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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000719.txt from 2004/08

From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?ferengiz=E2de_dani=EAl_shawqy?= <>
Subj: [kl] Early basset horn (was: 1896 Selmer Basset Horn)
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 06:31:04 -0400

There are historic basset horns in all kinds of pitches, including D, E and
Remember, the clarinet was considered a "mock trumpet" and if you hear a
proper baroque clarinet played you realise why. A bundle of features make me
believe the early basset horn was created in analogy as a "mock horn"... the
lacking steps in the bass (you have a good diatonic scale only above the
register break, the same written notes as on the horn) "evil" notes like the
short Bb, the low C# and B are not required for horn parts or if, they would
be bend down (with hand in bell) and sound different, much like the
crossfingered notes sound on a small-tonehole early basset horn. The low C
key yields the lowest commonly used harmonic of the horn, and sacrifices the
steps inbetween (to the G) which cannot be played on a natural horn anyway.
These two instruments have a lot in common, not only the bent shape and
metal bell. It is also the "transcendent" timbre, of cause. But you would
have to know and play an early basset horn to convince yourselve, I guess.
Modern (especially French) instruments selling as basset horns have not
inherited any of those subtle qualities. It's a totally different
Best wishes,

----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Shilcock
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: [kl] FW: 1896 Selmer Basset Horn

The first basset-horn *may* have resulted from an attempt to produce a
sound from a reed instrument, but horns in the mid-eighteenth century were
played with all sorts of crooks - I think D was far more common than F.
Hence, it not likely to have been intended that it should play existing horn
parts -still less so, given the musical content of such parts.
Roger S.

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