Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

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Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by cozzagiorgi » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:30 pm

We all know bass trombone is not the most ergonomical instrument. We keep reading about shoulder and hand problems etc and I actually too begin to have problems with my shoulder. So that got me thinking...

If one has to stop playing bass trombone, could playing Cimbasso be an option? Can a Cimbasso sound similar to a bass trombone? Obviously not at a top pro level anymore, but maybe for someone who still wants to make serious music.

I know, there are solutions for the bass trombone player like ergobone, carbon bell, handrest etc. But thats not the question.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:43 pm

In a word? No.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by norbie2018 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:52 pm

Why not?
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:55 pm

It would be like substituting flugabone for tenor trombone. Just not the same instrument. Might have the same range and even a similar sound, but not a suitable replacement.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by BGuttman » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:58 pm

A cimbasso will sound more like a "tuba on a stick" than a bass trombone. Also uses a tuba mouthpiece. And most are pitched in F.

You certainly couldn't march with it.

Those reservations aside, you could probably play the parts provided they don't go too high.

Contesting brass band? Nope.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Matt K » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:58 pm

That's really more of a question for the groups you play with. If you're already well established as a player and have a strong network? Maybe. Otherwise? I would expect if you show up with that different of an instrument for paying gigs you aren't likely to get called back. For community stuff? Sure! I bet there are tons of community groups that would be fine with it.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:27 pm

I say try it. That instrument is more at home in that range, I think than keeping pushing an instrument based on a tenor trombone down and down.

Nobody has made a bass trombonium. Cimbasso is the next best thing. Bass bone is the worst ergonomic instrument I've played. It really needs a kick in the pants. I think the sound would be a great bridge between tbone and tuba. There was a nice thread over on TubeNet about the cimbasso recently.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by paulyg » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:13 pm

There are two primary issues with valved low brass- tuning and timbre.

If you can put in SERIOUS time on a really high-quality Cimbasso, get used to alternate fingerings, use your slide kickers, and lip the pitch fluently, you might be able to approach the skill of a second-rate bass trombone player.

You will never approach the timbre of a bass trombone.

The Cimbasso is a tuba double, and is not a substitute for a bass trombone. This is borne out by historical use of valved bass trombones and cimbassos in conjunction.

In a "come one, come all" scenario where a bass trombone player is absent, sure, cover the part on Cimbasso- or horn, or tuba, or string bass. The Cimbasso will never be an appropriate substitute for a bass trombone in a trombone section.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:39 pm

They play F and Eb tubas in tune, why not a cimbasso. I think the bass bone will be the evolutionary loser eventually. Bass bone has been moving further and further from tenor, how much closer to contra can it get? Just make the jump and stop denying it.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:58 pm

Bass trombone hasn't gotten any bigger since the 90s (Edwards bell throats).
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by 2bobone » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:58 pm

"A cimbasso will sound more like a "tuba on a stick" than a bass trombone. :lol: Bruce "nailed" that one ! :idea:
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by BGuttman » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:00 pm

Actually, I'd like to see a 4 or 5 valve Bb cimbasso (pitched the same as a trombone) with a large bore (0.572" ish) and a 10 or 10.5" bell. It would be a better bass trombone than the cimbasso which is intended to be more of a contra and if made "bent" like a cimbasso would be a lot easier to hold and play.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:41 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:58 pm
Bass trombone hasn't gotten any bigger since the 90s (Edwards bell throats).
Mouthpieces have grown. People are less interested in single basses and more interested in doubles. Shires medium bell weight is what used to be considered heavy. The sound people are trying to make keeps growing.
Last edited by hyperbolica on Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Matt K » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:52 pm

Shires conventions were developed in that time period and are maintained so as to avoid discontinuity between their product line. In the big Q&A thread on TBF that Ben Griffin started before he left, he indicated something to the effect that most bells were not "regular" weight, but one of the lighter mixes. (Although I've never really associated heavy with the same characteristics as big fwiw; e.g. a 7.75" small bore with a heavyweight bell doesn't play like a medium bore anymore than my 2YLW bass bell plays like a tenor).

