Octobass is an extremely large bowed string instrument constructed about 1850 in Paris by the French luthier Jean Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875). It has three strings and is essentially a larger version of the double bass.
- a full size double bass is generally approximately 2 meters in length.
- the specimen in the collection of the Musée de la Musique in Paris measures 3.48 meters in length.
(also another octobass is in the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona)
Because of the impractically large size of its fingerboard and thickness of its strings, the strings were stopped by the use of an intricate system of hand- and foot-activated levers and pedals. The instrument was, in fact, so large that it took two musicians to play: one to bow and the other to control the "fingering", and was consequently never produced on a large scale or used much by composers (although Hector Berlioz wrote favorably about the instrument and proposed its widespread adoption).
Media in category "Octobass"
The following 9 files are in this category, out of 9 total.