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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000764.txt from 1997/12

From: "David S. Naden" <>
Subj: Re: Tuning the Orchestra
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 15:26:02 -0500

In response to J. Shouryu Nohe:

A musician should not rely on a single pitch, be it A or Bb. In addition to
the given pitch, one should check the intervals of the 5th and 8ve as well.
Orchestras use A, bands Bb, be it tradition, or not. If you are playing in an
orchestra, and the orchestra is tuning to A, just do it. The A may be
unreliable for you, but what about the 5ths (or 4ths), etc? Obviously, I do
not agree with your preference or statement about Bb. The A is a better
tuning note, as it is lower and darker. If I tune to Bb, I find that my pitch
will tend to go up (versus tuning to A).

As far as whether or not you think it "sucks": well, that is your opinion,
and it shows a lack of flexibility on your part. Everyone is entitled to
their opinion, but your description could have been phrased with less

David S. Naden, Graduate Student
Cal State University Los Angeles

J. Shouryu Nohe wrote:

> I still think that it sucks that the note just _has_ to be an
> A...especially in the case of the low clarinets, I find that to be a
> really unreliable tuning note for me. (I usually have to lip up my E/B
> and F/C by about five cents on any clarinet...)
> I figure most professional clarinetists agree (but I'm not sure). Is it
> possible that right before the orchestra tunes, the clarinets don't run
> over to the oboist and say "Quick, gimme a B flat before we start tuning!"
> or some thing similar? ^_^
> Shouryu

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