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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000098.txt from 1999/01

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.edu>
Subj: RE: [kl] Basset horns hard to tune?
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 13:05:07 -0500

> From: MX%"klarinet@-----.65
> Subj: [kl] Basset horns hard to tune?

> I think this line sort of fizzled out, but at the local performance of
> Mozart's Requiem, they substituted clarinets for the basset horns. The
> program said that was cos good, in-tune basset horns are hard to find. Is
> this true? I hope not, cos I was slavering over the pics of the Buffet one
> and dreaming of buying one someday....
> Luff,
> Elaine

It is only partly true that in-tune basset horns are hard to find. The
substitution of clarinets in place of basset horns is generally done
because basset horns (in tune or not in tune) are hard to find. The
intonation is not the impediment. They are still rare. I made a very
good living exploiting that phenomenon.

One reason why the problem exists is that the European manufacturers
of the instruments used to (and still may for all I know) make
basset horns in only one model; i.e., European pitch. So when one
of those arrived in the US, they were sharp. Attempts to tune them
by pulling out the bocal resulted in serious problems. The b.h. does
not react well to being pulled out at the bocal in that it is much
more sensitive to such manipulations than the soprano clarinet.

And simply having another and longer bocal made was not entirely
satisfactory either.

I think it is a much more reasonable statement to make if one says
that it is not easy to find good in-tune basset horns cheaply!
But any professional player will produce in-tune playing on his/her
instrument, so it is wrong to think that all such instruments are all
just fatally flawed.

>
>
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=======================================
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
leeson@-----.edu
=======================================

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