu7o9uUM[/youtube]

And to be totally exhaustive on the contrabass saxophone manufacturers, here is a link to the website of Romeo Orsi from Italy who produces the contrabass saxophone of the previous video.

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About Sem

I am the founder of Muzicosphere (that also exists in a French version). In 2011, I also created Guitar Fail, the Guitar LOL place to be. And before that I created GAS a GoGo, a gear giveaways blog in French.

One comment

  1. I played saxophone for years when I was younger. First the Alto sax for 2 years, and then tenor sax for 3 years. Only ocassionally did I play the baritone sax. It has some very low tones, and I think takes a bit more wind to make it work.

    So I can imagine it will be a challenge to play a Contrbass Saxophone!

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