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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000125.txt from 1994/05

From: "Jay Heiser, Product Manager, Govt Systems" <jayh@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Keys and The Stuff Clarinets are Made Of
Date: Thu, 5 May 1994 15:40:03 -0400

-->From: SCOTT MCCHESNEY <MCCHESS4641@-----.EDU>

-->> Although clarinets & saxes share single-reeds and a superficial
-->> resemblence (both have bells), is it fair to say that the sax
-->> and flute are more nearly akin acoustically? They both do octaves
-->> instead of 12s.
-->
-->Depends on how you mean "acoustically". Flutes and Saxophones are
conical-bore
-->instruments, and overblow at the octave. Clarinets are cylindrical-bore, and
-->as such oberblow at the twelfth. In that respect you're right. The
fingering
-->system used, though, is not the same (or so I'm told - I've yet to play a
-->flute). Sax FINGERINGS are more akin to Clarinet fingerings. Sax MECHANICS
-->are more akin to a flute.
I'm not willing to say that sax fingering is more like clarinet. Playing
in octaves instead of registers is a major similarity. High range
is difft in each of the woodwinds, but the clarinet has got this
goofy throat tone thing that nobody else has. Yeah, the flute
has a thumb key, but the sax has a middle finger C and clarinet has
neither.

-->
-->> Why are metal clarinets unpopular? Just because of b)?
-->
-->Well, again I'm no expert, but I did recently play on an overhauled metal
-->Clarinet. The job was well-done, but I didn't like the thing.
That's my leg b). You didn't like the thing and it wasn't because
it wasn't mechanically sound and it wasn't because somebody told
you they didn't like it. Its because (for whatever reason) you
just didn't feel satisfied.

-->TONE PRODUCTION AND SOUND. I've heard metal Clarinets before, and I always
-->thought they sounded a lot like Soprano Saxophones. I like Soprano Saxes,
but
-->I did NOT like that metal Clarinet I played. The tone is nasal, biting, and
-->has almost no warmth to it (IMHO). Why Saxophones do and Clarinets don't is
-->beyond me, but I found the instrument very cold.

We've gone around for months on this, but several people on the
board insist that the construction material does not make a
significant difference in sound. I'm not convinced, but I have no
way of knowing, except for my experience with things that are
not clarinets.

I submit that none of the metal clarinets you played were of the
same quality as the wooden ones you've played. It'd be like
judging resin instruments on the basis of one of those flourescent
red Vito horns. Several people admit to experience with metal
Haynes clarinets that they found quite toneful. (were they
silver? weren't they double-walled or something? )
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