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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000846.txt from 1996/04

From: C&K Hill <hutchill@-----.AU>
Subj: Re: Chalumeaux- some answers
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 06:34:39 -0400

Dear Jaqueline,

The two keys on the chalumeau are exactly opposite one another and are the
same size. The clearance of the key above the hole is about the same. Used
singly either one will produce an A, although normaly the upper one is used.
Pressing BOTH keys gives either a B flat or a B natural, depending on the
exact set up of the instrument. This turns out to be useful since one can
adjust the instrument for a particular piece depending on whether B flat or
natural is needed (and there are examples of both in the repertoire). I have
not yet discovered a way to set up the instrument to play both, though it
might be possible to set it up to play B natural and lower it with the
thumb- tricky to get it exactly right. (The thumb height makes a huge
difference to the pitch- you produce an A flat by pressing either key and
closing the thumb hole for example.)

There are a few makers of chalumeau these days, mine are by Brian Ackerman
in the UK.

Craig Hill,
Melbourne, Australia.
>Unfortunately, not I, although it SOUNDS plausible (i.e., in "improving"
>the chalumeau, Denner found that it would overblow). I think those two
>keys actually produced a (top key), B-flat (bottom key) and b (both
>together) -- not the way we do it today!
>Is Dan Leeson out there -- we could use some definitive answers here!
>Jacqueline Eastwood
>University of Arizona/Arizona Opera Orchestra
>Mon, 29 Apr 1996, Dave Yee wrote:
>> I thank Jacqueline Eastwood and David Ross for responding to my question
>> about the difference between a clarinet and a chalumeau.
>> My original question was prompted by seeing pictures of two-keyed chalumeaux
>> and two-keyed clarinets and not being able to tell the difference. Your
>> responses, along with a consultation of Brymer's book, lead me to formulate
>> the following hypothesis:
>> The two keys of the chalumeau were designed to extend the range of to a' and
>> bb'; i.e., the two keys were an A-key and a Bb-key. The clarinet was
>> invented by Denner when he made the chalumeau's Bb-key into a speaker key
>> that could overblow the twelfth.
>> Can anyone tell me whether my hypothesis is right, plausible, implausible, or
>> wrong?
>> Dave Yee
Craig & Karen Hill
Fax: + 61 3 9532 9703

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