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Pitched an octave below the normal bass range.

[Obsolete Italian contrabasso : Italian contra-, against (from Latin contrā-; see contra-) + Italian basso, bass (from Medieval Latin bassus, low).]

con′tra·bass′ist n.


1. (Instruments) a member of any of various families of musical instruments that is lower in pitch than the bass
2. (Instruments) another name for double bass
(Instruments) of or denoting the instrument of a family that is lower than the bass
contrabassist n


(ˈkɒn trəˌbeɪs)

n. adj.
2. pitched an octave below the bass in a family of instruments.
[1590–1600; < Italian contrabbasso=contra- contra-2 + basso bass1]
con′tra•bass`ist (-ˌbeɪ sɪst, -ˌbæs ɪst) n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contrabass - largest and lowest member of the violin familycontrabass - largest and lowest member of the violin family
bass - the member with the lowest range of a family of musical instruments
bowed stringed instrument, string - stringed instruments that are played with a bow; "the strings played superlatively well"
Adj.1.contrabass - pitched an octave below normal bass instrumental or vocal range; "contrabass or double-bass clarinet"
low-pitched, low - used of sounds and voices; low in pitch or frequency


[ˌkɒntrəˈbeɪs] Ncontrabajo m
References in periodicals archive ?
Drummer Borislav Petrov drove the tune forward with impressive force and grace, creating ample space for Roe and contrabassist Lucas Dols to practice their improv licks.
11 in C major was full of surprises in tonality and in transitional passages, as well as in scoring (two melancholy cellos leaving a single contrabassist to provide the bass line), and Curtis and his players proved affectionate and alert, balancing textures wonderfully.
The top-flight performers were violinists Elfa Run Kristinsdottir, Nadja Zweiner and Wojciech Garbowski; violist Johannes Pennetzdorfer; cellists Mischa Meyer and Marcus Hagemann; contrabassist Arnulf Ballhorn; and electronician Johannes Malfatti.
Contrabassist Stefano Scodanibbio offers brilliant and rather frightening transcriptions of the first five Freeman Etudes: particularly apt since Cage said that the difficulty of the works offered the performer a metaphor for the individual's political action in spite of overwhelming social problems.
The album features a long list of guest musicians including music director and pianist John di Martino, contrabassist Charles Flores, drummer Dafnis Prieto, percussionist Pedro Martinez, guitarist Romero Lubambo, clarinet and saxophone player Ken Peplowski, trombonist Conrad Herwig and trumpeter Brian Lynch.
Contrabassist Edgar Meyer, fresh from the Grammy-winning Appalachian Waltz and his own Uncommon Ritual and Quintet (Issue 72) joined blue/newgrass stalwarts Sam Bush and Mike Marshall with violin wunderkinder Joshua Bell (see KWN's review of The Red Violin in Issue 80) for Short Trip Home, another of his excursions into the twilight between hill country and classical string music.
Randalu or contrabassist Phil Donkin then echo the original line in a form of duet.
Its effect was totally magical, and special praise must be given to contrabassist Julian Atkinson for his range of articulation, from well-phrased lyricism to pungent rhythmic underpinning.
Over the past few years they've gotten to know better classical contrabassist Edgar Meyer, whose periodic forays into bluegrass, rock, and jazz have become as endearing as enlightening.