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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 04:54 PM
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Question Busetto history, confusion or myth?

I have seen quite a bit of talk about both Basses with 'lower rounded corners' aka Busseto as well as the maker known as Giovanni Maria del Busseto. The word/name 'Busetto' is spelled 3 different ways, Busseto, Busetto and Bussetto.

I have as some of you may know quite a few Violin Makers books on the shelf and some of them are actually from the 19th century. Let's look for a moment and try to figure out together how that 'lower rounded corner' got its name 'Busseto' (pick your spelling).

In the 1960s when Elgar wrote his book, he described Basses like Klotz, Kaagstein and Prescott as having 'lower rounded corners', 'lower rounded rib corners' and 'lower rib joints rounded'. Not a single time does he mention 'Busseto'. Why is that?

In the older books, the maker known as Giovanni Maria del Busseto is dated a century earlier, a century earlier as in the 20th century it was corrected by some at least that he worked in the 17th and not 16th century. How did he get his name 'Busseto'? The same way as Gasparo Bertolotti, aka Gasparo d'Salo. His birth place!

In a late 19th century book by George Hart (son of John Hart) rivised edition of 1909 (I have an original antique copy), Hart writes that M.Fetis (c.?) mentions in his book "Biographie des Musiciens" that Busseto derived his name from Busseto, a bourough in the Duchy of Parma, where he was born.

On a website in Japan there is a Bass pictured attributed? to GIOVANNI MARIA DEL BUSSETTO(1660). In all of the books I have this maker listed, only Viols, Violins (have seen 3 pictured) or just 'instruments made' is mentioned about him. Not a single Double Bass or a mention of a Busseto corner. He was a Cremona maker from about 1670-1680. His work is listed as 'rare'.

On a website about Viola d'Amores which carry the same sound hole design as the Bass on the Japan website, the history mentions Central Europe as the origin of that style instrument and not Italy. All of the Basses we have seen with Lower Rounded Corners (aka Busseto, possibly in error all these years) come from mainly Germany with the exception of the Prescott school which we are pretty sure copied something along the lines of a Klotz, Seitz or Neuner-Hornsteiner who also used this design.

I think that after doing this little research that the maker G.M. Busseto has nothing to do with this 'rounded Rib Corner' design and that calling it Busseto is a 'misnomer' unless there is an actual word 'Busseto' in some language that means 'Rounded Corner'. Is there?

For the record, that 'Busseto named' bass on the Japan website I believe is not Italian at all but more than likely something Germanic, but quite old. Just my opinion.

Someone here should contact Pollmann and ask them why they make a Bass called the 'Busseto model' and ask what the might know about the history of the word or name. Ask some other German Luthiers out there as well if they will talk.

'Busseto' is definetly much shorter to say than 'Lower Rounded Rib Joint Corner'. You think?..
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2009, 03:30 AM
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Default busseto

"Busseto" is a small town near Parma, Italy, where Giuseppe Verdi was born
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:37 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefano Senni View Post
"Busseto" is a small town near Parma, Italy, where Giuseppe Verdi was born
And since Verdi was a great opera composer, and since opera singers tend to be a little round, it was logical to call the rounded corners "Busseto".
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:23 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
And since Verdi was a great opera composer, and since opera singers tend to be a little round, it was logical to call the rounded corners "Busseto".
Una buona probabilita? No Arnold, `e un mucchio di merda!
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:47 AM
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Una buona probabilita? No Arnold, `e un mucchio di merda!
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:13 AM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Green man, only twice this time and followed by the now almost universally accepted abbreviation for 'lots of laughs'.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:26 PM
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Cool Opinion..

I just made my opinion Public, again! This time directly on Cozio and copied on Facebook as well.

http://www.cozio.com/luthier.aspx?id=88
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:36 PM
Jonathan Stefaniak Jonathan Stefaniak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
...On a website in Japan there is a Bass pictured attributed? to GIOVANNI MARIA DEL BUSSETTO(1660). In all of the books I have this maker listed, only Viols, Violins (have seen 3 pictured) or just 'instruments made' is mentioned about him. Not a single Double Bass or a mention of a Busseto corner. He was a Cremona maker from about 1670-1680. His work is listed as 'rare'.
...
For the record, that 'Busseto named' bass on the Japan website I believe is not Italian at all but more than likely something Germanic, but quite old. Just my opinion.
Stumbled across this thread, and thought I would add for anyone interested-

That 1660 (1661?) Bussetto was on loan to bassist Kazuo Okuda (Ultrabassisimo was his website) and he used it for orchestra playing until he died in 2010. Before, it was played in the Berlin Philharmonic by the principal Rainer Zepperitz. Kazuo wrote-

"This large enormous 5-stringbass "G. BUSSETTO(1661)" was used for 37 years in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra by Mr.Rainer Zepperitz who was an ex-principal bassist of the BPO, and leader of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet.

When he retired from the BPO, Mr.Ryuzo Ueno who is an instruments collector in Osaka bought this bass from him. And Mr.Ueno is lending it to me since 12 years.
I play on it always in my orchestra because its huge size."

That instrument is a monster. Truely unique. The sound is not what one would call loud or penetrating, but more omnipresent. Deep, forming a real foundational bass for the orchestra. That said it takes tremendous energy to play, and that 112 cm (44in) string length, whew!
The ribs reminded me of the deck of an old pirate ship- wavy and warped over the years.
I attached a couple photos- me trying the bass, a Bussetto corner, and the last Kazuo (RIP) with the Bussetto and his Busan (left) and Magnificent Bergonzi (right)
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2016, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Stefaniak View Post
Stumbled across this thread, and thought I would add for anyone interested-

That 1660 (1661?) Bussetto was on loan to bassist Kazuo Okuda (Ultrabassisimo was his website) and he used it for orchestra playing until he died in 2010. Before, it was played in the Berlin Philharmonic by the principal Rainer Zepperitz. Kazuo wrote-

"This large enormous 5-stringbass "G. BUSSETTO(1661)" was used for 37 years in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra by Mr.Rainer Zepperitz who was an ex-principal bassist of the BPO, and leader of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet.

When he retired from the BPO, Mr.Ryuzo Ueno who is an instruments collector in Osaka bought this bass from him. And Mr.Ueno is lending it to me since 12 years.
I play on it always in my orchestra because its huge size."

That instrument is a monster. Truely unique. The sound is not what one would call loud or penetrating, but more omnipresent. Deep, forming a real foundational bass for the orchestra. That said it takes tremendous energy to play, and that 112 cm (44in) string length, whew!
The ribs reminded me of the deck of an old pirate ship- wavy and warped over the years.
I attached a couple photos- me trying the bass, a Bussetto corner, and the last Kazuo (RIP) with the Bussetto and his Busan (left) and Magnificent Bergonzi (right)
Nice to hear it is being used. I too have played on a long bass as well. My Storioni attributed bass was 44 1/2" when I bought it. When basses are that old, it is hard to say if it sounds Italian or German but the sound holes and Busetto style is old German to my eye, from the Gambas of the past. Maybe one day I could find myself with that bass in a room, playing it and looking it over. But, that probably wont happen unless you come here for a visit.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:40 PM
Jonathan Stefaniak Jonathan Stefaniak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
But, that probably wont happen unless you come here for a visit.
Oh, I only played on it once... I don't think anyone is using it regularly since Mr. Okuda passed away.
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