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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000397.txt from 1997/09

Subj: Re: Clarinet material
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 19:14:31 -0400

In a message dated 97-09-08 16:11:16 EDT, Steve writes:

Jerry Korten,

Why do you suppose, then, the sound going through a rosewood
instrument will project less than that going through a grenadilla
Not known to me. I must try them to find out. If the Rosewood is so soft that
it does vibrate then that would account for the difference. But I bet the
effect is psychological based on the weight of the instrument.

A brass bell rings with a different sound (not pitch) than a
pure copper bell.
Different sounding mechanism. Here the body of the instrument vibrates (not
the air column) which generates the sound. So the material has an effect on
the sound. Just like a piano or a violin - the wood material and its
preparation make a BIG difference in sound because they are vibrating.

Perhaps it's not the tone (darkness...sorry Dan) that the
material affects but the projection of sound. Can softer materials absorb
sound more than harder materials?
Yessiree. If the material is really soft it will affect the sound.

I always thought this was so. Part of
"setting up" a clarinet is polishing the bore; does this affect the
sound/timbre of the instrument? Again, I thought this was so. Please
Can't explain... Don't know enough! But I do know that some say the clarinet
to buy is the one with a porous looking interior (see paper by Hite I believe
at his web site on barrels).

I do think that the level of polish on all commercially made professional
instruments is sufficiently high enough to produce the same effect though. If
there is such an effect, I would guess it would be affecting the way in which
standing waves are reflected inside the bore. Much in the same way as frased
holes affect the timbre of an instrument.


Steve Prescott
Instrument Rep.Tech./ Clarinetist
Indiana State University

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