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Violone?????

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Ashley Long, Aug 30, 2005.


  1. Ashley Long

    Ashley Long

    Jan 3, 2004
    Check this out

    http://divinosospiro.no.sapo.pt/marta_eng.html

    This lady is down as playing violone but it looks to me like a double bass with added frets. The tuning pegs are wrong for the period and as far as I know, violone' where only made with 5 strings minimum. What do you guys think?
     
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    God, I hope that's not some pedigree bass she did that to. :(
     
  3. Ashley Long

    Ashley Long

    Jan 3, 2004
    Well the frets are tie-on anyway so no damage would have occured anyway. Im just a bit curious as to why she uses a modifed double bass and not a violone.
     
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I see a lot of groups where everyone is using violins, violas, and cellos, setup baroque-style but the bassist is just playing a plain old bass. I think it's a matter of practicality for some players - not to have to buy another instrument and the fact that having the added output and range of a modern bass (if it has an extension for example) works out better anyway. We live in an era where bass is in (subwoofers, etc.) and people always like a strong bass line. Having the frets on the bass is actually a pretty good idea I think. What I'm more interested in is whether she is using a baroque bow. BTW, that ensemble does have this guy.
     
  5. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Maybe because she already had a db... and a violone is expensive. Note that if you hit the "back" button, it says "violone and double bass". What surprises me tho, is that Ms Vicente is using her third finger in half position, and also a French bow hold in baroque music. But technique is just a strategy to deliver the music, and as long as the music is good period instrument fondamentalism won't bother me.
     
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Ah, no wonder I thought something was really odd about those frets. She's rpobably using the same fingering as if she was on a regular violone maybe? Just a guess.
     
  7. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    It looks to me like she's using her fourth finger, and her third finger is down for support. A common configuration, yes? I don't often leave my fourth finger out to dry on its own.
     
  8. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    To me her 3rd fg is on 3rd fret and 4th on 4th. And also it seams that the space between the frets is not regular. Is it some kind of non tempered tuning ?
     
  9. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Oh I see, you're saying that because the 3rd finger is actually on a different fret it seems like she may be using it independently. I personally have at least that much space between my third and fourth fingers down there, and my third finger doesn't see any independent action until thumb position.

    Good question about the frets--that strikes me as odd as well. Of course, I just had an eye- (and ear-) opening demonstration this summer from one of the Philadelphia Orchestra bassists on how half-steps vary in sizes depending upon the key you're in (Bb to B natural in G is considerably smaller than Bb to Cb in Gb, for example), so maybe she changes her frets depending upon the key...
     
  10. I've been saying all along that the reason the nut is so high on new double basses is so there's room to tie on the frets, but NOOOOHHH, no-one thinks this is plausible. Well, there you have it.... ;)

    If one had a five string DB, sawed off the end of the fingerboard, added a rosette, gut strings, and frets, used a german bow, tuned a 3rd in the mix, how different could that be? At some point violones did not have sound posts. In terms of construction, that is probably the biggest difference.

    It's interesting to see it going a little backward here and there. Imagine the historical perspective of this to and fro motion in another 400 years. It could read something like "For a period of almost 250 years the violone was abscent;- the great noise of the human industrial-technological era requiring instruments of higher volume levels. It reappeared nearly unchanged in the 21st Century when the appreciation of quieter music finally prevailed over leaf blowers, lawn mowers, sirens, and loudspeakers..."
     
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Actually she is Playing a C#/Db with the 4th finger and the 3rd finger is just down behind it, not on the 3rd fret but in front of it slightly.

    Violone the name was also used for the Double Basses in the 16th-17th century Italy before it was named the Double Bass musically for doubling the Cello (Bass) part.

    Her Bass may be either French or German as the Purfling runs under the Fingerboard on the Top. With the types of scratches I see on the edges, it appears to be a Spirit based varnish which chips and scratches different than Oil so I would say it's German. Ofcourse, seeing the entier Bass from all sides would help so this is just a guess. No major pedigree here, not with that varnish!
     
  12. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I have the impression that viola da gamba poeple are often cello "dropouts" and modern copies of violone are somewhat smaller than double basses. The bass viola da gamba has already a pretty low voice, suitable for the continuo and deep enough for small consort music. Bigger ensembles like the one above do benefit from a violone-db. Some period violones and violas were cut down to cellos...
     
  13. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
     
  14. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France