It doesn't seem like mouthpieces have really gotten that much larger since that era either fwiw. The Schilke 59/60 have been around for awhile and even the edge cases still have similar underparts and really I don't see much mainstream expansion larger than that 1.14" size. The edge of Doug's offerings for bass is still the 1.16" size unless he sells a lot more from the contrabass series than I see out in the wild.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by paulyg » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:02 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:39 pm
They play F and Eb tubas in tune, why not a cimbasso. I think the bass bone will be the evolutionary loser eventually. Bass bone has been moving further and further from tenor, how much closer to contra can it get? Just make the jump and stop denying it.
This is BS. The Cimbasso is a historical curiosity at best. It is marginally more efficient at honking out long and low notes, hence its resurgence as a film score bass pad. Same with contra.

Both contra and cimbasso SUCK at playing "3rd trombone" parts, which constitute 95% + of the standard repertoire for bass trombone. Bass trombone plays those just fine.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:17 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:41 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:58 pm
Bass trombone hasn't gotten any bigger since the 90s (Edwards bell throats).
Mouthpieces have grown. Shires medium bell weight is what used to be considered heavy. The sound people are trying to make keeps growing.
Like Matt said, the regular Shires bell now is what used to be the light series. They have gone lighter, not heavier.

I'd say there are more large mouthpiece options, and most of them are a lot better than what was on offer 25 years ago. But not necessarily that much bigger.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:27 pm

Cimbasso, contra, I'm not worried about distinctions. 3rd trombone is tenor territory. You don't need 2 valves or an F instrument for that.

I'm talking about pushing down into the single and double trigger range. Anyone who has played big band knows the requirements keep changing. I play bass in quartet and it just gets lower and lower. Bring on an F instrument.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Matt K » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:06 pm

I suppose that depends on the big band. A lot of the literature that I see in Utah is either from the 60s-80s or relatively inspired by that era. While it isn't necessary to have a second valve for the Nestico stuff from that era, for example, it certainly is nice. Although I'd reject the idea that a second valve is also "bigger" just in the same way that I do so with the heavier equipment.

Purely from dimensions, most bass trombones are not all that much larger than they were 60 years ago. At least common models aren't. Bass valves have been ~.593 bore, slides are still commonly .562", and bells are still largely 9.5". Sure, there are some players that deviate but off the top of my head, I can only think of a very small handful of stock horns that deviate from that... and indeed, one of the more common inexpensive options (Jupiter) even has .571" valves (which are incidentally also put on their tenors). Sure, Edwards basses have pretty big throats but I've played some very nimble Edwards basses. And I've played some relatively large Conns from the 70s. What was it... the 112H that stock had a 10.5" bell?

So I guess my point is it's possible that horns are bigger depending on how you define it but I'm not creative enough at the moment to come up with a set of observations that would constitute being obviously trending towards being larger over that time period. Certainly not close enough, which is what spawned this particular discussion, that a cimbasso would make a passable bass trombone in discriminating settings. Bear in mind that the Wessex, which is likely to be one of the major contenders given how few people make these and they come in at an affordable price, puts the bore size of the "slide" at .725" (not a typo of .572) with a 10.75" bell. I could see the argument if we were seeing like Getzen, Shires Q, and a new Bach model or something that had like a .650" slide being commonly played, but... changes in bass even over the last century are less pronounced than that.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by bbocaner » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:11 pm

paulyg wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:02 pm
[The Cimbasso is a historical curiosity at best.
Yes - it's not even really that historical. BBb "cimbasso" (they would have just called it a contrabass trombone at the time, contrabass valve trombone) was an 1880s invention that was then retroactively applied to earlier italian operas. There's about a 30-40 year range in italian music where it's the most appropriate instrument and then it was gone. What we think of as a cimbasso today is a MUCH more recent invention, like 1950s or so. It's *similar* to the 1880s instrument but really designed to facilitate doubling by a tubist. Tubists use them for a lot more of the italian opera repertoire than is really most appropriate because it's a lighter instrument to carry to the hall? They get paid doubling? They think it's cool? Who knows...
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:49 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:27 pm
Cimbasso, contra, I'm not worried about distinctions. 3rd trombone is tenor territory. You don't need 2 valves or an F instrument for that.

I'm talking about pushing down into the single and double trigger range. Anyone who has played big band knows the requirements keep changing. I play bass in quartet and it just gets lower and lower. Bring on an F instrument.
A longer horn doesn't necessarily make it easier to play down low. And a stuffy valve instrument definitely doesn't do that.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Tremozl » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:11 pm

A custom Bb Tenor "Cimbasso" would basically be an an oversized Valve Trombone, but bent. (Shouldn't it be called a Cimtenor or something like that?)

