Behold the octobass, the lowest-tuned classical instrument ever

Posted by on December 23, 2016


So you think you’re extreme with your six string bass? Sorry, it’s been done before, and probably never as low and punishing as the octobass. Created in 1850, it’s the lowest tuned classical instrument created, and there were only three of them made. Everything about it one-ups the cello. It’s tuned two octaves below a cello, and you have to step up to a platform on the instrument, then pull levers to play it. It’s lowest note isn’t even hearable to the human ear. So basically, whatever the classical version of nu-metal was, this was their super detuned bass and 808 kick drum combined, and we’re sure it was quite the pantaloon dropper back in the day. At any rate, one of two replicas is on display at Phoenix’s Museum of the Musical Instrument.

Here’s some musicians trying to play the Jaws theme on it:

[via Metal Injection]

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