double bass

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double bass,

bowed stringed musical instrument, the contrabass of the modern orchestral string section. It originated as a double-bass violviol,
family of bowed stringed instruments, the most important ensemble instruments from the 15th to the 17th cent. The viol's early history is indefinite, but it is recognizable in depictions from as early as the 11th cent. During the second half of the 17th cent.
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, an instrument described as early as 1566. A true double-bass violinviolin,
family of stringed musical instruments having wooden bodies whose backs and fronts are slightly convex, the fronts pierced by two f-hole-shaped resonance holes. The instruments of the violin family have been the dominant bowed instruments because of their versatility,
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 appeared during the 18th cent. but was rejected as unwieldy and of poor tonal quality. The present double bass is tuned in fourths and usually has a flat back and sloping shoulders but has never attained a definitive form. The bow, the last to give up its convex shape, was long held palm upward like the viol bow, but the violin style is now customary. Indispensable in the orchestra, it also has a place in the dance band and jazz.

Double Bass


(contrabass), a bowed stringed instrument. It is the largest (nearly 2 m long) and lowest-pitched instrument in the string family. It has four strings tuned in fourths and sounds an octave lower than it is notated. There are also three- and five-string double basses. The player normally stands. Primarily an orchestral and ensemble instrument, the double bass is sometimes played as a solo instrument (outstanding virtuosos include G. Bottesini, Italy, 19th century; S. Koussevitzky, Russia, 20th century; and F. Gertovich, USSR).

The variety of a musical instrument that plays in the lowest registers is also known as a contrabass—for example, the contrabass trombone, contrabass tuba, and contrabass balalaika.

double bass

1. a stringed instrument, the largest and lowest member of the violin family. Range: almost three octaves upwards from E in the space between the fourth and fifth leger lines below the bass staff. It is normally bowed in classical music, but it is very common in a jazz or dance band, where it is practically always played pizzicato
2. of or relating to an instrument whose pitch lies below that regarded as the bass; contrabass
References in periodicals archive ?
Show of Hands with double-bass player Miranda Sykes.
So, if any of you can help us spare said double-bass player the indignity of standing on stage playing 'air' double-bass -- or if you maybe know someone who might be able to help but who isn't on our Manama Singers mailing list -- we will be so grateful
After an enticing solo entrance, Kcheich was joined by Dutch double-bass player Tony Overwater, whose accompaniment gave those traditional forms a whole new feel.
Opening track "Marianne" gets right to the point, with rolling, thundering toms, firecracker fuzz guitar and manic double-bass competing with lead crooner Hayakawa Yoshio's booming vocals in a free-jazz-folk thunderstorm.
If she was surprised that her children's tastes were more for the fun, upbeat sounds of the 40s and 50s, she mustn't have shown it as she has since learned the double-bass so she can accompany them at occasional live events.
These emerge best in the conclusion, when Durmans caustic free jazz saxophone (still only in long notes) leads a heated dialogue with a dampening double-bass accompaniment