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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000036.txt from 1994/01

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: *flame shield on*
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 1994 13:39:53 -0500

Andrea, I must have you confused with someone else who was on
Prodigy. In any event, it is not of great importance.

More important to me is your statement that you find a difference in
playing on a plastic clarinet and that that difference is audible.

Forgive me for my disbelief, but I am of the opinion that the sound of
a clarinet is independent of the material of which it is made. Thus,
a plastic clarinet played by player A will sound just like a wooden
clarinet played by player A, all other things being equal. (such as, for
example, mouthpieces).

It is not my intention to flame you, nor, having said that, will I proceed
to do so. You are allowed to believe what you wish without having a
California fruit and nut bar jump all over you. It is rather, that I think
your statement based on social commentary ("everybody knows that a wooden
clarinet is somehow better than a metal clarinet, etc., etc., etc.") rather
than on strict fact.

I think that I have made this assertion in the past, but it is time to do
so again. Given a group of knowledgeable listeners, and a selection of
clarinet players of varying competence playing behind a screen, those
knowledgeable listeners would be unable to determine when the performers
were executing
on plastic, wood, or metal clarinets. Any difference that is perceived to
exist is based on an elitist philosophy that has little basis in fact.

Mind you, I like wood too. But that is because it is beautiful to look at
and plastic has little aesthetic character. And to whatever extent playing
on a thing of beauty helps my playing, I'll go for that, but not because
there is an inherently different sound from wood as opposed to other materials.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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