Tag Archives: bull fiddle

Stars and Stripes Forever and Ever

I made this double bass part for John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” to help out the Berkeley Youth Orchestra’s bass section. Could come in handy for young bass players who might be having a bit of trouble transposing tuba parts. Since this is a common piece of music that often winds up on student bassist’s stands, I’m making this freely available:

The Stars and Stripes Forever by sanbeiji

Classical Double Bassist Forum

If you are a classical double bassist, then you might be interested in checking out the new Google Groups forum, designed exclusively for discussion of issues pertaining to the classical bassist.

I had seen plenty of online bass forums, but most of them were a mixed bag of styles and instruments – jazz, classical, rockabilly, bluegrass styles, and then there’s electric fretted and fretless basses as opposed to the upright string bass – one almost forgets what to call it with so many bits and pieces floating around. So I felt it’d be a good idea to start one that had a purely classical focus.

Speaking of not knowing what to call it, there’s a ridiculous number of names given to this instrument – more than just about any other instrument I know of ��� which makes it somewhat of a pain when searching online for sheet music:

  • double bass
  • string bass
  • upright bass
  • contrabass
  • bass viol
  • standup bass

or just

  • bass

I heard my aunt Lisa call it “bull fiddle” once and nearly died laughing. Perfect name, but it wasn’t the last time I heard it called that… suddenly I heard bull fiddle popping up all over the place in conversation and it still cracks me up. One of those things…

Now of course in classical music, every musician has to learn a few key words, i.e. allegro = schnell = fast. Ergo, the bass is:

  • Kontrabaß in German
  • Contrebasse in French
  • Contrabajo in Spanish
  • Contrabasso in Italian

I’ll post more translations as I figure them out, if for nothing else than to find a great excuse to stretch out the true promise of UTF-8 in a single weblog posting. But in the meantime, don’t forget to visit the classical bass forum.