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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001467.txt from 1999/01

From: Dan Sutherland <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Rudeness and humility
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:57:00 -0500

Yes, yes, yes!!
Those qualities of projection, the uneven resistance. Is there some way
to adjust a Concerto A to more closely duplicate an R13 Bb? Is there
something that could be done to either of them so that playing them in
sequence would not pronounce their dissimilarities? I am aware of a
percieved great heresy in my request but the owner and player of the
instruments prefers the characteristics of the R13. Can anything be done?
I asked this question a while back and acknowledge there may be no answer.

At 17:01 21/01/99 -0500, you wrote:
>I wrote:
>>>The R-13; that's another matter. Whatever its' virtues, I am increasingly
>>>convinced as I see improvements offered by those who are thoughtful,
>>>knowledgeable and creative that to continue in the direction of the R-13,
>>>acoustically speaking , is not the best thing for the clarinetists
>>>freedom for music making on the clarinet.

> Compared to several other instruments I have played they are both
>difficult to control and present color and pitch stability problems in
>extremes of pitch and/or dynamics. They are therefore physically much
>more work to play than several other models I can think of and make
>various passages, which I can play with relative ease and great security
>on other clarinets, difficult and tenuous.
> In addition, because the bore design does not "hold" the envelop of
>the sound well the R-13 causes me to use much more embouchure control just
>to keep the shape of the sound from shattering. I find I can play other
>clarinets, use much less embouchure control and have the clarinet produce a
>lovely shape and stable pitch throughout the full pitch and dynamic range.
>Such qualities, for me, equal freedom and security, and increase my
>endurance considerably.
> But what I mean to say, is that IF security, ease, depedability,
>evenness and consistency of tonal shape in an instrument are important to
>you as a musician then the R-13 can be problematic; Objectively, there are
>several instruments as a genre which do all these things better. But if
>these elements are ancillary to your sensibility and tastes this will
>matter little.
> Sound IS important; being heard is important; but the harshness of
>some tone colors I have heard have made me wish that the clarinet didn't
>have so much "projection"........In other words, I'd don't like colors that
>hurt my ears.

Yes, ear hurting colours. That is what is missing from the Concero A.

> Is the R-13 poor? It all depends upon what you value both as a
>clarinetist and a musician. To me, personally, it is virtually useless;
>with no exaggeration I can honestly say at this point in my life, if the
>R-13 were all there was to play on I would just work on playing more Jazz
>on the key board and writing a song now and then; I am sick of working to
>make music. I would like a little joy, freedom and fun from my experience
>of playing. The R-13, whatever else I may have been able to do in my
>teaching/playing years, was always work to play and control. I find, in
>speaking with many, many other clarinetists, that my experience was and is
>not an isolated one.
> Give a visiting concert pianist to Bloomington a piano to play on
>that is as uneven in response and color as most R-13's and he will refuse
>to go on stage. Great artists demand great instruments which put minimal
>demands on being played, so they can concentrate on the REAL challenge;
>communicating and interpreting the meaning of the music.
> In my opinion, we as clarinetists, are cheating ourselves if we
>demand and expect less than a great pianist..............just my opinion of

> Having said that, I restate your question: Is the R-13 poor?

I think Mr. Ridenour has been pretty wishy washy in this post. Best ask
him again, Mr. Garret.

> Each player needs to answer that question for himself after he or
>she has weighed all that an instrument has to offer in all its' aspects.
>My article, How to Select a Clarinet, trys to recommend various methods of
>discovering what an instrument has to offer, not just in respect of tone,
>but tuning, stability in tuning, stability in color and shape, and the
>subtle aspects of response and so on.

My question is not aimed particularly at Mr. Ridenour although I would
be delighted to read his observations on this matter.
> ---------------------------------------------

Chances of finding one's spelling errors increase drammatically once a
massage is sent.

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