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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000084.txt from 1994/01

From: Jay Heiser <jayh@-----.COM>
Subj: On plastic
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 16:38:08 -0500

I'm going to go on the record and say that visual and probably tactile
aesthetics are important for the total experience -- whether or not the
audience can hear a diff. Certainly a more satisfied musician should sound
better than an unhappy one, but even if not, the total quality of the
instrument makes a huge difference.

What other explanation is there for the expensive engraving on sax bells?
(I say expensive because when Selmer stopped doing it for awhile on the
Mark VII it was avail as an addon for what, $150 in 1978 dollars? That was
over 10% of the street price of the horn).

Saxes are big on visual appearance. Flutes are in to appearance (does
gold plating really affect sound?). Bassoons enjoy highly figured wood.
Guitars are in to appearance in a big way! Its really only the
clarinet & oboe that are not available with decoration. :-( (so who
do you know with a Pete Fountain clarinet with articulated G-sharp and
gold plated keys?)

Why are both silver & nickel plate avail? Silver corrodes faster, but
polishes back up much more quickly.

My point is that there is something really satisfying about a good,
solid piece of wood stuck in your mouth and a nice hard rubber mouthpiece.
Its nice to feel that cool & smooth wood, and most of us, being aware that
wood exists, would prefer it.

Its only this century that the form follows function folks have stolen
all the wonderful decoration that used to adorn musical instruments
(Yes, I know that this is a blanket statement and can be debated until
the cows come home -- please take it as a generality and don't flame me).
If we had to pay for all the baroque stuff, most of us couldn't afford it,
so maybe we'll make do.

sound is only one consideration
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