Subcontrabass tuba

Subcontrabass tuba

Infobox instrument
name = Subcontrabass tuba
names =


image_capt =
color = Brass
classification =
range = [Range tuba.png] related =
musicians = Gerard Hoffnung
builders = Adolphe Sax, Gustav Besson, the London firm of Paxman
articles =

The subcontrabass tuba is an extension of the tuba family below the modern contrabass tuba. At least five known examples have been created, all pitched in BBB, sounding a full octave lower than standard BB-flat contrabass tubas. Music for them is written in bass clef sounding a full octave lower than notated and its range, in the hands of a master, has been said to descend to C-2, the C two full octaves below the lowest C on a piano. The first existence of an instrument of this sort was designed by the Parisian instrument innovator Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), the inventor of the saxophone, who dubbed it the subcontrabass saxhorn. [cite book
last= Horwood
first=Wally
authorlink=
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editor=
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title=Adolphe Sax--His Life and Legacy
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volume=
date=
year=1992
month=
publisher=Egon Publishers, Ltd.
location=Baldock, Herts, England
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quote=p67
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] These instruments were all very rare and never received a great deal of attention. The first two modern instruments were built by Besson on the suggestion of American Bandmaster John Philip Sousa who toured using one in his band from 1896-1898 [cite book
last=McWhirter
first=Norris
authorlink=
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title=Guinness Book of World Records
origdate=
origyear=1976
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volume=1976 edition
date=
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publisher=New York: Sterling Publishing
location=The original album has a picture of this instrument on the reverse side.
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] . Later, in the 1950s, British musician Gerard Hoffnung commissioned the London firm of Paxman to create a subcontrabass tuba for use in his comedic music festivals (photo), and also commissioned a work: "Variations on "Annie Laurie" (1956) by Gordon Jacob, specifically including the instrument [cite book
last=Hoffnung
first=Gerald
authorlink=
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title=Hoffnung's Music Festivals
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accessdate=CD Insert
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edition=
series=
volume=
date=
year=1961
month=
publisher=BMI Music Publishing
location=Hayes Middlesex, England
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p18
] cite journal
quotes=
author=Young, Frederick
date=
year=1990
month=November
title=
journal=The Instrumentalist
volume=45
issue=4
pages=
publisher=
location=Northfield, IL, USA
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] . Although these very rare instruments are difficult to locate today, one of them is owned by Harvard University Music Department (www.Harvard.edu), and used peroidically for concerts, and a few modern works have been scored for them specifically by composers Henry Brant, Adam Gilberti and Blaise Garza. A tuba pitched in FFF was made in Kraslice by Bohland & Fuchs probably during 1910 or 1911 and was destined for the World Exhibition in New York in 1913 [ cite journal
quotes=
author=Green, Grant
date=
year=1998
month=
title=Subcontrabass Tuba
journal=Contrabass Digest
volume=1
issue=30
pages=
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url= [http://www.contrabass.com]
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] (Green). This tuba is "playable", but two persons are needed; one to operate the valves and one to blow into the mouthpiece (photo). Finally, Dr. Frederick Young plays a King BBb tuba that was converted into a double tuba (in BBb and EEE) by Dietrich Kleine-Horst (of the Herbert Gronitz Brass Instrument Company in Hamburg, Germany) in 1990. The BBb side is a contrabass tuba, and the EEE side is a subcontrabass tuba.

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