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1

The reason for tuning an instrument a certain way is always for playability reasons (and instrument construction/design/purpose). One could certainly make the argument that a particular instrument belongs to a certain family but it doesn't fully answer the question- the same question still applies- why does that family get tuned a certain way. "Just because" ...


35

It is because the double bass, essentially, comes from a different family of instruments than the cello, viola and violin. This is a controversial assertion among music historians, as these things evolved continously, but many scholars do not consider the double-bass to be a part of the violin family at all. The argument goes like this: About two ...


6

The early history (from about 1500 to 1850) of bass tunings are very variable, with anything from 3 to 6 strings and tunings in anything from thirds to fifths. Reference. In the classical period, the virtuoso Domenico Dragonetti played a 3-string bass tuned C G D an octave below the cello, which was more or less the standard instrument that Haydn, Mozart ...


25

With long open strings, the span to reach notes especially at the nut end would be too much for a lot of players if it retained the 5ths pattern of tuning. Making the tuning in fourths means that the left hand can encompass three notes in a scale and then move across to the next string in the same hand position. That said, it's not difficult to slide up a ...


9

I can think of two reasons: Bass is difficult enough the way it is. If you were to play it like a cello, you would need a) much more frequent position changes, and/or b) a strong, independent and wide-reaching (much wider than on cello with its shorter scale) pinky. I think most bassists never use the pinky on its own at all (or do they?), because a bass ...


2

Many of the old traditional folk songs originated before the advent of recorded music. Typically folk songs were composed for the enjoyment of friends and family and neighbors with no thought of profiting commercially, thus there was no desire or need to copyright the songs or even write them down. Many folk songs became popular and were transmitted ...


-1

This is more of an archaeology question than a music question, but it is generally agreed upon by the scientific community that the oldest known instruments are paleolithic-era bone flutes dating back to at least 42,000 years ago. As flutes are a type of reed instrument, this should answer your question! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_flutes ...


0

Well, people in the outdoors with leisure time. Now outdoor jobs in prehistoric times were not all that unusual, but leisure time may have been. Hunters might have started reed instruments from primitive bird calls. Shepherds are obvious candidates for perfecting those in leisure time, and are also associated with ancient flutes. Shawms are medieval ...


0

A right handed guitarist's answer: If I didn't pluck the notes (right hand) and only used hammer-on's and pull-offs (left hand) I would be allot faster. The slow part that needs more speed work is the picking hand. This is because (since I am right handed) the left hand notes are played by four different fingers, but the right hand notes are played by one ...


0

It may be a completely religious war as to which hand is doing the most work, the fretting or strumming/picking hand. Keeping Register with the strumming hand is much simpler than for the fretting hand. I play bass. My fretting hand is moving in two dimension - between the strings and up and down the fretboard. My picking hand only has to choose the ...


-1

This is the proposed Contra Basso/Alto-Tenor Grand Staff to be used by the modern bass player - World Wide. Originally, the upper stave featured the use of the Treble clef symbol in conjunction with the Alto-Tenor clef symbol, but it was recommended the Treble clef symbol be removed in favor of just using only the Alto-Tenor clef symbol alone in the upper ...


0

There is nothing ambiguous about the different clef symbol denoting the 3rd space in the upper stave as being the location of middle C. In fact it is quite clear. Because people began writing bass music using only the single F Bass clef symbol, and not a Double F Bass clef symbol, this transposed the written bass music up and octave, which in turn moved ...



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