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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000099.txt from 1998/03

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: Re: alto mpcs
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:30:58 -0500

Of course, there is simply no reason to be playing an alto clarinet at
all. The only reason it exists is to give excess alto saxophone players
something to do! Unlike the saxophone family--which does not have much
overlap between the soprano and tenor--there is no tonal gap between the
soprano and bass clarinets that would justify its existence. In
addition, the proper construction of in ainstrument in that range would
have a much smaller bore and mouthpiece (think basset horn), rather than
the alto-saxophone clone that is used.

Why not just paint them fancy colors and twirl them?


----Original Message Follows----
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:04:29 -0600 (CST)
From: Roger Garrett <>
Subject: Re: alto mpcs

I have not actually seen a Texas marching contest......only heard about
them. On the field, a plastic bass clarinet can add color......but so
a well-played tenor the same basic range. The alto
clarinet, on the other hand, is a waste of time on the field regardless
what Texas does. The tone does not carry far enough to help the overall
tonal color, and the range is similar to the Alto and Tenor Saxophones
well as the alto horns/mellophones/marching french horns. There simply
no reason to mess with this particular color clarinet.

Roger Garrett

On Fri, 27 Feb 1998, Matthew Hanson wrote:
> You obviously haven't visited a marching contest in East Texas. Not
> do they march alto clarinets, they march with basses as well. This is
> very common. Depending on the size of the school or band, I've seen
> anywhere from 1 to 14 bass clarinets marched in the East Texas bands.
> Most of them still march military. This is actually more impressive
> it may sound. Of course since it is military style, they are usually
> straight lines, or rows. I've been to state marching contest and seen
> contras marched due to small tuba section. It worked somehow.
> As for the alto mouthpiece, a Selmer C* will work fine, but if on a
> student budget stick with the inexpensive Bundy. After all, it is for
> marching.
> Matthew Hanson
> Houston, TX

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