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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000082.txt from 1993/12

From: Cary Karp <nrm-karp@-----.SE>
Subj: Re: Why the choice of Bb and Eb instead of C and F (or G)?
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1993 03:04:23 -0500

On Mon, 6 Dec 1993, Jay Heiser wrote:

> I've always been curious about the choice to pitch instruments
> in Bb and Eb. What possible advantage could that have over
> putting 1/2 of them in concert pitch?

The are two basic explanations for this. One relates to the history of
pitch standards and can be explained in objective terms, but is more
complex than would be reasonable to elaborate upon here. The second
relates to the relationship between instrument design and sonority as
seen from the perspective of the entire woodwind family. This discussion
would be even more tedious and arcane.

I can provide bibliographic references about the former but, in lack of
available literature, wouldn't like to bear the blame for initiating the
discussion about the latter.

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