"Double" bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Jeff2287, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Hello. I am quite unfamiliar with upright bass so bear with me. Why is it called a double bass? I can understand the logic behind names such as string bass, acoustic bass, upright bass, stand-up bass, etc., but what exactly does the "double" in double bass mean? Is there any such thing as a non-"double" bass just called a bass?
  2. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Finally! A chance for me to share this story:

    My friend was going through US Customs on his way to a gig, and the Border Guard asked him "What you got in the back, son?" He replied, "It's my double bass." To which the Border Guard replied, "Whaddya mean Double. . .?"


    It's called a double bass because it "doubles" the lowest part of the string section -the 'cello a lot of the time. Around Beethoven's time, bass players began to get their own parts. I believe he was aquainted with the great solo bassist D. Dragonetti, and this inspired him to write independent parts for us, rather than writing a 'cello/bass part.

    Best regards,
  3. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Hmm, very interesting. It's nice to know that history shows the fact that not all things bass-related are doomed to double. ¦-D
  4. "Double" refers to it's register, it's sounds an octave lower than the bass register.

    Durrl probably has this linked to one of the newbie threads from the past if you want more.