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Re: Practice Mutes

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Posted by Rich Laird ( on February 27, 2002 at 20:59:00:

In Reply to: Re: Practice Mutes posted by Ed on February 21, 2002 at 13:13:05:

: I would think that they are all practice mutes, I've never seen any parts written for "muted bass".
: The idea is to stop vibration from translating from string to instrument so they all work by sitting on the bridge and absorbing the string vibration. They don't really stop the sound dead, so you won't really be able to practice in the middle of the night or anything.
: But if the walls of your falt are thick enough and/or you practice while your neighbors are watching TV or doing stuff, they should be OK.

Not so. Some mutes are designed for practice and are much heavier - and therefore effective - than a mute which is designed for performance.

I've never seen a bass part call for "muted bass" either but I've seen plenty of bass parts that say "con sordino" - which means "with mute" - and then "senza sordino" when you're supposed to take the mute back off.

It's been a while, but if I remember correctly, The Firebird (Stravinsky), Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky), and Daphnis and Chloe (Ravel) would be just a few examples of many major works that require the basses - and probably the whole string section for that matter - to use mutes.

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