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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000024.txt from 1994/01

From: Niall O'Byrne <niallob@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Pitch vs. Barrel Length
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 1994 04:41:51 -0500

I had assumed that everybody tuned to A at 440. Was I wrong in assuming
this ? I know that the Buffet Elite ships with two barrels as standard,
one is a 440 and the other is 442.

I've heard many reasons for having the 442 barrel but my favourite is the
one which says that it's there to get the principle violin off your back.

Orchestra violins tend to tune slightly sharp to account for changes in
_their_ instruments during the performance.
When the leader's happy he calls for everybody else to tune to _him_.
For some reason he thinks he's important.
Most other instruments have a sliding mechanism which will allow them a large
enough tuning range to keep that twit with the bow happy until the bloke
with the white stick arrives.
Clarinets can only be pushed in until they're tight and that's it.
Most violin players don't understand this and insist that you raise the pitch.
Usually the A is lipped up until the leader is happy and he goes off to annoy
another section, but occasionally one doesn't have the energy or the
inclination and this is where the 442 barrel comes in.
You start your warm up with the 440, tune to A with an electronic gizmo
or the piano if the leader's not around. When the leader has tuned and
starts doing the rounds swop in the 442. The clarinets will be perfectly sharp
when he gets to checking them and he has been and gone before you know it.
Swop back the 440 when the stick shaker arrives and cruise until the next
break.

[tongue in cheek mode OFF]

So what is the frequency of an American A if it's not 440 ?

Niall
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