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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000154.txt from 1999/04

From: "Mark Charette" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Wood/plastic, etc...
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 17:21:05 -0500

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

Which has absolutely no place in a physical materials discussion.

If, using an artificial embouchure, we experiment with 3 clarinets made
of totally different materials yet constructed identically (or as
identically as possible) and there is no measurable (or perceptible by
trained human ears, whatever "training" may mean) difference in the
sound, we can reliably say that there is no measurable (in any way we
define "measurable", since we've used the term already) difference in
sound. QED. No need for metaphysics.

The clarinets in question may have horribly adjusted springs, they may
have ugly, neon colored finishes, they may be beautiful, their
resistance may be such that they're eminently unplayable by humans - but
the result is the same.

Now, whether or not you'd want to play on any of these instruments is,
indeed, subjective. But that's not the point at all. The question is and
remains "do the materials have any measurable effect on the sound?" and
the answer has been (and is) "no", whether you or I _wish_ there to be a

Now, if you want to argue that using an artificial embouchure
invalidates the test, then no test would suit you (other than perhaps
your own very subjective "feeling" when you played the clarinets), and
that, sir, is bad science.
"Cards by Aimee",
"The phenomenon is too variable for proper study" often
translates from "I don't know how to get musicians to do
anything twice the same" - A. H. Benade

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