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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000397.txt from 1995/03

From: Dick Williams <dwilliams@-----.EDU>
Subj: math, physics & music
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 1995 23:15:41 -0500

I am confused about some recent postings in re math, physics & music

1) A quote from C Boyer's 'History of Mathematics'--p52 :
"That Pythagoras remains a very obscure figure is due in part to
the loss of documents from that age [6-th century B.C.--D.Williams].
Several biographies of Pythagoras were written in antiquity, including
one by Aristotle, but these have not survived. A further difficulty in
identifying clearly the figure of Pythagoras lies in the fact that the
order he established was communal as well as secret. Knowledge and
property were held in common, hence the attribution of discoveries was
not to be made to a specific member of the school. It is best, consequently,
not to speak of the work of Pythagoras, but rather of the contributions
of the Pythagoreans, although in antiquity it was customary to give all
credit to the master."

2) I understand that the clarinet, being essentially cylindrical,
overblows a true 12-th and that this is flat to an even tempered 12-th.
I also can understand why playing louder increases the relative amplitude
of higher harmonics; I can even hear them when I play louder. I can also
hear that the clarinet plays flatter when I increase the volume.I do not
understand why more of the flatter, higher harmonics makes the fundamental
flatter. It also seems odd to me that a saxophone (a conical instrument
overblowing octaves!) exhibits the same phenomenon: played more loudly
it plays flatter. I had always thought this was a Venturi effect. One of
my colleagues in the music department says he believes the player is the
resposible agent for this flatness. HELP!

Could one of the more experienced doublers tell us about oboe and bassoon?

Dick Williams,

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