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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000793.txt from 1995/03

From: Steve Fowler <sfowler@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Instrument Identification Request
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 1995 20:24:33 -0500

You wrote:

>I would like to enlist the aid of the list-members in trying to
identify a
>clarinet of mine. It is wooden, has the markings "A. Fontaine" and
>"couesnon Paris" on the bell, and has serial #8716 stamped on the main
>center joint. What has me curious about this instrument is that it is
>shorter by about 3 inches, has a noticably wider bore, and is amazingly
>easier to blow (but harder to blow in tune) than my other (plastic
>Bb soprano clarinet. It has no "extra" or unusual keys and I'm using a
>Selmer HS*2 mouthpiece (the original was lost somehow).
>One thing that bothers me about this clarinet is that it blows so flat
>compared to my other horn. I have never seen an A clarinet and wonder
>I've been trying to play one and don't know it!! That certainly would
>explain why I can't seem to keep it high enough. :-) On the plus side,
>does have a wonderful low register which I never tire of playing in
>that is, since I'm afraid to use this instrument in groups). I find
>playing standards an octave lower just to enjoy the sound.
>I would appreciate help from anybody for whom this rings a bell.
> -Pat Flannery


A clarinets are usually ( always?) longer than their Bb
counterparts. More than likely you have an old Bb with a very distorted
bore. Also it is true that some instruments are made to play in tune
with "their" mouthpieces and not others. This has been done even as late
as in the 80's. Ask some people that played Couf bari saxes...

Good luck,

Steve Fowler (

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