Klarinet Archive - Posting 000393.txt from 1995/03
From: Doug Cook <cook@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: where to get info on old clarinet?
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 1995 21:27:06 -0500
First of all, a minor apology for neglecting to specify "local" -- I cut-
and-pasted some of my message text from a posting to "ba.music," for which
"local" is well-defined. At any rate, a few people saw the SGI address
and surmised that "local" meant San Francisco area...
> Your clarinet maker doesn't seem to be in Langwill,s Index - not a
> good sign, I might add. There seem to be a zillion "old" French
> clarinets in shops and most of them are in great need of work.
None of this is particularly surprising. I have few illusions that
things found in (at least well-informed) antique shops are worth much more
than they cost, and this was not expensive. If it just ends up sitting
on my wall it won't have been a bad deal. However, I would like to
play it if possible...
> Can you
> discribe it in more detail? How many keys, what color is the wood and
> how long is it?
OK; it's about 25 1/2 " long (from the tip of the mouthpiece to the end
of the bell; a relatively modern mouthpiece, BTW). The wood's black,
and it is a little beat up (but basically solid). The finish is worn,
probably from skin contact, except on the bell. The bell has a hairline
crack. No missing hardware, the pads are all in place, though old, and
the keys seem functional. There don't seem to be any leaks.
There are 13 keys, two rings, and five holes. I could attempt to
describe the key configuration, if that helps, and thereby display my
> When it comes to "old" clarinets you can begin to
> break them down into old horns, i.e. black beat up padless wonders or
> OLD horns of boxwood and few keys. There is some overlap, though, so
> let me know more about it.
> If it's really old don't do anything to it
> right away. Many have unfortunately tried to "bring back" some real
> antiques to restored playing condition and end up with a horn that
> will be of no use for playing and will have lost it's collectors
> value in the process.
Right. This makes complete sense, and I've had the same dilemma with
Thanks for the help and fine advice! I hope I'm not generating too much
Doug Cook, cook@-----.
"Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to
be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better
than to be blindly and impotently happy." -Edwin A. Abbott, _Flatland_