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Author Topic: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet  (Read 374 times)

Offline PipeTobacco

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New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« on: May 02, 2021, 10:48:40 AM »
Hello!

I am a new person here, as I only discovered this place accidentally a little bit ago (I have been mostly on the ClarinetBB and on SaxOnTheWeb.). 

I am looking forward to participating!  I primarily play Bass Clarinet, though I also play soprano and alto. 

Recently, I was very fortunate to find a Contra Alto Clarinet after years of trying to find one in my price range.  I am very excited!  I wrote a topic in the “ID” forum here, but was not sure if that was the best place to post it.  I am hoping to figure out the specific model and approximate age of my new beast since it is a bit different than I originally thought (it is Selmer..... not Selmer-Bundy).  The serial number is 85XX. 

Thank you!  I am eager to begin participating here often! 

PipeTobacco 

Offline Airflyte

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 05:48:19 PM »
Hi PipeTobacco. Congrats on the Contra and welcome!

I hope someone can offer some useful info regarding your Selmer.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 08:09:45 PM »
Hi PipeTobacco. Congrats on the Contra and welcome!

I hope someone can offer some useful info regarding your Selmer.
From the same post in the "Make and Model Lists and Research," I believe what OP has a Selmer USA plastic contra from approx 1960-1980, heavily leaning towards the end of that time span.
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Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2021, 05:35:50 PM »
Thank you both for your posts!  I wonder, it seems Conn-Selmer has not released serial number and year designations for it seems bass clarinets nor contra alto clarinets, so we have only broad time frames?  Is that accurate?  I guess it may be silly to wonder.... but it just would be enjoyable to know the manufacturing dates.  Oh well. 

I wrote to Conn-Selmer, but have not receive any reply. 

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 09:16:48 PM »
Honestly, I don't believe they have kept records, or if they do, they're not publicly available.

My best method of dating is by material, state of preservation, and, most importantly, case style, if the original is available.

The style of the case is a really good way to narrow down instruments to typically within a 10-year time span.

Also, another way to date is by generically assuming that the vast majority of those larger clarinets were made between the 60s and the 80s. It's not very scientific, but at least it gets you relatively close.

What style case does yours have? That might help us get it down a bit narrower.
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Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2021, 05:24:14 PM »
I will take a few images of my case and post them!  Thank you!!!

Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 01:38:01 PM »
Hmm.  It has been a long, long time since I have used html codes to insert a picture.  It appears the buttons for photos on this site insert the beginning and end html code..... but then I am lost on how to proceed.  Sadly, I have photos of my case I wanted to upload..... but I cannot for the life of me now figure out how to do so on this site. 

I apologize.... can anyone give me a refresher or crash course in how to show pictures here? 

PipeTobacco

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2021, 06:27:20 PM »
Hello, try the following

1. In the reply page, click "Attachments and other options"

2. Under "Attach," click "Browse..."

3. Find the picture on your computer

4. Upload, post reply, and voila.

If that's not working for you, please email me at daveleblanc@clarinetpages.net
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline LarryS

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2021, 11:04:57 AM »
I thought alto was just short for contra alto ...or are they seperate instruments?
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2021, 09:59:26 PM »
I thought alto was just short for contra alto ...or are they seperate instruments?
Entirely different. Bass clarinet is one octave lower than the soprano clarinet.
Likewise, the contra alto is one octave lower than the alto.

The contra alto is pretty much the last clarinet you can reasonably play sitting down; the straight contrabass need a 7 foot tall player or they need to stand up.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline LarryS

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 06:15:24 AM »
I thought alto was just short for contra alto ...or are they seperate instruments?
Entirely different. Bass clarinet is one octave lower than the soprano clarinet.
Likewise, the contra alto is one octave lower than the alto.

The contra alto is pretty much the last clarinet you can reasonably play sitting down; the straight contrabass need a 7 foot tall player or they need to stand up.
So where does the alto sit?
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Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 11:59:25 AM »
The order from highest pitch to lowest would be:

Soprano Clarinet
Alto Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Contra Alto Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet

Of course there are other clarinets too, but at least in my opinion, those are the “big five”.  :)

Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2021, 12:08:26 PM »


The contra alto is pretty much the last clarinet you can reasonably play sitting down; the straight contrabass need a 7 foot tall player or they need to stand up.


(My first attempt to use the “quote” feature.... so I apologize if I did not do that well.....)

When I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to play the BRAND NEW Contrabass Clarinet my high school had somehow acquired back when I was in high school many, many decades ago..... I jumped at the chance and loved playing it.  Our teacher/conductor also had purchased an adjustable height chair just so I could play it.  It was a very heavy pairing to cart around (both the instrument and the chair) to all the places we played.  :)  But..... it was a helluva lot of fun too!  I was so glad he selected me to play it.... probably though I had enough “hot air” to make a go of it.   ;)

Offline LarryS

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2021, 12:10:29 AM »
The order from highest pitch to lowest would be:

Soprano Clarinet
Alto Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Contra Alto Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet

Of course there are other clarinets too, but at least in my opinion, those are the “big five”.  :)
Thanks!
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Offline PipeTobacco

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Re: New Here.... Contra Alto Clarinet
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2021, 05:45:18 PM »
I finally have gotten a few pictures of my contra alto clarinet case and thank you for the guidance on uploading photos.... I was not noticing the rather obvious (except to me) “attachments” button under the text box.... I was trying to image button above the text box and that is where I was getting html codes. 

So, I have three different perspectives of my case.  The idea was that the case style might help to identify the age of my beast.  I have to say it is quite different than the Selmer case styles I was used to from 1960s and 1970s Selmer clarinets. 

So, any thoughts, ideas etc are appreciated!

Even though the beast needs some small adjustments and REALLY needs a heavy duty cleaning and polishing of the metal surfaces..... it is wonderfully fun to play, and I still have enough wind to produce a pretty nice sound!  I am very happy with it thus far! 

PipeTobacco