Sub-great bass recorder

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The sub-great bass recorder, also known as contra great bass and contrabass,[1] is a recorder with the range C–d1 (g1).[citation needed] It is manufactured in both bent ("knick") and square designs. The design with a square or rectangular cross-sections was first patented in 1975 by Joachim and Herbert Paetzold. They are made from plywood and have a doubled-back bore like a bassoon, which reduces the exterior length of the instrument. They also have wooden keys.[1] Through this special and proprietary design, the instrument can be played with a very short bocal.

The American recorder player Michael Barker has combined a Paetzold contrabass recorder with two computer-controlled synthesizers to create what he calls a "midified blockflute".[1]

The sub-great bass recorder was developed by Herbert Paetzold in Ebenhofen. Today, this recorder size is produced and distributed by the workshop Kunath under the brand name "Paetzold by Kunath".


  1. ^ a b c Lasocki, David (2001). "Recorder". In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John (eds.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 9780195170672.