Holland also recorded an album with the representative title Music from Two Basses on which he plays with Barre Phillips while he sometimes switches to cello as well. The string bass is the most commonly used bass instrument in bluegrass music and is almost always plucked, though some modern bluegrass bassists have also used a bow. The Engelhardt-Link formerly Kay brands of laminate basses have long been popular choices for bluegrass bassists.
Early pre-bluegrass traditional music was often accompanied by the cello. The cellist Natalie Haas points out that in the US, you can find " Some contemporary bluegrass bands favor the electric bass, because it is easier to transport than the large and somewhat fragile upright bass. However, the bass guitar has a different musical sound. Many musicians feel the slower attack and percussive, woody tone of the upright bass gives it a more "earthy" or "natural" sound than an electric bass, particularly when gut strings are used.
Corelli, Arcangelo: Adagio Christmas Concerto. Persecution intensified in the sciences as well; the country soon was in the grip of a mass hysteria that culminated in the notorious "Doctors' Plot" of Having decided to become a composer, he had neither the patience nor the desire to really work at it; it was enough for him that his work sparkled, was applauded, and he could move on to other things. Acquired by Ricordi, it was performed for many years in the major opera houses in Italy, Europe and South America, until it was superseded by the Ero e Leandro of Luigi Mancinelli written on the same libretto. Once more, I beg of you to let me know how they are, write to me quickly and tell me what is new with them and with their wives. Traditional Chinese: In a faraway place - choir. Each of the following editions allows the bassist to use normal, Orchestra Tuning rather than Solo Tuning to perform the work.
Bluegrass bass lines are usually simple, typically staying on the root and fifth of each chord throughout most of a song. There are two main exceptions to this rule. Bluegrass bassists often do a diatonic walkup or walkdown , in which they play every beat of a bar for one or two bars, typically when there is a chord change. In addition, if a bass player is given a solo, they may play a walking bass line with a note on every beat or play a pentatonic scale-influenced bassline.
An upright bass was the standard bass instrument in traditional country western music. While the upright bass is still occasionally used in country music , the electric bass has largely replaced its bigger cousin in country music, especially in the more pop-infused country styles of the s and s, such as new country. Slap-style bass is sometimes used in bluegrass bass playing.
When bluegrass bass players slap the string by pulling it until it hits the fingerboard or hit the strings against the fingerboard, it adds the high-pitched percussive "clack" or "slap" sound to the low-pitched bass notes, sounding much like the clacks of a tap dancer. Slapping is a subject of minor controversy in the bluegrass scene.
Even slapping experts such as Mike Bub say, "Don't slap on every gig," or in songs where it is not appropriate. As well, bluegrass bassists who play slap-style on live shows often slap less on records. Bub and his mentor Jerry McCoury rarely do slap bass on recordings. German bassist Didi Beck plays rapid triplet slaps, as demonstrated in this video . In the s, a new style of dance music called rhythm and blues developed, incorporating elements of the earlier styles of blues and swing.
Louis Jordan , the first innovator of this style, featured an upright bass in his group, the Tympany Five. The upright bass remained an integral part of pop lineups throughout the s, as the new genre of rock and roll was built largely upon the model of rhythm and blues, with strong elements also derived from jazz, country, and bluegrass. However, upright bass players using their instruments in these contexts faced inherent problems. They were forced to compete with louder horn instruments and later amplified electric guitars , making bass parts difficult to hear.
The upright bass is difficult to amplify in loud concert venue settings, because it can be prone to feedback howls. As well, the upright bass is large and awkward to transport, which also created transportation problems for touring bands. In , Leo Fender independently released his Precision Bass , the first commercially successful electric bass guitar.
In the s and s bands were playing at louder volumes and performing in larger venues.
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The electric bass was able to provide the huge, highly amplified stadium-filling bass tone that the pop and rock music of this era demanded, and the upright bass receded from the limelight of the popular music scene. The upright bass began making a modest comeback in popular music in the mids, in part due to a renewed interest in earlier forms of rock and country music.
In the s, improvements in pickups and amplifier designs for electro-acoustic horizontal and upright basses made it easier for bassists to get a good, clear amplified tone from an acoustic instrument. Some popular bands decided to anchor their sound with an upright bass instead of an electric bass, such as the Barenaked Ladies. A trend for "unplugged" performances further helped to enhance the public's interest in the upright bass and acoustic bass guitars. Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies primarily plays upright bass, although he has increasingly played bass guitar throughout the band's career.
Shannon Birchall , of the Australian folk-rock group The John Butler Trio , [ 38 ] makes extensive use of upright basses, performing extended live solos in songs such as Betterman. Norwegian ompa-rock band Kaizers Orchestra use the upright bass exclusively both live and on their recordings. The late s rockabilly-punk genre of psychobilly continued and expanded upon the rockabilly tradition of slap bass. Bassists such as Kim Nekroman and Geoff Kresge have developed the ability to play rapid slap bass that in effect turns the bass into a percussion instrument.
