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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001370.txt from 1998/03

From: Edinger/Gilman <>
Subj: doubling, etc.
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:37:55 -0500

Ryan Lowe has been exploring the question of whether someone can be a
true musician while knowing only one instrument, specifically the
clarinet. Others have complained (no doubt rightfully) of players who
fancy themselves doublers, triplers, quadruplers, etc., without
mastering (or even knowing well) their secondary instruments. I learned
most of the woodwinds by the time I was through college (but not the
bassoon - that's just too much), mostly because I was a non-music major
and I was requested to play them in various functions. Presumably the
music majors shouldn't have been wasting their time fooling around on
other instruments, and I was expendable as a journeyman. I very much
enjoyed expanding my musical knowledge and understanding, but my
musicianship really started growing when I decided that "flavor of the
year" was only going to make me a mediocre (at best) player on a bunch
of instruments, and that I had a lifetime of learning to do on the
clarinet alone. In fact, it's probably several lifetimes' worth of
learning. I don't see how having fewer empty pegs on your instrument
stand makes you more of a musician - it just sacrifices depth for
I've really enjoyed the experience of playing all the clarinets, saxes,
flute, and oboe, but I would probably be a much better Bb clarinettist
today if I had gone for depth instead of "fun."

Just an amateur's point of view on this issue.

Bill Edinger

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