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Double bass

Double bass

Double bass is a bowed musical instrument with 4 strings tuned in quarts: Ek Ak Db Gb. The lowest sounding instrument of the violin family after the cello, viola and violin.

Double bass is a bowed musical instrument with 4 strings tuned in quarts: Ek Ak Db Gb. The lowest sounding instrument of the violin family after the cello, viola and violin.

The real double bass was first mentioned in 1566. The contrabass viola is considered to be the predecessor of the modern double bass. It had five strings tuned to D1, E1, A1, D, G, and, like most viols, frets on the neck. In the middle of the XVII century, the Italian master Michele Todini based on it designed a new instrument on which there was no fifth string and frets, but the shape of the body and the quart system remained.

The new instrument was first used in the orchestra in 1699 in Giuseppe Aldrovandini's opera Caesar of Alexandria, but then it was not used for a long time. Only since the middle of the XVIII century has the double bass become an obligatory member of the orchestra, displacing the bass viols from it. At the same time, the first virtuoso double bassists appeared, who performed solo concerts — Domenico Dragonetti, in particular, gained considerable European fame. For the convenience of solo performance, the masters constructed a three-string double bass, the strings of which were tuned in fifths or quarts. With the development of performing technique, it became possible to perform virtuoso compositions on a conventional four-stringed orchestral instrument, and three-string double basses fell out of use. For a brighter sound in solo works, the double bass structure is sometimes raised by one tone.

In the XIX century, in search of opportunities for obtaining lower sounds, the French master Jean Baptiste Villaume built a double bass four meters high, which he called "octobas", but due to its huge size, this instrument was not widely used. Modern double basses can have either a fifth string tuned to C1, or a special mechanism that "lengthens" the lowest string and allows you to get additional lower sounds.

The development of solo double bass playing in modern times is primarily associated with the work of Giovanni Bottesini and Franz Zimandl at the end of the XIX century. Their efforts brought virtuosos of the beginning of the XX century to a new level — in particular, Sergey Koussevitsky and Adolf Mishek.

Timeline

1901
The development of solo double bass playing in modern times is primarily associated with the work of Giovanni Bottesini and Franz Zimandl at the end of the XIX century. Their efforts brought virtuosos of the beginning of the XX century to a new level — in particular, Sergey Koussevitsky and Adolf Mishek.
1801
In the XIX century, in search of opportunities for obtaining lower sounds, the French master Jean Baptiste Villaume built a double bass four meters high
1751
Since the middle of the XVIII century, the double bass has become a mandatory member of the orchestra
1699
The new instrument was first used in the orchestra in 1699 in the opera by Giuseppe Aldrovandini
1651
In the middle of the XVII century, the Italian master Michele Todini based on it designed a new instrument on which there was no fifth string and frets, but the shape of the body and the quart system remained.
1566
The real double bass was first mentioned in 1566

Further Resources

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Double bass. The double bass playing is fascinating!

Web

October 29, 2016

Muzred - Double Bass

Web

August 3, 2017

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