Double Bass

Valadon: Femme à la contrebasse (1908)

This guide is designed to help you find information about, and music for, the Double Bass. Use this as a starting point, or browsing tool. As always, consult Voyager and the catalogs for complete holdings information, and when uncertain, ask at the Reference Desk!


Finding Double Bass Repertoire


Suggested call numbers for browsing the shelves or our catalog

Below are general call number ranges. For specific call numbers, consult the Library of Congress Classification Schedule in the blue book at the Reference Desk, and/or our catalog.










Double bass solo 

Double bass with piano accompaniment 

Duets—two string instruments 

Duets—wind and string instruments 

Concertos with orchestra 

Concertos with string orchestra

Studies and methods 

Orchestral excerpts

Studies and methods, children

For trios, quartets and other ensembles, see the Chamber Music guide.


Suggested Subject Headings

Below are examples of some useful subject headings for use in Voyager and the Card Catalog. 
For complete listings of headings, consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings (red books).

Headings for Voyager

Headings for Subject Catalog

double bass music 

double bass and [viola, horn etc.] 

double bass with [band, orchestra etc.] 

double bass music double basses 2 

sonatas double bass 

concertos double bass 

concertos double bass solo with piano 

string trios; trios 

string quartets; quartets 

string quintets; quintets 

[follow for sextets, septets, octets, nonets] 

Under “double bass”: 



          orchestral studies 




Under “chamber music”: 

          duets: double bass 

          trios: double bass, etc.


Print resources for double bass repertoire

De Smet, Robin. Published Music for The Viola Da Gamba and Other Viols. Detroit: Information
          Coordinators, 1971. Ref. ML128 .S7 D463

Farish, Margaret. Orchestral Music in Print. Philadelphia: Musicdata, 1979. Ref. ML118 .M988

String Music in Print. Philadelphia: Musicdata, 1980. Ref. ML118 .M988

20th Century Music for Young String Students. Evanston, IL: Plandanco, 1992-. Ref. ML132.S7 F228

Grodner, Murray. Comprehensive catalog of music, books, recordings and videos for the double bass.
          Littleton, Colorado : Grodner Publications, 2000.  ML128 .D72 G87.4

Hurley, C. Gregory. String Syllabus (Vol. 1). S.l.: American String Teachers Association, 2003.
          Ref. ML132.V4 A5 2003

Meier, Adolf. Konzertante Musik für Kontrabass In Der Wiener Klassik: Mit Beiträgen Zür Geschichte
          des Kontrabassbaues in Österriech. München: E. Katzbichler, 1979. Ref. ML920 .M511 K82


Online resources for double bass repertoire

In-print commercial sources (searchable)

J.W. Pepper

Theodore Front

Lemur Music


Finding information about the double bass

Grove Music Online:

Siemers, Brian J. “Double bass.” Grove Music OnlineOxford Music Online. Oxford University Press,
          accessed December 31, 2013,


Suggested call numbers for browsing the shelves or our catalog





Double Bass bibliographies

Books about the double bass

Studies and methods

Studies and methods, children


Selected print resources on the double bass

Berman, Joel, et al. Dictionary of Bowing and Pizzicato Terms. 4th ed. [Bloomington]: American String
          Teachers Association, 1999. Ref. ML108.B516 D5 1999

Brun, Paul. A New History of the Double Bass.  Villeneuve d’Ascq : P. Brun Productions, 2000.
          ML920 .B894 N5 2000

Cohen, Irving Hersch. The Historical Development of the Double Bass. Thesis (Ph.D.)–New York
          University, 1967; Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms, 1975. ML920 .C678H

Related works may be found by searching the subject: double bass.



Bass world : the journal of the International Society of Bassists
The bass line : a publication of the International Society of Bassists  ML1 .B31 also found here.
American Lutherie ML1.G954 A5
American String Teacher 
ML1 .A512S
Galpin Society Journal ML5 .G178
American Suzuki Journal  MT262 .A512
Instrumentalist  ML1 .I59
International Musician  Current Periodicals, Microforms of older issues: Film 1832
Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America  ML1 .V7
Das Orchester  ML5 .O63
Performance Practice Review  ML430.5 .P438 also found here
Strad  ML5 .S895
Strings  ML750 .S91
Violexchange ML756 .V79

Current issues of periodicals are found alphabetically in the current periodicals room (third floor). For call numbers of older, bound issues, look in the Sibley Library Serials list (found on quick reference shelves).


Internet Resources

International Society of Bassists

The ISB was founded by the world-renowned virtuoso Gary Karr in 1967. With some 3,000 members in over 40 countries, the ISB is an organization for those who teach, study, play, repair, build and enjoy the double bass. The ISB is a forum for communication among bassists throughout the world and across a wide variety of musical styles. Members receive our journal, Bass World, three times per year and the “Bass Line” newsletter twice yearly. Every two years the ISB holds an international convention and double bass competition, a composition contest, and now, a makers competition.

George Vance Online Resource Library (ISB members)

ISB Members may browse through 40+ years of publications and learn more about the double bass’s history and future.

Online Journal of Bass Research

The Online Journal of Bass Research (OJBR) is a refereed electronic journal published by the International Society of Bassists in electronic format, accessible free of charge. Each issue features an article that has passed a rigorous peer review process. Topics presented include historical musicology, performance practice, pedagogy, lutherie, iconography, biography and / or analysis from any period in the instrument’s history up to the present.

ISB Bass Links

A list of bass related links managed by the International Society of Bassists.

Musical Chairs Job Listings
Bob Gollihur’s Double Bass Links
Jason Heath’s Bass Blog (Double Bass forum)


Compiled by Phil Ponella, 7/95, Rev. 7/97; Rev. 6/99-11/08 by Jim Farrington; Rev. 12/13 by Jeff Weeks