Despite the fact we published a whole heap of viola jokes recently we love violists dearly; that’s why we keep four grades of violas in stock in two of the most usual sizes – click here to view them.
As you’ll have guessed from the title today’s #TriviaTuesday post is all about the double bass. Did you know that since its earliest days in the 16th century the shape of the double bass has changed more than any other stringed instrument? Even now the double bass has not acquired a “standard” shape.
There are currently two shapes existing side by side. One is like a violin (though of course much larger!) sometimes with a curved back, sometimes with a flat back (to make playing easier) and higher shoulders attached to the neck.
The other is more like the shape of a viol with a flat back and ‘shoulders’ that slope more quickly and steeply away from the neck. The shape of the body resembles a pear.
There are numerous examples of differently shaped double basses. One in the German National Museum in Nuremberg dates from 1563 and is shaped like a viol with many more additional curves in the body of the instrument than is found today as illustrated in the picture.
Regular visitors will know that we occasionally do birthday shout outs for living musicians and composers and birthday tributes for their dead counterparts. Some days there are more than one and we choose which to highlight. Other days we’ll bring you the two or three we’re featuring that day.
Very occasionally, though, we have a day when there are simply too many of a genre from which to choose and today is one of those rare days when we came across a plethora of composers/songwriters together with a whole heap of guitarists so, instead of just choosing one, we’re bringing you all of them…
1839 – Dudley Buck – American Composer
1844 – Pablo de Sarasate – Spanish violinist and composer
1875 – Alexander Goldenweiser – Russian pianist and composer
1892 – Arthur Honegger – French-Swiss composer
1903 – Bix Beiderbecke – American pianist and composer
1936 – Alfredo Zitarrosa – Uruguayan singer-songwriter
1938 – Norman Blake – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1940 – Dean Torrence – American singer-songwriter
1947 – Tom Scholz – American guitarist and songwriter
1952 – Mike O’Donnell – English composer
1954 – Didier Barbelivien – French singer-songwriter
1955 – Gary Louris – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1957 – Jim White – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1960 – Jörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen – German-American keyboard player and songwriter
1962 – Seiko Matsuda – Japanese singer-songwriter
1964 – Neneh Cherry – Swedish singer-songwriter
1966 – Edie Brickell – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1966 – Gráinne Mulvey – Irish Composer
1966 – Phil X – Canadian guitarist
1969 – Walter Schreifels – American singer-songwriter
1970 – Matt Barlow – American singer-songwriter
1970 – Michel van der Aa – Dutch composer
1971 – Daryle Singletary – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1973 – John LeCompt – American guitarist
1973 – Dan Swanö – Swedish guitarist
1976 – Kisaki – Japanese songwriter and bass player
1977 – Robin Thicke – American-Canadian singer-songwriter
1978 – Camille – French singer-songwriter
1978 – Benjamin Burnley – American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1983 – Che’Nelle – Malaysian-Australian singer-songwriter
1983 – Carrie Underwood – American singer-songwriter
1985 – Casey Dienel – American singer-songwriter and pianist
1987 – Emeli Sandé – Anglo-Scottish singer-songwriter
And, finally, honourable mention to bass player Gail Greenwood, born this day in 1960
So, if your child celebrates a birthday today we suggest you ensure they have music lessons, especially ones focussing on composition…