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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001437.txt from 1998/04

From: "Dan Leeson:>
Subj: Jason and the dark sound
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 06:45:05 -0400

Jason, your efforts to explain the difference between dark and
bright sounds was thoughtful. I can't comment on it except to
say that if that helps you understand the differences, then that
is fine.

But there is one statement made and on which your entire
argument is based, and that one I find difficult to accept. You
begin by saying that "the most general way to distinguish [a
dark sound from a bright sound] is the difference quality to
the sound between plastic clarinets and wooden clarinets."

Is it your contention that you, playing on a plastic clarinet
will sound differently than you playing on a wooden clarinet with the
same mouthpiece set up? Alternatively, my question can be phrased
a little differently: is it your contention that the medium from which
the clarinet is made significantly affects the sound quality that
you produce? I limit the word "medium" to any or all of the
traditional materials that are used in clarinet manufacture; i.e.,
wood, plastic, composition, etc. and I also assume that both
instruments are fully satisfactorily engineered and manufactured.

In any event, I thank you for having offered your view on this very
complex and challenging subject, and I ask you not to interpret
my inquiry as preparatory to contradicting you. It is rather that
the subject of wood vs plastic clarinets has been central to many
discussions on this list (which you might look up), and since those
arguments have led to exactly the opposite conclusion from that
which is so essential to your analysis, I just wanted to make sure
that I understood you correctly.

> From: MX%"klarinet@-----.45
> Subj: Re: What is a "darker" clarinet tone?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gene Nibbelin <>
> |> Looking for information -
> |>
> |> I've learned a lot and caught up on a lot of clarinet information in the
> |6
> |> months or so that I have been on the list and have seen a lot of subjects
> |> discussed, but I don't believe that I have seen a definition or much
> |> discussion of what a "dark" tone is.
> Okay, before I go on, I'll just say that I'm only in High school, so my
> response to this question will be from my few years playing. Obviously,
> you've played longer, but if this helps, which I hope it does, I hope you
> understand better. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
> Anyway... a dark tone is hard to describe. The most general way to
> distinguish it is the difference quality to the sound between plastic
> clarinets and wooden clarinets. The plastic clarinet has a brighter sound,
> more chipper. The only way I've known to describe it is "perky". It's got an
> edge to it.
> The dark tone, more commonly found in wooden ones (not to say that wood ones
> can't be bright and plastics can't be dark. These are just general
> observations I've noticed) is more mellow. IMO, it sounds more clarinetish,
> a fuller sound. When you get a big group of darker players together, it
> sounds a bit like a group of violins, opposed to squawking trumpets (no
> offense to any trumpet players out there)
> There really isn't any other way I can describe tone. the dark tone has a
> mellow, soft sound it it. The bright tone has an edgy, chipper sound to it.
> Personally, the dark tone sounds better, but some may like the bright tone
> more.
> hope this helps
> -jason
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Rosanne Leeson, Los Altos, California

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