An F Bass Cimbasso is basically a Valve "Contrabass Trombone" in F.

There isn't really a valve instrument in between - or atleast I can't think of one atm - that has the flexibility of the Bb Bass. You'd need a double-horn version of a Valve Trombone with a bunch of valves and some bigger proportions. Seems kinda impractical.

Maybe a peg for your Bass Is all you need.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Finetales » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:19 pm

A cimbassina is what you're looking for. It's made of an existing bass trombone bell section and a vertical valve section from an American baritone horn fabricated to attach to the bell section like a cimbasso. Getting one of these built (with an existing bass bell section) would probably be way cheaper than buying any cimbasso out there too.

Other than that, Bb tenor cimbassos as mentioned by a couple people in this thread do exist. A builder in the UK named Mike Johnson builds all kinds of sizes and keys of cimbassi including ones in tenor Bb and G.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by TheBoneRanger » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:26 am

Most of the time, the function of the bass trombone in a section is as a low trombone, not it's own, unique voice. Blend is important. The sound of a cimbasso, even if one could play it with the necessary facility, is not what the composer had in mind when writing for trombone 3 or 4.

With a cimbasso, I'd feel like I was getting in the way of the tuba's sound in the orchestra and wind band. I wouldn't like to play the opening of "In The Mood" on cimbasso, either...

I do, however, understand the ergonomic concerns. But if you're not making your living playing bass trombone, then why not move to tuba permanently rather than cimbasso? Or perhaps take up tenor and lighten the load?

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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:03 am

paulyg wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:13 pm
The Cimbasso is a tuba double, and is not a substitute for a bass trombone. This is borne out by historical use of valved bass trombones and cimbassos in conjunction.
I agree with you that a cimbasso is not really a suitable substitute for a bass trombone in most modern settings. But regarding the above statement...What is now called cimbasso is essentially a valved contra, and was historically called by Italians simply "trombone basso". I.e. to them, it was a valved bass - they used three tenor valve trombones in Bb and a bass in Eb or F. Occasionally a contra in Bb could supplement or replace the bass. So we can't really say that there is a historical distinction between a valved bass and what we call a cimbasso or that the two were used alongside each other - they're the same instrument (notwithstanding the modern cimbasso being bigger like modern trombones are also bigger).
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by HowardW » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:09 am

paulyg wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:02 pm
The Cimbasso is a historical curiosity at best.
Ok guys, time for a history lesson, courtesy of Renato Meucci in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments:

Cimbasso Term used in Italy from the early nineteenth century originally for a wooden bass horn, and afterwards for various instruments allocated the lowest brass part.

The cimbasso proper was an upright wooden serpent with a large flared bell of brass and from one to four keys. The instrument was peculiar to Italy, differing from the French basson russe in both bell shape and in the fingering of the keys. Its name derived from an abbreviated form of corno in basso (‘c. in basso’), meaning ‘bass horn’, with such variants as simbasso, gimbasso and even gibas. Produced by the makers Magazari, Piana and Papalini among others, the wooden cimbasso made its appearance as the lowest member of the brass family in about 1816 at La Scala theatre in Milan, where it was noticed by Spohr.

Paganini is believed to be the first to have adopted the instrument in his Violin Concerto No. 1 in Eb (1816), followed by a plethora of Italian composers, including Donizetti, Bellini and Giovanni Pacini. However, whenever a true cimbasso was not available, the part could be played on a keyed ophicleide, an instrument known to have been in use at this time despite the absence of its name in contemporary Italian scores. The wooden cimbasso remained popular until at least the mid-1830s.

From c.1835 the term ‘cimbasso’, like the ‘ophicleide’ or ‘oficleide’, began assuming an ever-increasing generic sense, as the wooden instrument was replaced by new low valve instruments in every major Italian orchestra.

The ‘cimbasso’ required by Verdi in his earliest operas was probably a valved ophicleide, like those being made at the time by Antonio Apparuti and Leopold Uhlmann. In other orchestras the parts were played on euphonium- and tuba-like models, which Italian and Austrian makers called bombardoni. Italian operatic scores of the 1840s often exhibit the eccentric habit of naming a new instrument at the start of each section, without making any change to the writing of the part in question.

