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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000019.txt from 1994/01

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Ron Monson's comments about Selmer pitch
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 11:24:01 -0500

Ron says that instruments bought for the European marketplace will have
a higher pitch than that which we are used to here in the U.S. He is
correct, of course, but I have a brief story to tell to that effect.

When I lived in France I bought several instruments from both Buffet
and Selmer. One day at Selmer I while trying out a full Boehm A
clarinet, I mentioned that I intended to play it in the U.S. My French
was very good and the salesperson may have thought that I was a resident
of France (which I was) buying a clarinet for professional purposes in
France (whcih I was not).

So he excused himself and came out with the "American barrel" which is
shorter than the European barrel. I asked him if that was the only
difference between the American and European models and he said yes. I
don't know how accurate he was being with me, but that is what he said.

My B-flat bass clarinet and both basset horns are very sharp and have to
be played with that deficiency in mind, are that way because they have
French bocals and no special American bocal is available for them. There
the instrument is long enough that shortening the bocal is insufficient
because then the rest of the instrument gets out of tune.

Bottom line is that when one buys a French soprano clarinet in France,
the sharpness of the pitch can be accomodated by the simple expedient
of a shorter barrel.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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