/bas/, n.Sam, 1851-78, U.S. outlaw: bank and train robber in the West.
* * *IIn zoology, any of numerous fish species, many valued for food or sport.Most are placed in three families (all in the order Perciformes): 400 species of sea bass and grouper; the family Moronidae, which contains about 12 species, including striped and European basses; and sunfishes, including the black and largemouth basses, prized by fishermen. Many other species are also known as bass, including the channel bass (a drum) and the calico bass (a crappie).IILowest musical voice or register.In vocal music, its range is approximately from the second E below middle C to middle C itself. A basso profundo emphasizes a lower register, a basso cantante a somewhat higher one. Outside of Russia, the solo bass voice has generally been relegated to certain standard operatic character roles. The lowest-pitched member of most instrumental families is usually called the bass (bass clarinet, double bass, etc.). In Western tonal music, the bass part is usually second in importance only to the melody, being the chief determiner of harmonic movement, a tendency that became particularly notable after the appearance of the basso continuo с 1600.III(as used in expressions)
* * *▪ fishin zoology, any of a large number of fishes, many of them valued for food or sport. The name bass covers a range of fishes, but most are placed in three families of the order Perciformes: Serranidae, including approximately 400 species of sea bass and grouper (qq.v.); Moronidae, sometimes considered a subfamily of the Serranidae and containing about 6 species, such as the striped and European basses; and Centrarchidae (sunfishes), including the large and smallmouth basses (black bass), prized by fishermen.Many other fishes are also known as bass; among them are the channel bass, a drum (q.v.); the rock bass, a sunfish (q.v.); and the calico bass, a crappie (q.v.).▪ vocal rangein music, the lowest part in a multi-voiced musical texture. In polyphony of the sort that flourished during the Renaissance, the bass formed one of several relatively independent or contrapuntal melodies.During the figured-bass era (17th and early 18th centuries), the thorough bass (basso continuo), or basso continuo, furnished a “base” for accompaniments played with relative freedom, though bound by certain conventions as well as shorthand instructions inserted in figures above the bass. In the homophonic, basically chordal, musical styles of the later 18th and 19th centuries, the bass was of crucial structural significance as the lowest of parts and, thus, the foundation of harmony.In vocal music, the bass is the lowest male voice, with a typical range from the second E below middle C to F♯ above; the basso profundo is low and rich, while the basso cantante (“singing bass”) is lighter and more lyric. Among instruments, the lowest-pitched member of a family is referred to as the bass, for example, the bass recorder or bass viol. The lowest-pitched member of the violin family is called a double bass (q.v.).
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