In 1845 Giuseppe Pelitti (1811–65) invented the pelittone (patented in Austria in 1847), a contra-bass bombardone intended to supersede all existing low brass instruments in Italian orchestras; in 1851 he devised the even larger generale pelittone. However, the vogue for an ever-increasing bore size and sound was strongly opposed by Verdi, who in 1871 expressed his dissatisfaction with these huge instruments.

In 1881, at Verdi’s request, G. C. Pelitti (1837–1905) created a new low brass instrument, the trombone basso Verdi. In spite of its ‘basso’ epithet, it was in fact a contrabass trombone pitched in 18-ft Bb. Verdi scored for this instrument in his subsequent operas, Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), and it was quickly adopted by almost all Italian orchestras. Thus, it became customary to perform all the parts conceived for the cimbasso or the bombardone on the trombone basso Verdi, at least until the bass tuba was adopted in Italy during the 1920s. The dissemination of this trombone, which continued in occasional use in Italy into the late twentieth century, obscured the history of the wooden cimbasso before 1881 and affected the nature of the recent revival of the instrument: the modern trombone which is known by the name ‘cimbasso’, is, in fact, frequently pitched in F rather than in Bb whereas in fact no instrument called a cimbasso was a trombone before 1881, nor was it ever pitched in F before the late twentieth century.

Also sprach Meucci.

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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by henryTbone » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:25 am

Interesting opinions.
Here is a video worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1DNl8BF49U

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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:38 am

Thank you Howard! It's a big pet peeve of mine that we use "cimbasso" to designate the wrong instrument I.e. valve contras and the confusion that ensues, seeing so many tubists switch to modern cimbasso/valve contra for parts originally written for bass horn or ophicleide, and thinking they are being more true to the composers intentions. Although it seems too late unfortunately to correct that nomenclature issue...

I was pretty sure I had read (can't quote anything from the top of my head though) that there were already F and Eb (valved) bass trombones in use in Italy before and parallel to Verdi's addition of the BBb instrument. I'm not sure I understand the last paragraph - is it that there was no "true" cimbasso in F and Eb or that there were no low brass instrument at all in F or Eb (I.e. Trombone basso would always refer to Bb tenor/bass or to BBb contra)?
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by dukesboneman » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:41 am

If you have the cash to buy one, and you want to try it... Why Not.
There was a time when (as the previous post stated) it didn`t exist. But then , there it was.
Why can`t it be used "outside it`s original purpose". Howard Johnson pushed the Tuba beyond the UM Pah
I`ve seen Jazz Bassoon, Jazz Bass Clarinet. Toots Teillmann (sorry about the spelling) and John Popper pushed the Harmonica into new territory.
Why Not the Cimbasso? Why Not.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by sf105 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:58 am

As far as I can tell, there have been valved bass trombones since valves came in, meaning a valve trombone in F, which is not the same as a modern cimbasso (tuba substitute)--and still made in europe. I believe Dvorak, for example, wrote for valved trombones and there's a theory that at the time of Rheingold it would have been valves all the way down the section (would love to hear that experiment with a period band).

More recently, I understand the VPO used some valved contraption at the bottom of the section in the Solti Ring. And of course, there's Mattis Cederberg in the WDR big band, who does not sound woofy at all.

After all this, I think it depends on the material. Assuming a trombone, rather than a tuba, bore: I would struggle to blend in an orchestra section, but big bands have always accomodated valve tenors so why not? And Wind Bands? Who cares :)
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by BGuttman » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:03 am

dukesboneman wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:41 am
If you have the cash to buy one, and you want to try it... Why Not.
There was a time when (as the previous post stated) it didn`t exist. But then , there it was.
Why can`t it be used "outside it`s original purpose". Howard Johnson pushed the Tuba beyond the UM Pah
I`ve seen Jazz Bassoon, Jazz Bass Clarinet. Toots Teillmann (sorry about the spelling) and John Popper pushed the Harmonica into new territory.
Why Not the Cimbasso? Why Not.
Not to mention Joe Venuti and Stephane Grapelli as jazz violins. If you really want to blow your mind, go to www.redhotjazz.com and find a tune called "Junk Man" and listen to Casper Reardon play harp.

David Baker switched to cello when medical problems forced him to stop playing bass trombone.

