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Thread: Sarrusophone

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Default Sarrusophone

    The sarrusophone was invented in 1856 by Pierre-Louis Gautrot, but he named it after the French army bandmaster Pierre-Auguste Sarrus (1813–1876). It combined the double reed of the bassoon with the coiled metal body of a saxophone. Though it supposedly came in 9 different sizes from sopranino to contrabass, the most common usage was the deep contrabass Sarrusophone. It never caught on for use in military bands like the saxophone, but its fingering is nearly identical. This similarity caused Adolphe Sax to file and lose at least one lawsuit against Gautrot, claiming infringement upon his patent for the saxophone. Sax lost on the grounds that the tone produced by the two families of instruments is markedly different, despite their mechanical similarities.

    The sarrusophone is rarely called for in orchestral music. However, around the turn of the 20th century, the contrabass sarrusophone enjoyed a vogue, notably used to great effect in Paul Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, where the instrument begins the bassoon's macabre dance motif. These parts are nowadays played on the contrabassoon.

    At the very end of this video, the musician reveals the single most important quality necessary to properly play a sarrusophone!
    Last edited by Lunasong; Mar-16-2013 at 17:37. Reason: sp.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

  2. Likes ptr, Ukko, Mahlerian and 1 others liked this post
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    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    Love it, Love it, Love it! I'm actually giving serious thought on starting a crowd funding group to have some talented composer write Sarrusophone Concerto!

    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Hah! The contrabassoon with a brassy edge. COAG, you have to include it in your scoring for wind ensemble.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Used in Stravinsky's late great choral work, Threni: id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae

    Hey, if you are 'a Stravinsky,' i.e. a strong enough reputation and in demand, you may then include it in your next commissioned orchestral piece, knowing the orchestra will not grudge the cost of an outside player because, well, 'you're a Stravinsky.' :-)

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