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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000151.txt from 1999/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Wood/plastic, etc...
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 17:21:02 -0500

On Sat, 3 Apr 1999, Dan Leeson: wrote:
> Whether materials affect the player's thinking process if one thing,
> and you have stated that case impeccably. But how that player thinks
> has absolutely nothing to do with technical truth. I used to have my
> fingernails polished by a professional before important performances
> because it made me think differently about the way I played and, in
> my mind at least, I played better that way.
> And I am very glad that you feel better now. I feel worse for having
> to contradict your well-stated points, but they are simply anathematic
> to scientific thought.
> I think that you are a devil in disguise who writes well but who will,
> ultimately, have to be burned at the stake for making emotional statements
> about technical truth.

Well, worse has happened to me than that. *sigh*

Now I have no problem with the scientific data - nor stating it as such.
However, I have said before, and will continue to state, perhaps before
the burning, that music, music performance on the clarinet, and even the
act of walking out on the stage are emotional, tangible, human things that
cannot be separated from the tools we use. The way humans feel about what
they do has every bit to do with the end result - in this case the tone.

Therefore, as I have posted in the past, because we are dealing with
subjective issues - tones that are different for each person,
resistance that affects a person's perception of a sound and they
adapt, etc. - and the music/sounds/emotional reactions/experiences
themselves - the materials are just as subjective as the perceptions when
placed in a human being's hands.

Resistance and response are not scientifically banned from being affected
by materials. And - there is no evidence that states that materials make
no difference in these two aspects of a person's playing - therefore -
human reaction to resistance and response in an instrument that makes any
difference in the sound is going to, ultimately, be a result of the
materials also. If a@-----.

An aside - the brakes in my '41 Chevy react a bit differently than the
power brakes in my '94 Taurus. Scientifically, we can measure that at 10,
15, 40, 60, and even 75 miles per hour, at given distances, the '41 will
stop just as easily as the '94. The human driving might have a different
reaction time than a different human - and we might find that people
prefer the power brakes because they feel better about the time it takes
to stop the vehicle. Antilock brakes are suspect in terms of their
effectiveness - but why do people quickly assert that they are safer? Tom
and Ray state they are no safer than my '41 brakes - and scientifically,
they may be proven correct. Then why are the statistics for accidents
without antilock brakes showing a higher percentage of accidents than with
antilock? A person's behavior changes when applied to what they perceive
as a difference. I like the way my '94 feels when I apply the brake -
more cusion, quicker response. But, in a like circumstance, my '41
performs just as well.

Now, I must run before people with rope, stakes, gasoline, and matches
begin appearing on my doorstep.

Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director - Concert Band, Symphonic Winds & Titan Band
Advisor - Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University

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