I don't think we are looking at something like Charlie Vernon switching to a [modern] cimbasso in place of his bass trombone in the Chicago Symphony. It's more like a player with an ergonomics problem seeking to find a way to keep playing.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:24 am

If someone showed up at a rehearsal and said they wanted to play "serious" music using a cimbasso to cover 3rd bone parts ... I'd think they really weren't all that serious. Whenever people impose their weird instruments on an ensemble just because they have it or want to play it ... Most of the time it's not fair to the group. Sometimes it's amazing though. But the cimbasso seems like a poor substitute for a bass trombone.

Use a tenor with an F attachment to play 3rd parts, like trombonists have been doing for so long. Maybe it can even have a large bell. Then it's a bass. That'd be more normal than a cimbasso.

Or, a straight tenor, and play second trombone. Then you can keep playing.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by HowardW » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:41 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:38 am
I was pretty sure I had read (can't quote anything from the top of my head though) that there were already F and Eb (valved) bass trombones in use in Italy before and parallel to Verdi's addition of the BBb instrument.
Valve tenor and bass trombones were in use starting around the mid 1830s, and were popular especially in Italy and Austria.
I'm not sure I understand the last paragraph - is it that there was no "true" cimbasso in F and Eb or that there were no low brass instrument at all in F or Eb (I.e. Trombone basso would always refer to Bb tenor/bass or to BBb contra)?
In the late 1950s, a fellow by the name of Hans Kunitz invented a slide F bass trombone with D and C attachments. He called his invention a "cimbasso," claiming that a historical instrument of this name had never existed and that his F/D/C bass trombone was the instrument Verdi had composed for. In spite of the obvious historical and chronological problems with these claims, the name "cimbasso" soon became associated exclusively with Kunitz's F/D/C bass trombone and the various non-slide valved versions.

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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by GBP » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:57 am

hyperbolica wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:41 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:58 pm
Bass trombone hasn't gotten any bigger since the 90s (Edwards bell throats).
Mouthpieces have grown. People are less interested in single basses and more interested in doubles. Shires medium bell weight is what used to be considered heavy. The sound people are trying to make keeps growing.

The current writing for bass makes a single not really practical. B naturals litter the landscape and chromatic runs below the staff abound. All four of my basses have 23g bells on them. The weight of basses is actually getting lighter. Both my CRE and 502 weigh less than my Greenhoe. Large pieces have actually become smaller. Many more sub 60 size choices. Even the 60 plus sizes are on a diet. The CV is a good example; big rim but a shallow cup compared to the size of the rim. Very efficient big piece.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by cozzagiorgi » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:57 am

Wow some great posts and really valuable information!

So you guys seem to have come to the same conclusion as myself: ok for community stuff, ko for high level stuff.

One more question to muddy the waters though: how about a cimbasso in tenor Bb? I suspect we will come to the same conclusion, but would such an instrument be more like a bass trombone soundwise?
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Tremozl » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:58 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:38 am
Thank you Howard! It's a big pet peeve of mine that we use "cimbasso" to designate the wrong instrument I.e. valve contras and the confusion that ensues, seeing so many tubists switch to modern cimbasso/valve contra for parts originally written for bass horn or ophicleide, and thinking they are being more true to the composers intentions. Although it seems too late unfortunately to correct that nomenclature issue...

I was pretty sure I had read (can't quote anything from the top of my head though) that there were already F and Eb (valved) bass trombones in use in Italy before and parallel to Verdi's addition of the BBb instrument. I'm not sure I understand the last paragraph - is it that there was no "true" cimbasso in F and Eb or that there were no low brass instrument at all in F or Eb (I.e. Trombone basso would always refer to Bb tenor/bass or to BBb contra)?
From my understanding of the period, "Basses" were always F or Eb, and "Contrabasses" were always CC or BBb. Not sure if that helps - but if Verdi employed a "Contra" it would normally be in BBb, though his parts were often played on other instruments such as Ophicleide. He apparently didn't care much what covered it, as long as it wasn't a "damned Austrian bombardon" (Tuba.)

Edit: Pretty much everything HowardW said, I didn't see his post. It's got a ton of depth to it. It's above:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12144#p97078
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by BGuttman » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:55 pm

cozzagiorgi wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:57 am
Wow some great posts and really valuable information!

So you guys seem to have come to the same conclusion as myself: ok for community stuff, ko for high level stuff.

