Grob... German

There is some confusion regarding the meaning of the German prefix Grob. It is often equated with the prefix Gross, partly because Gross is often spelled Groß, using the German double-S character which can be confused with the letter 'B'. The prefix Grob is used to indicate strength of tone; the prefix Gross is sometimes used for the same purpose, but sometimes to indicate a stop of sub-octave pitch. The two German words are roughly synonymous, but grob has negative connotations, meaning “big”, “thick”, “rough”, “coarse”, or “uncouth”, whereas gross has positive connotations, meaning “big”, “tall”, “important”, or grand”. Both words are used at least as early as 1768 by Adlung. Osiris contains 50 examples of Grob, but nearly half are spelled GroB, clearly an ASCII representation of Groß. Of the rest, nearly all are some variation of Grobgedeckt. Audsley and Wedgwood, who acknowledge the difference between these two prefixes, list the following uses of Grob:



Audsley[1]: Grobgedeckt. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Grobgedeckt. Locher[1]: Gedackt. Sumner[1]: Grob. Wedgwood[1]: Grob.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Grob.html - Last updated 22 April 2003.
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