European Stringed Instrument, used for orchestral purposes. Found in modern music in the form of an electric bass.
The String quintet had two violins, a viola, a cello, and a contrabass.
by Chipwich88 January 4, 2005
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A large stringed instrument of the bass register. Usually played with a bow in classical styles, but also played by finger plucking is other music genres such as Jazz. In this case, it is also known as a "stand up bass"
Danny: That's a mighty fine contrabass you got there!
by TheContraBass November 26, 2009
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A contrabass is a large European stringed instrument that belongs to the viol family. It produces deep (and very low) notes with a rich sound. It's lowest note is the E string (although this can be lowered even further with the help of a C extension or an additional string) which is the equivilant of the E two octaves below middle C on piano. The contrbass is common (although not nearly as common as a cello or violin) in jazz or classical pieces, although does not go very far in many other genres. Generally, the contrabass plays the harmony and is rarely given solos.
Contrabass belongs to the string family and reads in the bass clef.
by Vyxyn December 7, 2010
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The Biggest Baddest Instrument in the Marching band!
often misnamed as a Contrabass Tuba, it can be called contrabass, tuba, Contra (the most common name), or HOLY MOFOing monstrosity (normally the first reaction when you see it for the first time

Can wiegh between 35 to 85 pounds, hard to march with (since they block 50% of periferal view), super expencsive, and the people that play it are the coolest, toughest, badass people out there, Contra Players should always be treaten with respet, and always allowed to sit in the back of the bus, be last in the line, or the last in anything (it just how they roll)
"What that giant entanglement of metal being carred on that guys shoulder"
"Thats a contrabass Bugle, friend, the best thing in this band"
by two=ba June 13, 2009
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Likely one of the lowest members of the Saxophone family. Stands at around 6 1/2 feet tall and weighs around 45-50 pounds. Less than 30 are believed to exist worldwide.

Has a wide range and a broad, mellow tone. Lower notes can be low enough to sound alike to human ears. Generally not specifically needed but a nice addition to most symphonies, if they can find one...

Should you go looking for this elusive beast, a good place to start would be the Eppelsheim company based out of Munich. Retail price is will set you back about $25,000-$30,000.
Good Luck.
Guy 1: What is that you're playing?

Guy 2: It's a Contrabass Saxophone.

Guy 1: Whoah...

Guy 2: Yup. I had to mortgage my house and use my kid's college money to afford it, but it was soooo worth it.
by jump5 March 7, 2011
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A rather large member of the clarinet family, the Contrabass Clarinet is in the key of B-flat, and is one octave below the bass clarinet, which in turn is one octave lower than the regular B-flat clarinet.
There are two types of Contrabass Clarinet- the Straight Contra and the Curved Contra. Curved Contrabasses are approximately two and a half feet long and doubles back on it self three, or sometimes four times. The straight contrabass clarinet does not double back on itself, and as a result is well over five feet in length.

The contrabass clarinet is not often used, as it is a rather rare instrument, but when it is used, it usually doubles with the Contrabassoon, or the regular Bassoon.
I play the Contrabass Clarinet in the orchestra.
by Zicdeh February 12, 2005
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The largest and lowest saxophone. It weighs around 90lbs, there are only 4 in the United States, it's pitched in Eb, and it is the most awesome thing in existence. Most sax players say their lives would be complete if they could play it.
Holy s***! It's a contrabass saxophone! That guy playing it is one lucky bastard.
by El Manisero May 29, 2010
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