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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000431.txt from 1995/03

From: Jonathan Cohler <cohler@-----.NET>
Subj: Re: flatness at higher dynamic levels
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 10:26:33 -0500

>Ed Lacey states that the phenomenon of flattening of pitch at louder dynamics
>exists for all reed instruments. I believe that this is not correct. Arthur
>Weisburg, in his "The Art of Wind Player", describes in detail how to
>overcome the acoustical phenomenon which on double reed instruments, causes
>sharpness at loud volumes and flatness and soft dynamics. This is quite the
>opposite of what we can expect from a clarinet.
>Andrew Grenci

The partials on an oboe or bassoon are indeed sharp relative to integral
multiples of the fundamental. So the flattening of pitch at louder
dynamics does not apply.

On the saxophone, which is also a conical instrument like the oboe and
bassoon, there is a significant flaring of the tube diameter at the
mouthpiece end. This results in a much looser coupling between the reed
and the air column, which allows for faster attack and greater pitch
flexibility both up and down. The fundamental and second partial on the
saxophone are exactly an octave apart, and those two are by far the most
powerful partials in the saxophone spectrum. That's why saxophone has a
very uniform sound throughout it's range.


Jonathan Cohler

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