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The contraforte (spelled Kontraforte in German) is a proprietary version of the contrabassoon produced by Benedikt Eppelsheim and Guntram Wolf. It is intended to have improved dynamics and intonation over the distinctive but sometimes reticent sound of the conventional contrabassoon. The contraforte uses a wide bore to produce a distinct tone, voluminous in character.

Few of these instruments have been made yet. Wolf and Eppelsheim developed an accurate bore taper and precise keyworks in order to simplify fingerings in spite of the instrument's large size.

Technical specifications

The contraforte has many technical aspects that have not been associated with instruments like the bassoon and contrabassoon.

The contraforte has a written range from A1 - G5 (in scientific pitch notation), which sounds as A0 - G4.

Large toneholes allow for a free response and a very large dynamical range.

The pivot screws lie in synthetic sleeves for silent key actions, and push rods make for easy key action with low friction.

The half-hole mechanism provides a clean, silent octave for F# and G3. There are also well-built automatic octave keys from notes A3 to F4.

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