This live Nekromantix song showcases Kim's rapid percussive slapping. This live Tiger Army song shows Kresge's rapid slap bass technique. In popular music genres, the instrument is usually played with amplification and almost exclusively played with the fingers, pizzicato style. The pizzicato style varies between different players and genres.
Some players perform with the sides of one, two, or three fingers, especially for walking basslines and slow tempo ballads, because this is purported to create a stronger and more solid tone. Some players use the more nimble tips of the fingers to play fast-moving solo passages or to pluck lightly for quiet tunes. The use of amplification allows the player to have more control over the tone of the instrument, because amplifiers have equalization controls that allow the bassist to accentuate certain frequencies often the bass frequencies while de-accentuating some frequencies often the high frequencies, so that there is less finger noise.
An unamplified acoustic bass's tone is limited by the frequency responsiveness of the instrument's hollow body, which means that the very low pitches may not be as loud as the higher pitches. With an amplifier and equalization devices, a bass player can boost the low frequencies, which changes the frequency response. In addition, the use of an amplifier can increase the sustain of the instrument, which is particularly useful for accompaniment during ballads and for melodic solos with held notes.
In traditional jazz, swing , polka , rockabilly, and psychobilly music, it is sometimes played in the slap style. This is a vigorous version of pizzicato where the strings are "slapped" against the fingerboard between the main notes of the bass line, producing a snare drum -like percussive sound.
The main notes are either played normally or by pulling the string away from the fingerboard and releasing it so that it bounces off the fingerboard, producing a distinctive percussive attack in addition to the expected pitch. Notable slap style bass players, whose use of the technique was often highly syncopated and virtuosic, sometimes interpolated two, three, four, or more slaps in between notes of the bass line. The name Bassetto was first mentioned in , by Biagio Marini.
The instrument was in com- mon use in Bologna between and about The composers Giovanni Battista Mazzaferrata and Sebastiano Chierico wrote many pieces which called for its use, as did A. Grossi , G.
Colombi , S. Filippini and others. The bassetto was used for concertante bass parts in church sonatas, motets and psalms, and occasionally also in chamber sonatas. The compass was from. My interest in Bottesini began only a few years ago in about when my circumstance and especially my health allowed me to become interested in solo playing on the double bass and in the compositions of Bottesini in particular. This fascination grew to a desire not only to learn what I could about his music but also to an interest in the man himself as a person, player, and composer.
Here, then, is an article not by a scholar or educated writer, but by a simple bass player in search of Bottesini.
Giovanni Bottesini was born into a musical family on December 22nd, , in Crema, a town in Lombardy, Italy. His mother was Maria born Spinefli and his father, Pietro, was a local musician, a well-known claxionettist who also was interested in composition, having written several methods for various instruments.
A composition of his is in Milan. His sister, Angelina, also studied music and became a fine pianist. She died in Naples in He began his study of the violin at five and at the age of ten he was put in the care of his uncle, Cogliati, a priest, who was the first violinist in the orchestra of the Cathedral at Crema. He remained in this tuition for three years singing as a boy soprano, playing the drums at the Teatro Communale, continuing serious study of the Pianoforte as well as experimenting with the cello and double bass.
In his father heard of two places on scholarship at the Conservatono in Milan, one for the bassoon and one for the double bass. Thus, the decision was made that was to launch Bottesini on his fantastic career.
They made the journey to the big city one week ahead of the audition in order for young Giovanni to meet Professor Luigi Rossi and have some lessons prior to the big day. Dal Occa, for example, had been as far as St. Petersburg in Russia and back and was well-known as a soloist. It was during his stay at the conservatory that Bottesini wrote a number of compositions including the three Grand Duels and a Double Concerto with his friend, Arpesani of whom, more later.
He studied composition under Vaccaj and Basily.
Of his progress on the bass, his friend Piatti the famous cellist with whom he was a classmate said that after three years of study Bottesini never played better, he only gained experience! His solo debut was made in the following year in Crema his home town and he had tremendous success. Verdi, who was producing I due Foscari at that theatre, heard Bottesini and advised him to follow a career as a soloist.
Neither I nor a heart specialist friend of mine think this could be true as there is no further mention of heart trouble in his life which went on for 50 more years to end with liver trouble! The heart trouble is mentioned by a contemporary biographer Cesare Lisei who was the London representative to Ricordi, wrote a brochure on Bottesini in Bottesini himself mentions his health in a letter home but in a very obscure way known only to his mother.
That Company played the first Verdi ever heard in Philadelphia. Bottesini received extra money from the Company for appearances as a soloist on the bass, often during the interval of the opera. This was the beginning of a custom which he was to follow throughout his career. Even then, it seems, he was selling out the opera performances on the strength of his phenomenal abilities as a performer on the double bass.
He was always very popular in North America and was made, for example, an honorary member, along with Jenny Lind, of the Philharmonic Society in New York in Here is a letter home to his parents written in Boston, April 29, I did not arrive in New York until the 15th; the journey was very pleasant and we were treated with the highest regard.
In New York, we found another Italian opera company at the Teatro Palmos, where it had been in residence for five months, and there I came across a few of our acquaintances such as Clotilde Basili, Benedette il Tenore, Sanquivrio, etc.