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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000137.txt from 1994/09

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Other woods
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 07:48:50 -0400

I think it very positive that a particular subject comes up more than one
time in a year. It gives us all an opportunity to think and rethink our
positions on it. The subject of wood types has been just such a topic.
And I am glad to see it being rediscussed. However, it might be worthwhile
to review the last year's worth of Klarinet messages. It is possible to
go to the listserver that handles this board and request a list of the
archived notes, and then request them 3 or 4 at a time. A single list
holds about 1-2 weeks of messages. That way, anyone can find out what we
said last time about rosewood, box wood, crocus, etc.

I am not suggesting that this be done in place of continuing discussion,
only to supplement it for those who were not around the first time this
most interesting topic came up.

As for rosewood, I can offer the following anecdote with respect to a recent
purchase I made from Selmer of a Bass clarinet in A. They offered me two
models, one in mpingo wood, the other, for $500 additional and 9 months
longer to wait, in rosewood. I would have preferred the rosewood but did not
want to wait another 5 months so I got the grenadilla. I am glad that I
did because, since that time, Selmer has withdrawn the A bass from their
catalog. So it seems that I may have gotten the last one ever (and maybe
even the first one they made, too - not many people ordered them) and that does
nothing but increase its value at the point when I will sell it.

I want to add also that a number of people suggested that the absence of
mpingo wood in the future would prove tragic for clarinet playing while
an equal number, perhaps more, offered the opinion that the kind of wood
that is used for a clarinet is, except for extreme cases like cork, not
particularly important to the character of its sound. (The word "character" is
not quite right because I do not think that a boxwood clarinet sounds exactly
like a mpingo wood clarinet, but I don't have a better word in mind at the
moment.)

Clark Fobes in San Francisco suggested a number of experimental media being
considered for use in clarinets including fibrous graphite. Anyway,
the TV show "The Tree of Music" gave the impression that clarinet playing
will be in big trouble when the wood runs out and I think that that
conclusion was greeted with a big yawn from many members of the clarinet
playing community.

I suspect that the prices of clarinets will go up as the wood becomes more and
more scarce. That is what I would do if I ran Buffet and Selmer. Take wood
I bought 20 years ago at a low price, and squeeze everydime out of it that I
could squeeze.

====================================
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
(leeson@-----.edu)
(leeson@-----.edu)
(dnl2073@-----.edu)
Any of the above three addresses may be used. Take your pick.
====================================

   
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