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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000439.txt from 1997/09

From: Jonathan Cohler <>
Subj: Re: Clarinet material
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:06:09 -0400

Jerry Korten wrote:

>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
> instrument.
>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
> explain.
> >>
>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
> Steve Prescott
> Instrument Rep.Tech./ Clarinetist
> Indiana State University
> >>

There are many problems/errors in the above statements. I have to run off
and teach now. I'll post responses late tonight.

Jonathan Cohler

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