Bass Canon


Photo by Will Gullette





Blue Nights, by Cris Forster

David Boyden, Bass Canon
Heidi Forster, Glassdance
Isabelle Jotterand, Just Keys
Benjamin Koscielak, Bass Marimba






Built: ..... 1989, San Francisco, California.
Dimensions:  ..... Total number of strings: 72.
String length: 1200.0 mm.
Canon length: 50 in.
Canon height: 5 in.
Canon width: 42.0 in.
Height on upper side: 52.0 in.
Height on lower side: 31 in.
Materials: ..... Sitka spruce, Honduras rosewood, birch, teak,
Delrin, Kydex, aluminum, brass, and steel.
Range: ..... Open strings: Second G below middle C.
Tuning: ..... Just Intonation.


          The 72 open strings of the Bass Canon sound one octave below the Harmonic/Melodic Canon. I used the String Winder to make the strings for this instrument because long, thin, and highly flexible wound strings in this frequency range are not available from commercial manufacturers.

In the history of music, the Harmonic/Melodic Canon and the Bass Canon are the first canons that satisfy two musical conditions. Both canons have independently movable bridges that produce mathematically predictable length ratios; and both canons function as fully resonant performance instruments.