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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001230.txt from 1997/09

From: Gene Chang <>
Subj: Re: left-handed clarinet
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 1997 16:36:41 -0400

At 08:50 AM 9/27/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I have an unusual question. Has a left-handed clarinet ever been
>made? I know someone who is seriously interested in obtaining
>one, regardless of whether it's Albert, Mueller, or Boehm system.
>By "left-handed" I mean that the left hand would be on the
>bottom. This would be for a person who plays a Balkan bagpipe
>with left hand lower. I know, I know -- he should learn to play
>the normal way -- but the request was made in all seriousness to
>me, and I promised to pass it on to the list.
>I think it's an interesting question, anyway. Many keyless folk
>instruments, e.g., the pennywhistle, are built completely
>symmetrical, so that either hand can be on top.
> --Doug
>Doug Sears

Yes, absolutely, left-handed clarinets exist. I've seen one myself
(unfortunately, that's all I can tell you about them). I've actually seen
one at a concert (and it kills me not to remember his name, though he was
supposed to be a relatively renown jazz clarinetists. Anyway, here I was
listening to this fine clarinettist, and the strangest sensation came over
me, that something seemed a little odd. I didn't understand- the playing
really was superb, yet I didn't feel truly at ease. Then it hit me- his
hands were switched! It's too bad I was unable to find any more true
information regarding the clarinet, but at least I can assure you they
exist, although at the calibre our particular performer was at, the
instrument may very well have been custom made.

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