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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000578.txt from 1998/03

From: "David C. Blumberg" <>
Subj: re:metal- edge, or not (baffled ;)
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 15:27:16 -0500

One of my Undergrad students did a master class with Fred Hemke. Hemke uses
a Metal M.P.

David Blumberg

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 08:42:29 PST
From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subject: Re: Metal and edge.

Ah . . . another urban legend.

This is the truth--the material in the saxophone mouthpiece does have an
effect on the tone. The effect is not what you expect, however. For an
identical chamber and facing, the metal mouthpiece will have a softer
tone w/ less edge. In an article in the Saxophone a number of years ago
(that I don't remember much of--not a real scholarly cite!) this was
attrubuted to the fact that, microscopically speaking, the interio wall
of a rubber mpce is in fact much smoother, giving a harder tone.

Now, I will get jumped on becasee everyone knows that metal mpces are
louder w/ more edge. Most are--but that results from the high baffle
and small chamber most metal mpces have. Because of the strength of the
metal, mpces can be constructed w/ thin walls--small chambers and high
baffles. Consequently, most metal ones marketed are in the hard
jazz/roc & roll vein.

I doscounted the theory myself until I personally tries Selmer's
excellent C* in both metal and rubber. Many great concert sax players
have used the metal C*--like Marcel Mule.


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