One more question to muddy the waters though: how about a cimbasso in tenor Bb? I suspect we will come to the same conclusion, but would such an instrument be more like a bass trombone soundwise?
I had suggested that and Finetales actually described a real instrument -- the Cimbassina. It would be as suitable a bass trombone as a valve trombone substituting for a slide trombone.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Matt K » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:00 pm

cozzagiorgi wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:57 am
Wow some great posts and really valuable information!

So you guys seem to have come to the same conclusion as myself: ok for community stuff, ko for high level stuff.

One more question to muddy the waters though: how about a cimbasso in tenor Bb? I suspect we will come to the same conclusion, but would such an instrument be more like a bass trombone soundwise?
Do you mean a valve trombone? (But with a curved valve block as pictured below as a cimbasinni?). You'd probably be more welcome in more places with that but still less welcome than a valve trombone, which would likewise be less welcome than a slide trombone. I think the closer you get, the better in terms of acceptance but again it is really going to depend on what you're playing and how well established you are with players in the area.

Actually, on that note... Noah Gladstone had a bass (or large bore?) valve section made for a Shires not too long ago. Or at least I think it was Shires. Might be worth checking out becuase it's probably a way cheaper and better route to take.

Or, as others have mentioned, the ergobrass device if that still lets you play with your condition.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by cozzagiorgi » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:31 pm

This is really a hypothetical question for me. Right now I feel some pain in my shoulder when playing, but I know what to do about it and I am sure I still have a lpt of years before me on bass trombone.

Worst case scenario is me playing the tuba. I have also a good reputation with that instrument. So no real worries.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Basbasun » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:01 am

Valved trombones has been made in alto tenor and bass since 19th centuary, the bass is till made.
http://www.vfcerveny.cz/en/rotary-valve/trombones
https://www.dillonmusic.com/used-schmel ... mbone.html
http://www.cerveny.biz/ventilposaune/cvt_576_4.php
At one time in early 1900 the valve trombones was used in armybands as well as symphony orchestras in many parts of europe, alto tenor and bass.

Edited 11-03
Last edited by Basbasun on Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by BGuttman » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:51 am

Valves were invented for musical instruments around the 1830s. That's the 19th century.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Basbasun » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:42 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:51 am
Valves were invented for musical instruments around the 1830s. That's the 19th century.
Right. I change my post. Thankyou.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Basbasun » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:47 pm

You can use a cimbasso instead of a contrabass trombone. A valve basstrombone instead of a slide basstrombone.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by paulyg » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:54 pm

A better solution for OP is going to be to start physical therapy for their injured shoulder. This kind of thing does not get better on its own, and the earlier the problem is addressed, the more manageable it will be. Unlike embouchure injury, a shoulder injury does not only affect playing, but also quality of life outside playing. A decent physical therapist can give OP exercises to strengthen their shoulder and to prevent the onset of pain.

Bass trombones really aren't that heavy. Chronic pain holding one is likely a sign of something more serious going on.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Basbasun » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:46 am

paulyg wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:54 pm
A better solution for OP is going to be to start physical therapy for their injured shoulder. This kind of thing does not get better on its own, and the earlier the problem is addressed, the more manageable it will be. Unlike embouchure injury, a shoulder injury does not only affect playing, but also quality of life outside playing. A decent physical therapist can give OP exercises to strengthen their shoulder and to prevent the onset of pain.

Bass trombones really aren't that heavy. Chronic pain holding one is likely a sign of something more serious going on.
Never the less, many bass trombonist do complain over shoulder pain. When playing with mute, (especially bucket mute) it is HEAVY! One reason for playing singel valve is the weight. I know some players with shoulder pain who did see physical therapists. When ypu play 2-8 hours a day (sometimes more) the double valve horn is heavy.
But, physical therapy is very good for the OP I believe.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by hyperbolica » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:58 am

I've had the same thoughts as the OP for left arm issues. It turned out to be a pinched nerve in my case. Physical therapy didn't help. We are almost to the date for a steroid injection due to bulged discs. After that it's surgery. But they didn't tell me to stop playing trombone.

Lighter or at least more ergonomic instruments are the solution. Carbon fiber maybe. I can play a tenor for far longer than a bass, even with the ergobone stick that goes to the floor. The need for something as crazy as the ergobone points to the ridiculousness of the trombone from an ergonomics point of view. You don't really realize this until you have problems with it.

