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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000058.txt from 1997/09

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Harmonic Overtone series
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 10:35:03 -0400

The most relevent overtones which apply to fingerings, are the first few
that follow the fundamental tone. For example, take a low C on the Bb
clarinet, and the next harmonic tone that occurs in the series is a 12th
higher, or the top space G. The next beyond that is a 6th higher, or a
high E. The next is a 4th higher, or a high A (altissimo). To compare to can discover that the G sounds above the C by simply
adding a register key. The E above that by lifting the next register key
(first finger of the left hand), and the A by switching pinkies from the
right hand Eb to the left hand C#/F# key....the A pops out (a bit on the
sharp side, but....). In any event....try the same on the fundamental
note low C# and you will get the next set of notes 1/2 step higher.

There is a book by William Stubbins called The Art of Clarinetistry which
explains the overtone series and its application toward the clarinet in
great detail....probably available in most local university music
libraries....certainly still available....just can't remember the darn
publisher. Good luck!

Roger Garrett

On Tue, 2 Sep 1997, Robert and Deborah Shaw wrote:

> Can someone explain the harmonic overtone series to me in regards to the
> clarinet? I was reading in my music dictionary that the clarinet
> produces only the alternate overtones in the series. I am not sure that
> I understand how the overtone series is constructed. Is there a
> pattern, or do I just need to memorize the notes?
> How can this help me with alternate fingerings in the altissimo
> register in particular?
> Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
> Deborah

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