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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000122.txt from 1993/12

From: Jay Heiser <jayh@-----.COM>
Subj: Dark sound (relatively little variety in clarinet sounds)
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1993 14:36:35 -0500

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that compared to other
wind instruments, there is relatively little variation in tonal
quality between good clarinets & players. I submit that flutes
exhibit greater variety in tone, not to mention saxophones.

I agree with the earlier discussion that reeds, ligature
& mouthpiece make a bigger difference in feel than in sound,
although the reaction of a couple other players when I borrowed
somebody's Winston ligature was enough that I went right out
and bought one of my own.

-->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
-->prize.
-->
-->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
-->(leeson@-----.edu)
-->====================================
======================================
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