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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000352.txt from 1995/03

From: Barbara E Longair <longairb@-----.EDU>
Subj: Smelling salts.
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 1995 18:33:49 -0500

I have a student who is getting a pinched, restrained sound in the clarion
register. I ask them to repeat the same passage, this time with a "dark"
sound. Voila, something changed, the tightness, the "eeee" was gone from their
sound. Another I asked to imagine the darkness of a french horn rather than
the brightness of an oboe. That worked too.

I have grown up with these metaphors and they work
for me and for the majority of my students. I use bright and dark to get rid
of a "piercing" sound, or to produce one where appropriate. To try and define,
or put a tangible meaning to an intangible sound takes a large output of
energy. We use subjective, abstract concepts everyday when being taught, or
teaching music. If you have a sound concept in your mind that can be
translated by the words bright and dark then what is the fault of using those
terms? How is this different from a conductor who wants something to sound as
gentle as the falling rain? Not everything in this world has to be defined by
scientific, concrete facts. The most important thing is the sound, and if
in an effort to achieve that sound we use such ill defined words as bright and
dark then go for it. Woe be to those who shoot such efforts down.

One who can live by faith alone,

Barb LonGair

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