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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000323.txt from 1995/03

From: Bruce Hudson <HUDSONB@-----.COM>
Subj: terms of art
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 1995 13:02:32 -0500


As the novice clarinetist who lives with a professional cellist and
has frequently cooked "nice and ready" food following many a
chamber rehearsal in my house, I would like to submit the

If you were to venture into say the cello section (but I
assume any of the strings would do) and start asking questions
or making observations about the darkness or brightness of say
different brands of strings or comparing X's instrument to Y's
instrument in the same terms I submit that you wouldn't be
looked at like you had just arrived from Mars. In fact in
most cases you would be greeted with a much more intelligible
response than if were to initiate the same conversation along
the lines of the production of upper or lower partials.
Should we proceed to Alaska and encounter the over used
example of the variety of the native's variations for the word
for snow, I'm sure most of us would simply look on in utter
confusion. My point is that for most people in the dialogue
the usage has meaning.

What is interesting in this to me is that you, a person with vastly
more experience both as a musician and musical discourse than me
wants to maintain that the terms have no meaning. I wouldn't want
comments to be taken as defending the use of advertising hyperbola,
as in brochures for certain equipment. But it does seem to me that
these are legitimate terms of art among reasonable people involved
in the same activities (and I certainly don't mean to imply that
you are in any way unreasonable).

I wonder about this as an experiment: find ten professional
musicians, hopefully string or wind players who have a certain
tradition with being concerned with the quality of sound; play
exactly the same passage, possibly just three two octave scales,
with both a Rovner and a Gigliotti ligature. And assuming you play
them with the same instrument, same reed and roughly with the same
support, I can't believe that one person would have any trouble
identifying the Rovner as producing the "darker" sound.

Bruce Hudson,

Raleigh, NC

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