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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby J.c. Sherman » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:11 pm

?!? It's just a valve trombone... there're many which would play much better.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby pjv » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:43 am

I've always assumed that the idea behind the modern cimbasso is that it IS meant to be a valved trombone in F. (the "l"-form is a practicality, right?).
That it's larger is logical being that all brass instruments have become, like their owners, fatter.

Yes, many of the mid 20th Century revival cimbassi were designed to be press & played by tuba players and many of these are obese (the cimbassi).

We're now in the 21st century and bigger is not necessarily better. Hopefully time and taste will weed out which designs produce a sound that's effective for our needs.

Regardless of what one wants to hear or play, the cimbasso is here to stay. As players we might use a smaller tuba in the studio then we would for a Bruckner symphony. It's logical to assume that a player may want a steroid cimbasso by a modern work or a studio gig but choose for a smaller bore cimbasso when playing Verdi.

Right now, we are the ones making the rules. I say lets give the cimbassophiles their civil rights and kill this troll once and for all.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Tue May 26, 2015 9:15 am

I believe we should start a movement (as so many tuba players insist on labeling a contrabass valve trombone a "cimbasso") to press contrabass clarinet players to rename their instrument the grandebosco. :|
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby PaulMaybery » Tue May 26, 2015 10:37 am

:shock:
Last edited by PaulMaybery on Thu May 28, 2015 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Tue May 26, 2015 11:46 am

PaulMaybery wrote:Back row center. Creatore's Band in Boston circa 1902.


' have been shown that Verdi-was-dead-by-then picture several times.

bloke "Again, most all of Verdi's 'cimbasso' compositions were written prior to 1872."

Viva il grandebosco !!!

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby J.c. Sherman » Tue May 26, 2015 11:35 pm

The modern nomenclature is, like "Baritone", and unavoidable convenience for an instrument we've come to use for playing parts marked "Cimbasso". Hans Kunitz started this problem, even though the Italians still had the term "trombone contrabasso Verdi" or "Tuba Verdi" for the same instrument... in fact, Respighi used "contrabass trombone", and "trombone basso" was also used by cimbasso. Kunitz and his model manufactured with a slide by Alexander began the "confussion", which has long since been resolved. As everyone from Verdi to Bevan has urged the use of the valved contrabass trombone for cimbasso parts, the name has become a shorthand of convenience.

I could make the same argument, and have to swallow hard on "Contra ALTO" clarinet, which is clearly a contrabass (and the Bb is a double or subcontra bass). But we live with the more common shorthand. You're not wrong, Bloke, but your effort would prove fruitless, I think.

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby imperialbari » Tue May 26, 2015 11:53 pm

Too much grande madeira?
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby J.c. Sherman » Thu May 28, 2015 1:40 pm

3...
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Thu May 28, 2015 1:42 pm

Every few months, I'll come back rehash some of the same stuff (as will responders)...

We should be able to get this thread up to 600 posts / 25K views. :|
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby PaulMaybery » Thu May 28, 2015 4:29 pm

"Terminology" vs "Organology." The bain of the musicologist. So what then is "The Point"? Or should we as tubaist just order a "Pint" and be done with it? :wink:

Verdi eventually got what he wanted. So should we. Pilsner Urquel for starters for me or how 'bout a jug of Carlo Ross "Paisano." Goes down well before, during, after or even without dinner.

I think if Verdi had heard a certain Eb Besson recording bell in the pit, non of this would even be spoken of today. :oops:
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Tue May 08, 2018 10:42 pm

http://www.berliozhistoricalbrass.org/THE%20FINAL%20bass%20horn.pdf wrote:The cimbasso part, played by a bass
trombone, would have been performed on
this wood-bassoon type of bass horn.


ImageImage

Once again, the name is long and awkward (six syllables), but - really - these things that a few of us own and play today are "contrabass valve trombones".
A genuine "cimbasso" (from THE era in which composers wrote "CIMBASSO" at the top corner of CIMBASSO parts) is pictured above, and is far more different (similarities: [1] "a musical instrument" with [2] a metal bell and [3] a cup mouthpiece) than it is similar to a contrabass valve trombone.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby Steve Marcus » Wed May 09, 2018 9:02 am

pjv wrote:We're now in the 21st century and bigger is not necessarily better. Hopefully time and taste will weed out which designs produce a sound that's effective for our needs.

Regardless of what one wants to hear or play, the cimbasso is here to stay. As players we might use a smaller tuba in the studio then we would for a Bruckner symphony. It's logical to assume that a player may want a steroid cimbasso by a modern work or a studio gig but choose for a smaller bore cimbasso when playing Verdi.

Right now, we are the ones making the rules. I say lets give the cimbassophiles their civil rights and kill this troll once and for all.


Beyond the historical and musicological consideration, playing cimbasso can actually be enjoyable. Just ask Beth Mitchell and others who have made cimbasso part of their arsenals.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Wed May 09, 2018 9:31 am

As far as the modern contrabass valve trombone is concerned...

When played "very loud", it works well as a rock-and-roll, jazz, pop, or for a-part-absolutely-designated-as-"4th-trombone" instrument.
When played "medium loud or soft", it works well as a Renaissance era music (or - surprising to many - a "ballad-playing") instrument.
Arguably, it could also be a substitute for a Bb bass (slide) trombone, when no bass trombone is available, and when upper ledger lines are mostly limited to one or two.

