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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000512.txt from 1996/04

From: Steve Fowler <sfowler@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: key/pad "clearance" and throat tones
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 01:02:28 -0400

> Hi, Bill,
> Speaking only from my own experience (I'm not a physics expert!), the
> distance between the hole and the opened key/pad DOES make a difference.
> My A clarinet had the stuffiest throat Bb you could imagine -- if I
> wanted a decent sound, I'd have to use the side trill key for Bb, which
> of course is not always possible. By increasing the clearance of the
> speaker key and thinning the cork pad as much as possible, it has been
> drastically improved. Along the same lines, my new Eb has a pretty sharp
> Bb3 -- I'd like to have my repairman lower the clearance of that side key
> to see if it would help while not muffling the tone quality too much.
> Does this really work? Repair guys out there?
> Jacqueline Eastwood
> University of Arizona/Arizona Opera Orchestra


Sure, you're on the right track, but you have to keep in mind the
effect that will have on the Eb too. Sometimes it's not a matter of
just adjusting the opening. Ususally you will have to adjust the
apparent length of the bore for a particular note by taping the
tonehole. Taping the top side of the tonehole will bring down the
pitch. Of course on an Eb things do get cute :-) Check barrels out
too. I played Eb at the Naval Academy for 20 years. What a great time
that was. Stay flexible.


Steve Fowler (

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