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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001455.txt from 1999/01

From: Roger Shilcock <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bore sizes
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:56:48 -0500

How did this arrangement affect e''' and e flat'''?
Roger Shilcock

On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Tony Pay wrote:

> Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:22:23 GMT
> From: Tony Pay <>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: Re: [kl] Bore sizes
> 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
> down.
> 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
> --
> _________ 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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