The Octobass; an instrument 2 octaves below the cello, in the Bass clef 15mb.

• Jan 30, 2019 - 16:23
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

1) Strong description of the octobass: Plays 2 octaves below cello, designed to produce a strong, rumbling sound to the depth of an orchestra, made for mood and for a stormy mood. Octobass is a stringed, instrument that is bowed.
Expectations: If fixed, people can have a moody behavior in the string orchestra.


It is correct to call it a thirty-two-foot instrument; although it is not quite that tall, an open organ pipe sounding that pitch is indeed that tall. Harpsichord stops as well as organ stops are designated in this way; the contrabass is a "16'" instrument. The goal of the octobass was to bring that organ-associated sound to the orchestra. C0 (16 Hz) is below human hearing (but, of course, can be felt, and its harmonics heard implying it). It was almost surely for this reason, and the abundance of 32' organ stops in the world, that this pitch was chosen as 0 in C0 etc. Feet*Hz = 512, half the speed of sound in ft/sec.

Status active needs info

The pitches mentioned hare are assuming C4 being middle C? Or C5, in which case the C0 mentioned here would rather be a C-1?
Does the attached cover the ranges properly?

Any particular genre this instrument might belong to? Just "orchestra"?

Attachment Size
Octobass.mscz 4.62 KB

There are some 64' pedal reeds in the world -- Atlantic City and one of the Australian metropoles when I was a child, but there might be more now. While 64' is not an effect called for or known by any known organ composer, 32' is certainly called for by 19th century and later music, but only available on large organs. Movies, etc., have need for thunder machines, and the "diaphone" invented by radical organ buider Robert Hope-Jones actually found further use in real nautical foghorns (look up the term). The frequency of the lowest note of a 64' stop is 8 Hz, which is the rate of 32d notes at quarter=60. Soft 32' sound (called for at end of Franck B minor "chorale") is a deeply magical effect.

Status PR created fixed

Fixed in branch master, commit f84c64d6c9

_fix #283111: Add octobass

and add some comments to the bowed instruments reg. their sound.
Revealed a wrong pizzicato sound for Baryton (dulcimer), corrected in
the due course_

Fix version