Bass at the Berlin Musikinstrumenten Museum

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jlattuada, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. jlattuada


    Apr 25, 2001
    Richmond, Va
    Just returned from a holiday in Berlin and while there visited a great Museum dedicated to Musical Instruments. There were some amazing basses, cellos, gambas and other string instruments. I noticed several basses with an extra bit of gut string running between the bridge and the tailpiece. I have not seen this before and was curious if anyone new what the thinking was behind this setup? Was this common on early baroque era instruments? See attached pictures.

    Bass was labeled Andreas Jaiss, Tölz - 1730

    I would highly recommend the museum as a must for a visit to Berlin.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Wow. I've been to Berlin four or five times and never went to see the instrument museums. I think the string is to keep the bridge from drifting.
  3. LeslieD


    Jul 25, 2006
    I agree. It's a wonderful museum. I think there were only about 6 basses on display when I visited, but they have quite a few more in their collection (and they have a catalog of their collection that's for sale -- but unfortunately it doesn't have photos of their basses).

    I've no idea why that extra piece of gut string is there, except maybe to help keep the bridge in place if the main strings get stretched out.
  4. It was a french invention to "hold the bridge in place" kind of ridiculous - and that is why it was abandoned but some influential bassists used this rope thing
  5. jlattuada


    Apr 25, 2001
    Richmond, Va
    Thanks - I was thinking more along some kind of taming of a wolf tone or something with sympathetic vibrations, the more obvious purpose never occurred to me -

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