double bass
(DUH-bul base)


[Eng.]


The bass member of the violin family. The double bass differs from the rest of the instruments in its family in that it is a descendant of the viola da gamba family rather than of the viola da braccio. It has sloping shoulders and four strings, and has a range from C below the bass clef to B-flat in the treble clef, and, through the use of harmonics, is even able to reach the G above that. The bow of this instrument is comparatively short, and the strings are rather thick, producing a rich, deep sound. This instrument is also called contrabass and bass viol.

Also [Eng.] double bass; [Fr.] contrebasse; [Ger.] Kontrabass; [It.] contrabasso; [Sp.] violon.


More about instruments


SUGGESTED LISTENING EXAMPLES:

Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 62
Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale, I, "Soldier's March"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 33

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