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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000363.txt from 1998/03

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: Scientific American Article
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 14:43:46 -0500

On Thu, 5 Mar 1998, Joe M. Rankin wrote:

> I understand that Howarth has been making oboes & English horns for
> years, and I was told by our principal oboe player that they are the
> preferred instruments in England. I wonder if they have used any
> synthetic materials in those as Loree has in their oboes.

Yes, all true. We just bought a Howarth English horn, the model with the
plastic top joint and wooden lower joint and bell. These are becoming
more popular in the US in situations such as the one in which this one
will be used - by several different students in different ensembles. It
also happens to be about a couple of thousand dollars less than the Loree.

A strange thing happened with our Howarth English horn. We received it,
and I played it and found it to be very easy blowing, to be well in-tune
and to have a nice tone quality. Then, the very next day, I gave it to a
student to use in an orchestra rehearsal, and she liked it, too. However,
before she finished the rehearsal, all the right hand keys had frozen up.
I might have expected this on the plastic top joint, with its higher
degree of thermal expansion and contraction, but was quite surprised that
it happened on the wooden joint. In any event, it had to be sent to a
repairman, and we don't have it back yet. I speculate that the
instrument, being a new one, had been subjected to a lot of climate and
humidity changes in being manufactured in England, then shipped to
Atlanta, Georgia and then to Evansville, Indiana in the middle of the
winter. However, I expect that we will get it back soon and that it will
serve us very well for a long time.

I am aware that Howarth also makes oboes and perhaps English horns as well
in all plastic, but I haven't played on one of them.

Ed Lacy
Dr. Edwin Lacy University of Evansville
Professor of Music 1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, IN 47722 (812)479-2754

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