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This article is about a variety of instruments in the contrabass register. For the string instrument sometimes referred to as contrabass, see double bass.

Contrabass (derived from Italian: contrabbasso) refers to a musical instrument of very low pitch; generally those pitched one octave below instruments of the bass register. While the term most commonly refers to the double bass (which is the bass instrument in the orchestral string family, tuned lower than the cello), many other instruments in the contrabass register exist.

The term "contrabass" is relative, usually denoting a very low-pitched instrument of its type rather than one playing in a particular range. For example, the contrabass flute's lowest note is approximately an octave higher than that of the contrabass clarinet. Instruments tuned below contrabass instruments, such as the double contrabass flute or subcontrabass saxophone, may be referred to as "double contrabass," "triple contrabass," "subcontrabass," or "octocontrabass" instruments. On the other hand, the "contrabass" classification is often taken to include such instruments as well.





  • Contrabass harmonica
  • Basse-contres, basso profondo/oktavist, a rare bass singer who can sing notes in the contrabass octave. The low extreme for this voice type is usually F1.





  1. ^ "Contrabass Serpent". Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Bass and Contrabass Trumpet". Contrabass Mania. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Sub-Contrabass Whistle Profundo". Chiff and Fipple Forums. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  4. ^ "The Contrabassophone". Contrabass Mania. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  5. ^ "Slide Reed Subcontrabass". Contrabass Mania. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 

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