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 How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: James Hogg 
Date:   2007-04-27 22:39

I read on the Wikipedia article on bassoons a mention of "impossible notes".
The quote is as follows: "Also, using certain fingerings, notes may be produced on the instrument that sound lower pitches than the actual range of the instrument. These "impossible notes" tend to sound very gravelly and out of tune, but technically sound below the low B flat."
Does anyone happen to know how to play these as I searched Google and couldn't find any useful results. If you do please say because I, from my limiited knowledge of them, am fascinated.

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 Re: How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2007-05-14 12:00

Are these multiphonics that give the impression of notes sounding an 8ve lower than they really are?

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: vgellin 
Date:   2007-05-18 23:23

I believe that an article back in the 80's or earlier in the IDRS Journal discussed this.
There are also what I call sub-tones which can be produced by lipping the low Bb down with a relaxed embouchure at the tip. I've done this on several contemporary pieces. One is by a Hungarian composer and the other work is by Robert Turner that I recorded for the CBC called Shadow Pieces.
I've heard that Leonard Sharrow was very good at this technique

Vincent Ellin
Bassoon Soloist

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 Re: How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: ornithologist of the bands 
Date:   2008-04-23 16:52

I know one way to get a low A is to roll up a piece of paper and stick it in the bell. People actually do that in real music. Usually, another person puts the paper in, though.

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 Re: How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: ST90 
Date:   2009-01-11 02:16

to remark on that reply about a piece of paper in the bell. my friend and i were experimenting one day and found that if you take the bell off of one horn and put it on top of another and play low Bb you can actually reach low G though it is very flatornithologist of the bands wrote:

Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

~Miles Davis~

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 Re: How to play "Impossible Notes"
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2009-07-12 21:52

one of my fav's is the English horn Bell in the bell of the bassoon for the low A (and for a low Eb on clarinet...lol...) The Nielsen Woodwind Quintet calls for this I believe.

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