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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000139.txt from 1993/12

From: 00smgeidel@-----.BITNET
Subj: Dark sound / light sound
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1993 08:36:50 -0500

Comments on the current dark sound /light sound discussion...

In my experience instrumentalists--not just clarinetists or wind players, but
all instrumentalists--frequently comment on tone color. They do so by making
analogies with "color" or "texture." In my opinion what is actually heard are
differences created by the prominence (or lack thereof) of the upper partials in
a player's sound. A predominance of upper partials is frequently described as a
"bright" sound; a sound which does not emphasize the upper partials is often
described as a "dark" sound.

I personally feel this custom of using color to describe sound has become almost
universal, and is widely accepted among all instrumentalists. It is a
convenient simile...instead of referring directly to the timbral content and
analogy to the dark . . . light spectrum is made.

It seems that some are uncomfortable with this custom. What are the
alternatives? I feel the "color" descriptors are apt and useful.

Comments?

Stan Geidel
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Dr. Stanley M. Geidel
University Libraries
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
(317) 285-5143
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