I recently got a Wessex Festivo front action euphonium, and that does help. Arms are low and close to the body. The compensating system works ok as long as your chops are right on pitch, but if you stray, it gets pretty stuffy.

So, maybe instead of getting the pendants all riled up about the word "cimbasso" we could talk about a large bore (562?) uncompensated bass trombonium (or even something approaching a large British baritone) in F with five valves and a tuning kicker. We can learn from the tuba world where they have already solved the uncompensated valved tuning issue in several ways.

So what is it?
  • bass trombonium
  • baritone in f
  • compact cimbasso
  • F compact travel tuba
I'd love to see Wessex do this since they seem best suited to develop historical non-sequitors, and odd bass clef instruments. Actually, they kind of already make something like this, but it's a bit odd. An F travel tuba
https://wessex-tubas.com/collections/f- ... ie-5-tf135
Image

By the way, the cimbasso can be played without the peg. I've seen it played sort of diagonally resting on the shoulder and opposite leg. Although this one must be a smaller F cimbasso, not a real BBb.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gu3Cl1326E

And just some other cimbasso links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Bwk9-UFA0

https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=Ckj7R ... ture=share
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by elmsandr » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:33 pm

Basbasun wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:46 am
paulyg wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:54 pm
A better solution for OP is going to be to start physical therapy for their injured shoulder. This kind of thing does not get better on its own, and the earlier the problem is addressed, the more manageable it will be. Unlike embouchure injury, a shoulder injury does not only affect playing, but also quality of life outside playing. A decent physical therapist can give OP exercises to strengthen their shoulder and to prevent the onset of pain.

Bass trombones really aren't that heavy. Chronic pain holding one is likely a sign of something more serious going on.
Never the less, many bass trombonist do complain over shoulder pain. When playing with mute, (especially bucket mute) it is HEAVY! One reason for playing singel valve is the weight. I know some players with shoulder pain who did see physical therapists. When ypu play 2-8 hours a day (sometimes more) the double valve horn is heavy.
But, physical therapy is very good for the OP I believe.
Just a note for everybody out here, unless you are getting paid for full time labor, you can forget the mute. Just, you know, don’t. It really doesn’t matter. Play quieter and into your stand... it will be fine. Really, if anybody is asking me for more than straight and cup on a bass... they probably aren’t getting it and not likely even that.

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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by brassmedic » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:57 pm

I don't think it sounds anything at all like bass trombone. Modern cimbasso is a MUCH bigger instrument than a bass trombone. Maybe you could get someone to make you a .562 bore cimbasso in Bb. That might be cool. Hmmm...that's not a half bad idea. Wish I didn't have so many projects going already. :twisted:
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by RConrad » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:14 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:58 am

I'd love to see Wessex do this since they seem best suited to develop historical non-sequitors, and odd bass clef instruments.
It'd be awesome if they made a modern Trombonium. I'd also be down for a valved or rotor version of a bass trombone that was less taxing on the body. I just wonder how much different that would sound than a normal bass.
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by Matt K » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:33 pm

elmsandr wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:33 pm
Basbasun wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:46 am

Never the less, many bass trombonist do complain over shoulder pain. When playing with mute, (especially bucket mute) it is HEAVY! One reason for playing singel valve is the weight. I know some players with shoulder pain who did see physical therapists. When ypu play 2-8 hours a day (sometimes more) the double valve horn is heavy.
But, physical therapy is very good for the OP I believe.
Just a note for everybody out here, unless you are getting paid for full time labor, you can forget the mute. Just, you know, don’t. It really doesn’t matter. Play quieter and into your stand... it will be fine. Really, if anybody is asking me for more than straight and cup on a bass... they probably aren’t getting it and not likely even that.

Cheers,
Andy
I almost agree; with the soft-tone mute you're... 90%+ of the way to the bucket for way less effort. Most of the guys out in UT it seems prefer it to the huge jo-ral style buckets
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Re: Cimbasso instead of bass trombone

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:48 pm

LOL full time labor pay or else no mute!

Truly, if you're not getting paid, you could just bring a kazoo I suppose. No pressure no problem if there is no pay.

On a side note, in British brass bands, don't the players get "put to pasture" so to speak, as they age out of their instruments? I thought the whole point of transposing clefs was so that you could "retire" to euphonium when you no longer could play cornet.
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