Contrabass Saxophone

Contrabass_Saxophone_(1999)The contrabass saxophone is the lowest-pitched extant member of the saxophone family proper. It is extremely large (twice the length of tubing of the baritone saxophone, with a bore twice as wide, standing 1.9 meters tall, or 6 feet four inches) and heavy (approximately 20 kilograms, or 45 pounds), and is pitched in the key of E♭, one octave below the baritone.

In recent years, however, the contrabass saxophone has experienced a resurgence in interest. Although still quite rare, perhaps partly due to its great expense, three manufacturers now produce contrabass saxophones: Benedikt Eppelsheim of Munich, Germany Romeo Orsi Wind Instruments of Milan, and J’Elle Stainer of São Paulo, Brazil.

Due to its large body and wide bore, the sound of the contrabass saxophone has great acoustical presence and a very rich tone. It can be smooth and mellow, or harsh and buzzy depending on the player, and on the mouthpiece and reed combination used.

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