[Dixielandjazz] Octavin

david richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Sun Mar 28 18:31:36 PST 2004

The subject of Octavins has come up from time to time on the 
Contrabass.com list (even though they are not all contrabass 
instruments.) There were straight versions that looked more like a 
clarinet as well as the folded versions. There is a picture at 
<http://www.contrabass.com/2001/PH3.jpg> of two  kinds.  A different 
one can be seen at <http://www.whc.net/rjones/octavin.html>

Here is a short bit of info on Octavins from Grant Green, host of the 
Contrabass site:
>  The instrument is an octavin, essentially a soprano sax folded in 
> half.  According to Langwill's, it was invented in 1893 and attributed 
> to Oscar Adler, although actually invented by Julius Jehring.  
> Although it is often described as a clarinet folded in half, the 
> Jehring entry further notes that it overblows in octaves - like a 
> saxophone - instead of in 12ths like a normal clarinet.  The Jehring 
> entry further notes "bass octavin" models in G and C....

They get  listed on EBay every once in a while.

Dave Richoux

On Mar 28, 2004, at 1:45 PM, Ed Danielson wrote:

> Scott Robinson was the reed player at this past weekend's Summit Jazz 
> concert in Denver.  For one song, he played an odd-looking instrument 
> I'd never heard of before:  an octavin.  Here's a picture of it -- 
> look for "octavin" on this link.
> http://home.comcast.net/~musictreasures/antwood.htm
> A very interesting instrument, sounding a little like a soprano sax.  
> Scott said the fingering is much like an Albert system clarinet.  I 
> had never seen or even heard of an "octavin" before.  Does anyone know 
> anything octavins?
> "You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far 
> backward."
> -- James Thurber
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