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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001343.txt from 1998/03

From: Colin Henderson and Clare Pascoe Henderson <>
Subj: using the right instrument
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:37:29 -0500

Dan Leeson wrote:
>Both Av and Neil wrote interesting notes on this matter of instrumental
>substitution. Actually, that's not exactly correct. Most people
>wrote interesting notes
>If this list serves any purpose, it is not in its influencing the
>pros on it. Our minds are fairly much set in our ways and not much
>is going to make major changes in our way of thinking. But if
>the younger players start getting the idea that our opinions on these
>matter constitute orthodox fact, then we inculcate an entire
>generation to believe that to think in a way that violates orthodoxy
>is somehow disinguenuous to the whole clarinet playing business.

I'm so glad, Dan, that you're giving us younger players permission to
disagree with you on this issue :-)

>I think that we all need to understand that we are sailing in
>different directions, no one has a pipeline to the infinite, and there
>are many valid perspectives of one issue, not a single way to look at

Can I ask some questions here? I take your point about not crossing the
the line at all, rather than having to decide where to draw it, but to
this raises more problems:
Does it mean we shouldn't transcribe pieces for other instruments (as
someone pointed out has been done for Vaughn Williams' Six Studies in
English Folksong)?
Does it mean that tenors should never sing songs written for bass, or
altos sing songs written for sopranos?
Does it mean bands should never play works written for orchestra, and
other similar variations?
Does it mean we should always play works on the authentic instrument
as an Albert system clarinet, rather than Boehm)?
Does it mean (in the case of more modern music) that all pieces should
always recorded with the same sound levels as the original?

etc etc

You see, it seems to me that if you're not going to cross the line at
then the only option is for all pieces to be played on the original
by the original artists, in the original key, and in the original
Anything else surely is "unextrapolatable" :-) from the actions and
wishes of the original composer. The fact that he/she allowed his/her
works to be played in a
different place on one or more occasions doesn't give us the right to
that such liberties can always be taken.

Now please don't get the idea that I'm trying to be nasty - it's just
that I'm
not quite sure how you can refuse to draw a line *somewhere*. Where
*do* you draw it, and why?

Clare Pascoe Henderson

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