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There Ought To Be A Law ...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Apr 2, 2015.


  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Feel free to add your own. Here's mine:

    My wife bought a choral arrangement for a job audition, Air on a G String arranged for chorus. Not a great beginning right there, IMHO - Bach vocal music can be tough enough to sing, but Bach instrumental music transcribed for voice can be even tougher. The vocal arrangement is in G, a fifth down from the original key of D. That's important - read on.

    It comes with a string bass part - the original continue part, simply lowered a perfect fifth. Un-freakin' believable! The low F, four ledger lines below the staff, is a major third below the lowest note on an 88-key piano keyboard. It's 21.8 Hz according to my math, and I think the threshold of human hearing is between 20 and 25 Hz for most people.

    There ought to be a law that if you publish a bass part, a bass player has to look at it first and say it can actually be played. Or the publisher has to make a six-string bass available with a low B fifth string and a low F# below that, although even that would quite do it in this case.

    Rant over.

    I emailed the publisher.

    -S-
     
    Jeff Bonny and Jake deVilliers like this.
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Technically, the double bass is a transposing instrument, with notes written an octave higher than they sound. Folks who double on tuba are used to reading all those ledger lines below the staff- is there any chance that it is labeled a "bass" part, and not "string bass"? Just sayin'...:unsure:

    Sorry to derail the rant!

    Carry on!

    Joe
     
    Ross Kratter and Spaldo like this.
  3. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    ...I was just going to post the same thing. Either that, or the publisher and transcriber had no idea that Contrabass is a transposing instrument.

    I used to get the odd chart from a certain piano player I used to play with that had those notes on it. :/ First one was a head-scratcher for sure...
     
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    It's a "String Bass" part.

    -S-
     
  5. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    It is someone somewhere being lazy, and there is no excuse for it. Orchestration 101 is these are the instruments, the notes they can play, and how they should be written for those instruments. Someone clearly either skipped that chapter, or more likely took an existing score and hit the transpose button followed by "print parts" in their notation software and clocked out for the day.
     
    moles likes this.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    When you click on Contact Us on the publisher's (J. W. Pepper) web site, you get a response from "satisfaction@jwpepper.com" - the person clearly isn't a musician, but she gave me a full credit since, she said, I clearly wasn't satisfied with my purchase.

    She also promised to pass this along to someone musical - I'm still waiting for that reply.

    -S-
     

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