Michael Praetorius on Bassanelli in Syntagma Musicum

Here is what Praetorius shows us about the Bassanelli from which as far as I know not one single surviving instrument exists.

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In the above picture No. 1 is the bass Bassanelli, No. 2 is the alt/tenor Bassanelli and No. 3 is the discant Bassanelli.
From the pictures can be seen that the Bassanelli:


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The compass of the Bassanelli shows a range from C to f for the bass, from G to c' for the tenor/alt and from d to g' for the discant.


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In the text on the Bassanelli Praetorius describes that the name of the Bassanelli comes from their inventor, Johann Bassano, an important player and composer from Venice. That the Bassanelli have one single bore; have an open end; have one brass key; have a direct blown reed like the Fagotten and Pommern. That the sound is like the Fagotten/Pommern, however much less loud. That the discant, that has a pitch of a tenor flute/recorder, can be heard very well in a mixed ensemble.
That with a good reed the Bassanelli can play rather high (I suppose that means higher than can be concluded from the compass given above, HM). That they have 7 finger holes from which the lowest has a key. That they are a Quart lower as "KammerThon" because the lowest note of the bass is the F, while this is an 8 foot C at "KammerThon".


Remarks and comment to: Hans Mons

© Copyright 2001 by Hans Mons.
Last updated on 25 March 2001