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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000264.txt from 1995/03

From: Syd Polk <jazzman@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Alto Clarinet
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 16:55:08 -0500

On Mar 9, 9:44am, Thomas Labadorf wrote:
} The purpose for my original question was this. I have access to an alto
} clarinet, but not to basset horn. I was curious if there was a significant
} tone quality difference. By your message, it appears I can get away with
} playing b.h. music on alto as long as the part doesn't get below range.
} In your message you said, "It is not possible to use an alto clarinet in
} place of a basset horn for the major literature since the alto clarinet
} cannot get down low enough." Of course you're correct, but consider this:
} The lowest note on b.h. concert pitch is f below the bass cleff staff. The
} lowest concert pitch for alto is g bottom line bass cleff. If I figured the
} transposition correctly this means you'd only be missing a major second from
} the original b.h. range . How often does b.h. music make use of the low c
} and c#? Also, the transposition from b.h. in F to alto in Eb would be like
} reading c clarinet music on Bb.
Actually, my alto goes down to low Eb (just like my bass), and therefore can
play the low Gb concert, or Db on F basset horn.

When I read horn duets wih my wife, I like using the alto because the
tranposition from Eb to F is easy, and it can play all but the low
C in her part.

And I would not at all be suprised to find that you could get an alto
in Eb that goes to low C. They make basses, conta-altoes and contrabasses
that do.

Syd Polk

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