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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000319.txt from 1996/01

From: Donald Yungkurth <DYungkurth@-----.COM>
Subj: The Moenning Story
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 01:41:50 -0500

Bill Fogle <bfogle@-----.EDU> writes:

>Charles Stier said in his reed working handbook that a >classic combination
"in our time" was the Kaspar >mouthpiece, Bonade ligature, Moenning barrel,
and >Moenning-adjusted Buffet clarinet. OK. Can someone clue >me in on the
relationship between his barrels, which are >still out there (I have two) and
this "Moenning-adjusted >Buffet clarinet" Mr. Stier is talking about? Can I
go out >and order a "Moenning-adjusted Buffet clarinet"? (Would >I want to?)

>I think the barrels are ace. But, are they for use on the >R-13 of the
common man? I realize that one answer to >the question would be "If it sounds
good, use it".

>I'm interested in the "Moenning Story" (the Philadelphia >story?!) What was
this clarinet like? What >possibilities/opportunities do these barrels give
to a >player who has not had has clarinet adjusted by Mr. >Moenning?

Clark Fobes replied (in part):

>The "Moennig" style barrel uses a reverse cone and the >bore is smaller than
the standard Buffet bore. Those of us >who make barrels now generally use
this reverse cone, >but may alter the taper or dimensions from standard
>Moennig measurements. I also understand that Mr. >Moeenig had a special
reamer that he used on the upper >bore of A clarinets to free up the sound,
but then one had >to use his compressed bore barrel to mitigate the
>resultant tuning problems.

I can't add any first-hand knowledge to this but can add a bit of folklore
and make a suggestion for those of you who would like to know more about W.
Hans Moennig. As to the folklore, my teacher told me about purchasing a
Buffet from Moennig and, as part of the price, having Moennig spend
essentially a full day tuning and adjusting the instrument.

The suggestion is that you purchase, "A Clarinetist's Notebook, Vol. I, Care
and Repair", by Robert Schmidt. In the dedication to this book, Mr. Schmidt
says that he had been a part-time apprentice in Moennig's shop and put
together the notebook from that experience. He says that 90% of the
information represents Moennig's ideas. This book is about 150 pages of
detailed and well illustrated knowledge.

To give some idea of the scope of this book, I will list a few topics that
are covered in detail:

Care of the Clarinet, assembly, loose tenons, oiling, sticky pads, making
cork pads, installation of pads, testing for leaks, removing a stuck barrel,
removing a stuck swab, intonation, key bending and adjustment, tips on
springs, pinning cracked clarinets etc.

I strongly recommend this to anyone serious about the clarinet, whether or
not you plan to actually do any repair work yourself. It is a fantastic
source of information and will help you understand why you need a first-class
repairman and the things that these artists can do.

The section on intonation includes a discussion of barrels and the difference
between the barrel requirements of A and Bb clarinets, in general terms.
This section also includes a discussion of adjustments to tone holes to
correct pitch problems. It should be mentioned that the book is essentially
specific to the Buffet R13.

A publisher is not indicated for this book. I got my copy from:

SHALL-u-mo publications
P. O. Box 2824
Rochester, New York 14626

Don Yungkurth (

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