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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000118.txt from 1993/12

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Dark sound
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1993 13:15:13 -0500

In several of the notes I saw about the purchase of a new A
clarinet, I read comments about buying an instrument with a
"dark sound."

I do not know what a dark sound is. I doubt if anyone else does
either. It is a buzz word that has come into clarinet talk but
it has no specific, universal, generally agreed to scientifically
understood meaning.

A clarinet teacher in the east was said to have done an experiment
similar to the following: he got a number of people who were told
that they would hear clarinet players play with very dark sounds.
The audience was to rate the darkness on a certain scale.

The players were told that they were to play with very bright sounds
and the one with the brightest sound would receive some kind of a cash

A real-double blind experiment to measure something other than what
people thought was being measured.

Bottom line: the darkest sound was said to come from the player who
believed that s/he was playing with the brightest sound.

I suggest that darkness of sound is a meaningless term that communicates
no useful information since no standardization of darkness exists. It
would as useful to ask a person to play with a banana pudding sound, or
a flurgle-glop sound. By the way, I also believe that brightness of
sound falls into the same catergory.

Just an opinion, folks.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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