Cello and Bass doubling

Hi everyone,
It’s very common in music from the Classical period for the double bass to double the cello part, albeit an octave lower.
Is there a way to represent this in playback in Dorico, i.e. whatever is written on the Cello/Bass stave is played in octaves.
Thanks for any help!

You could assign a sound that is a Cello+Bass octave sound. Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark I has a patch like this for the low strings.

Hi Lucas.
For what it’s worth, I did request the possibility to condense section players especially for this case. It will probably come in due course.

If your VST allows you to configure MIDI input channels manually for multiple slots, you could send one channel to both a cello and DB slot. Some DB sounds automatically transpose down the octave, whereas in other VST’s one can set the transposition there. The only hitch occurs if certain notes in the cello extend below the traditional low E of the DB which means the two instruments need to use different written notes.

Not necessarily. Double bass tuning has been quite variable over the centuries, and the normal orchestral bass in the classical period had only 3 strings tuned in 5ths, C G D an octave below the cello.

Of course somebody may have made a performing edition that fits onto a modern bass without the C extension, but in that case you might as well restore the original version!

I didn’t know that.

Rob, do you have a source for this?
I only know about Viennese Double Bass tuning, which is a different thing (F A D F# A), probably more used for solistic playing:


There has been very different tunings and 3-6 string double basses/violones
from ca : 1500 - today in Italy, Germany, France, England etc
check books from Alfred Planyavsky, LP covers with Rodney Slatford and more…

regards S-EH

I use NotePerformer and was wondering if this is possible. I haven’t been able to find a way to configure a MIDI channel for multiple slots but if it is possible in NP, could you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

The virtuoso bassist Dragonetti (contemporary with Beethoven) is one well documented example. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domenico_Dragonetti#Vienna (including a picture).

The “non-standard tunings” continued well into the 19th century. In fact Berlioz (Treatise on Orchestration, 1844) recommended that the bass section of an orchestra should be subdivided and tuned two different ways, E-G-D-A and E-A-D-G, to increase the resonance from more pitches of open strings.

At the other extreme of pitch range, some tunings had the lowest string as high as A (a third below the bottom string of the cello).