The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155925   Message #3673130
Posted By: GUEST,Grishka
30-Oct-14 - 04:51 PM
Thread Name: Double Bass: Why called?
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
The bass viol ("viola da gamba") is tuned like a lute. The lowest three strings of the two instruments are usually tuned exactly one octave apart - but all tunings can vary. The property of our instrument of being "one octave below" is not that much tied to the tuning as to function and notation. Players often get the very same music sheets as other bass instrument players ("Tutti bassi", possibly including a bassoon etc.), an the meaning is to sound one octave lower whenever possible. Just as if an organist drew a 16 foot stop.

A ¾ double bass would amount to 1½ bass ...