Viennese Tuning

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Viennese Tuning: F1,A1,D,F#,A was a type of double bass tuning used during the Classical Period (1760-1820) predominantly in the Austro-German lands. Although there were other tuning systems at the time, this one was almost exclusively used by the bassists in Vienna and surrounding areas, resulting that Mozart and Haydn wrote most of their bass parts specifically for this setup.

The music legacy intended for the Viennese tuning consists of over forty concertos and hundreds of chamber pieces. The authentic performance of the more advanced solo pieces intended for this tuning is unfortunately not possible on the modern orchestra bass. The technical and idiomatic difficulties that this literature presents make this music very difficult and often impossible to arrange for the modern bass. Thus, only a fraction of the solo literature from this repertoire is performed today.

The artistic and performing merits of this system however are numerous, and in many aspects indeed offer an advantage over the modern bass technique and its literature. Since the use of the Viennese tuning is presently limited only to the specialists and scholars, the goal of this site is to further promote this system among bassists and wider audiences alike.

Igor Pecevski


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