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The Octobass – What does this huge instrument sound like?

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Want a low-end rumble in your orchestra? You need an octobass, a bowed-string instrument that’s so massive, it requires a platform and a series levers to play. Only three were originally made by their inventor Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. Two of those still exist in the world, but there are also two replicas. One replica is in this video from The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Curator Colin Pearson demonstrates what it sounds like.

Also: Human ears can only hear some of the notes played on it. Listen. Then see the other replica being played at Cité de la musique in Paris:

Update: Listen to this newly-built octobass, played and explained by Norway’s Guro S. Moe. This huge instrument will make its debut at Oslo’s Only Connect Festival of Sound in June 2015:

Watch this next: This may be The World’s Largest Tuba.

via Kottke.

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