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Comparatives and superlatives of treble and bass

 

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Old March 07, 2012, 02:59 PM
Don José Don José is offline
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Comparatives and superlatives of treble and bass

I found that "treble" as an adjective is not comparable (and I wonder why).
http://www.yawiktionary.com/t/1148366795032.html

So if you want to say that a flute can play higher notes than a double-bass, are there another options apart from "higher"?

On the other hand, I have found a few results for trebler and treblest in Google.

Is the adjective "bass" comparable?: basser/ bassest. Would you prefer, however, lower/lowest?
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Old March 07, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don José View Post
I found that "treble" as an adjective is not comparable (and I wonder why).
http://www.yawiktionary.com/t/1148366795032.html

So if you want to say that a flute can play higher notes than a double-bass, are there another options apart from "higher"?
Higher sounds good. There are times you can use more treble. Example: my radio sounds more treble than yours. (Trebler sounds awful, but I'm sure it's used by some)
On the other hand, I have found a few results for trebler and treblest in Google.

Is the adjective "bass" comparable?: basser/ bassest. Would you prefer, however, lower/lowest? I prefer deeper. Example: That bass is the deepest I've heard
Bassest sounds like bassist (person who play the bass)
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Old March 07, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Yes, don't forget that 'more' is used to form a comparative and that 'most' is used to form a superlative.

more treble, most treble; higher pitched, highest pitched
more bass, most bass; lower/deeper pitched, lowest/deepest pitched
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Old March 07, 2012, 05:38 PM
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I thought you only use "more" and "most" for some two-syllables adjectives and for adjectives with three or more syllables, but not for a one-syllable adjective like "bass". Well, I know the world of exceptions is huge.
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Old March 07, 2012, 09:48 PM
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To me, neither bass = low-pitched vocal or instrumental range nor treble = high-pitched voice or intrumental range is an adjective: both words are nouns that can be used attributively to describe a voice or an instrument.

The suggestions "basser/more bass" = "lower-pitched", "bassest/most bass" = "lowest pitched", "trebler/more treble" = higher-pitched and "treblest/most treble" = "highest-pitched" all are quite strange to me. In the contexts of the vocal ensembles in which I participate regularly, "more bass" always means "greater bass volume", not "lower pitch", and "more treble" always means "greater treble volume", not "higher pitch".

To me the derived adjectives of "bass" and "treble" are "bassy" and "trebly".
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Old March 08, 2012, 12:12 AM
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For the record, both words are adjectives, as well as nouns.
When used as adjectives, they describe the highest pitch or range of a musical instrument, in the case of treble, and the lowest pitch or range, in the other case. As adjectives, they can be used comparatively and superlatively.
Shrill is a synonym of treble (the adjective).
Deep is a synonym of bass (the adjective).

As a noun, the directive 'more bass' is short for 'more basses' or 'more base sound'. Either way it means 'amplify the bass', so yes, increasing volume is one way to get this is done. The other is to recruit more people who sing the bass part or play the bass instrument. "Bass part," when modified with an adjective, means the low-pitched part. "Bass part," when modified with an adjunct (noun), means the part written for the bass (the instrument).


Trebly is an adverb.
Bassy is an adjective; the adverb is bassly.


(Treble has other non-musical meanings, and can be used as an adjective, a noun or a verb in those cases.)
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