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Double Bass: Why called?

28 Oct 14 - 08:09 AM (#3672575)
Subject: Double Bass: Why called?
From: Mr Happy

I've asked & googled around nobody seems to know.

Anyone?


28 Oct 14 - 08:22 AM (#3672577)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Blandy

http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095727985


28 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM (#3672579)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,#

"It got its name from the job it used to do. It used to 'double the bass' played by the harpsichord in 17th-century orchestras. Now it has its own music and even the occasional solo!"


28 Oct 14 - 08:28 AM (#3672580)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: Mr Happy

Checked that link - no answer there, as it appears that one has to be a member


28 Oct 14 - 08:30 AM (#3672581)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: Mr Happy

GUEST,#

That's very sharp of you!

Can you show where that quote is from, please?


28 Oct 14 - 08:39 AM (#3672584)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Blandy.

It's called a double bass because it's an octave below a standard bass viol. There's a degree of controversy here because it's not quite a violin and not quite a viol either, with characteristics of both, though the tuning & bow technique is more viol than violin.


28 Oct 14 - 09:38 AM (#3672597)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt

I go to Ponte Caffaro (northern Italy) every year for Carnevale, and to meet many of my friends the musicians and some of the dancers of the wonderful local group, One of the instruments is a Basetti or Single Bass...only three strings and played with a very short bow,
tuned to a chord and used mainly as a percussive instrument. Do a google search for Ponte Caffaro to see them in action


28 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM (#3672600)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

then we have the octobass...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octobass


28 Oct 14 - 09:58 AM (#3672602)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Blandy.

And this..

http://doublebassblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/biggest-violin.jpg

...of course those ladies could be very small!


28 Oct 14 - 10:44 AM (#3672610)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: Mr Happy

Thanks to all for responses. Will read soon & reply


28 Oct 14 - 04:22 PM (#3672689)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Grishka

A string (or pipe, tube etc.) that sounds an octave lower than another one, with all other parameters unchanged, will theoretically be of double length. In particular, an organ register that sounds an octave below nominal (8-foot) is called 16-foot, after the approximate length of the lowest C pipe. The person who coined the English name may have been an organist.


28 Oct 14 - 05:37 PM (#3672704)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: michaelr

I was just recently told by the bassist in my band that it's called that because it (originally) "doubled" a higher-pitched instrument, e.g. the harpsichord, as mentioned above.


29 Oct 14 - 05:30 AM (#3672756)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: banjoman

Interesting. However, when reading this thread I realised that my Doctor recently prescribed a re-hydrating cream to treat a minor skin disorder - "Double Base" No connection but a coincidence despite the different spelling.
Had the opportunity to see Danny Thompson a while ago. Never thought a double bass could be so versatile.


29 Oct 14 - 07:59 PM (#3672903)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: olddude

I thought it was the bass i caught last summer


30 Oct 14 - 11:42 AM (#3673047)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: PHJim

Also called String bass, Stand-up bass, Doghouse bass...

I'm not familiar with the standard bass viol that GUEST,Blandy mentioned. If the double bass is an octave below the standard bass viol, then the bass viol must be tuned the same as the 3rd to 6th strings of a guitar in standard tuning.

A full size string bass is rarely seen outside of orchestras. Most jazz, bluegrass, rockabilly, folk musicians use 3/4 basses. Even guys who are 6'5" seem to use 3/4 basses.


30 Oct 14 - 04:51 PM (#3673130)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST,Grishka

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 ...


30 Oct 14 - 07:26 PM (#3673154)
Subject: RE: Double Bass: Why called?
From: GUEST

It's a contrabass instrument. "Contra" is the octave below the "bass" octave. It is therefore, in a way, twice as "bass"... "double" as low - keeping in mind that octaves are in a 1:2 ratio to each other.