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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001445.txt from 1999/01

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: Re: [kl] Bore sizes
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:56:38 -0500

On Fri, 29 Jan 1999 06:47:33 -0700, said:

> Being British and a fan of the B & H clarinets, could you tell us
> about a mechanism that crops up in Brymer's book. The mechanism in
> question, and appearing as photographs twice in the book, is called
> the Acton patent vent mechanism. This mechanism improves the inherent
> shortcoming and acoustical compromise of the low B natural as played
> with the middle finger, which in reality is a "fork" fingering (pad of
> lower ring key closed, open finger hole, closed finger hole). The
> photos appear as figure 13 (after page 52) and again as figure 33
> (after page 100).
> I have never seen this mechanism in person nor ever had an opportunity
> to play on an instrument with it. To you and anyone else reading this,
> please tell us about it?

As I recall, what it essentially did was to allow the hole covered by
the RH index or first finger to be smaller. The B/F# venting was then
shared between this smaller hole and another hole attached to a key
lower down the instrument that opened only when the first finger wasn't

I thought it improved the intonation and response slightly, but it
wasn't completely satisfactory because you had to make sure that the pad
in the cup attached to and above the first finger ring was very
precisely regulated with the pad covering the extra, lower-down hole, to
ensure that the two of them closed exactly together when you fingered
Bb/F. This was a complication added to the already necessary regulation
between the first pad and the top half of the instrument for the long Bb
and top G.

The upshot was that the instrument sometimes failed to speak on Bb/F,
usually when you very much wanted it to.

The B natural/F# remained a forked note, but 'better forked' when the
vent mechanism was added; contra Brymer, who seems to assert that the
note was then no longer forked.

Geoffrey Acton was a great friend of mine. He was very kind to me, and
did excellent work. Nevertheless, I never felt this was his best idea
in practice.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE GMN family artist:
tel/fax 01865 553339

Believing Truth is staring at the sun
Which but destroys the power that could perceive.

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