A 150-year-old German-made contrabass was stolen from Danish jazzman Niels Henning Oersted Pedersen in Germany, a newspaper reports.

"I've been playing on it since 1963. It's like losing an arm," Oersted Pedersen, also known as "NHOP" among jazz fans, told the Copenhagen daily, Politiken.Oersted Pedersen said he might have to cancel concerts across Europe unless the instrument is recovered.

"I sound like that contrabass. And that sound can hardly be recreated on another instrument," he said. The contrabass, the largest instrument in the violin family, has a range an octave below a normal bass.

The contrabass disappeared at the Frankfurt-am-Main international airport in Germany where Oersted Pedersen was attending a jazz festival with Belgian guitar player Philippe Catherine. The two were also to make a record in a German studio.

Oersted Pedersen, 44, owns another contrabass, a French-built instrument from the 17th century.

"But I don't dare travel with it. It's too fragile," he said.