Klarinet Archive - Posting 000176.txt from 1993/12
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: The Wooden Clarinet
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1993 18:34:44 -0500
Let me add another dimension to the issue of the wooden clarinet.
In New York, there was a flutist/repairman named Harold Bennett. He was
known for two things: (1) the finest collection of pornography in all
of NY, and (2) he homogonized clarinets. That's not a misprint: homogonized!
I thoughthe was a nut until I had it done. The basis theory was this:
wood, growing in the forest, has all the atoms (or molecules or something)
all pointing in the right or natural direction. When the tree is cut
down and the wood bored, sawed, shaved, etc., all the molecules (or
atoms or something) get shaken up so that they all point in different
directions. Got this so far? I am telling you a lot more than I really
know!! And I am not making it up.
His theory was that, in order for a clarinet to play well, you had to
get the molecules (or atoms or metaphysical particles or whateverthehell
they were) all pointing in the same direction, just as they were in their
So he maintained that he could do that by a process called "homgonization."
First time I heard about it, I figured that anyone who would have that done
to their instrument would probably also believe that there is therapeutic
value in bathing in asses milk.
But one day, lured by the stories of his fabulous collection of pornography
(which were said to have included films of some of NY's finest clarinet
players - don't ask me who, I never saw them), I had my clarinet homogonized.
(Am I spelling that correctly?)
The instruments were insanely fabulous after he got done doing what he
did. However, he would permit no one to watch him do it. He took the
horns in the back room and made secret incantations there and, whammo!,
out came fabulous horns. After that I had my atoms straightened out
every six months and I was a happy person till Bennett died with his
secret still in his breast. I do not know what happened to his porno
All of this is by one way of saying that for this reason (if there is
any truth to it), wood may be an inherently poor medium from which to
make woodwind instruments. Instead, some material that is not natural,
such as resonite, for example, would be theoretically better since
one can create it with all the atoms and molecules and metaphysical
popsicles all pointing any way one wants. That could be done by
extrusion or molding the hot plastic which will surely line up the
basic building blocks in one direction.
Does anyone out there know about Harold Bennett and his homogonization?
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California