A Bb four-valve compensating euphonium probably sounds much more like the wooden instrument with holes and a metal bell (the genuine "cimbasso", played during Verdi's lifetime) than does an F contrabass valve trombone, and a compensating euphonium's volume level is stepped up (compared to the early 1800's wood-with-metal-bell true cimbasso) to modern decibel requirements as well...so yes - whether we enjoy embracing this reality or not - a fully-chromatic euphonium sounds more like a "modern volume levels" version of an ~actual~ cimbasso's sonority - playing Verdi opera overtures - than does a contrabass valve trombone. :shock: :arrow: ( :cry: )

Below is one piece from the SMALL BODY of symphonic literature for which a modern contrabass (valve or slide) trombone would - unquestionably - be appropriate. Most pieces of symphonic literature for which modern contrabass valve trombones are brought in are brought in due to the acceptance/discretion of the player/music director - and not because that instrument is the "correct" instrument, as that instrument is playing a part not originally written for it - just as when tubas cover ophicleide and serpent parts (though those decisions have been made over-and-over, and have long-established practicality precedents).

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby The Big Ben » Wed May 09, 2018 2:42 pm

KiltieTuba wrote:All those old instruments are irrelevant. This is like the thread on bringing back the ophicleide into the modern orchestra - there's a reason why we don't see old designs used regularly... Hence why bloke probably won't find a photograph like the picture posted.

I blame the 1960-80s generations for all the loud music and louder music that has caused the older instruments, like the ophicleide, to be replaced by louder versions to accommodate for the new generation of people with hearing problems... :tuba: :tuba:


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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby timothy42b » Fri May 11, 2018 12:07 pm

I can't remember if this guy posts on this forum or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M38qRaNloBQ

I haven't heard too many contras, I thought this was an interesting sound.

I knew I'd dragged my kids to too many concerts when I heard one of them humming the overture to Nabucco on the playground.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby hup_d_dup » Sat May 12, 2018 11:09 am

bloke wrote: . . . so many tuba players insist on labeling a contrabass valve trombone a "cimbasso" . . . |


No more weird names or crazy shapes. Build it in the shape of an Eb tuba and call it a Bass Trombonium.

(OK maybe that's a slightly odd name too, but it does have historical precedent AND it is accurately descriptive)

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby UncleBeer » Sat May 12, 2018 12:05 pm

hup_d_dup wrote:Build it in the shape of an Eb tuba and call it a Bass Trombonium.

(OK maybe that's a slightly odd name too, but it does have historical precedent AND it is accurately descriptive)

Hup


Maybe I'm not getting the joke. A tuba is a conical instrument, and a trombone of any sort is a cylindrical instrument. Different bore profile, thus, not "accurately descriptive".
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby hup_d_dup » Sun May 13, 2018 7:58 am

UncleBeer wrote:
Maybe I'm not getting the joke. A tuba is a conical instrument, and a trombone of any sort is a cylindrical instrument. Different bore profile, thus, not "accurately descriptive".


By "shape" I mean "wrap," like a euphonium wrap. A cimbasso has a cylindrical bore. Make a cylindrical bore instrument with the wrap of an Eb tuba. Call it a bass trombonium (You certainly wouldn't call it a tuba).

This isn't my idea . . . it's already been done . . . but the instruments are usually called "cimbassos" even though they are not in the shape (that is to say, wrap) of a cimbasso.

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby Donn » Sun May 13, 2018 10:22 am

I bet a quarter that somewhere in Klaus' archives, you could find old cimbassos, labeled as such, in that top valve Eb shape. I think Orsi made one like that, but sadly, according to my vague memory it had only 3 valves, which sort of disqualifies it in this category.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Sun May 13, 2018 3:42 pm

This is probably the 6th - 12th time to rehash this (which is why this thread was previously locked by a monitor) but Verdi wrote his "cimbasso" parts c. 1840 - 1860, and - so far - no one has been able to show me something that comes that close to a contrabass valve trombone that was manufactured much prior to the 1890's. Most of the pictures people have sent to me have been of early 20th century instruments and (OK...sure, I would allow them to "count", as long as it was apparently that they were long enough - and with enough valves - to play Verdi's written parts, were it that those instruments had been manufactured in the 1840's...or preferably BEFORE, as they would have had to have EXISTED for it to occur to Verdi to write PARTS for them to play) are not usually "contrabass"...

...but it's more than that. Verdi (quite obviously) knew what "tromboni" were, and (even more obviously) wrote for them. A cimbasso (just a couple of posts back) from that period has already been pictured, and it is not of the "tromboni" (neither valve nor slide) family at all.

Whoever put down these words (linked below), it seems to me, is pretty knowledgeable (and, seemingly, mostly accurate). Obviously, the word "cimbasso" has morphed into meaning a contrabass valve trombone, but (again) during Verdi's time it was the wooden thing with holes and metal bell, so arguing "in favor of Verdi" (as a reason to play a contrabass valve trombone) is specious, in my view. The whole reason that he reportedly disliked the bombardoni was because they sounded harsh or "hoarse"...Is anyone here going to take up the argument that a modern full-board tuba sound, typically, is "harsh/hoarse" whereas the sound of a modern-day full-board contrabass valve trombone sound is "pretty/smooth"...??

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_trombone
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