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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000994.txt from 1999/04

Subj: Re: [kl] double lip
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:17:39 -0400

Ken wrote:
>Last week double lip playing was discussed. I had never realized
>Stolzman is a double-lip player. Isn't John Bruce Yeh (of the Chicago
>Symphony) a double lip player?

Yes, John is a double lip player and has been since I knew him in the

>I know Andy Crisanti of the Ft. Worth Symphony was a committed
>double-lipper when I studied with him in the late 70's.
Andy still plays double lip and sounds great.

I still occasionally use double lip
>in my practicing and teaching. It seems to prevent excessive biting of
>the reed and to me anyway, requires a different way of blowing. It can
>be useful in sorting out high register problems, especially articulation

Double lip does solve all those problems, but it needs a very well balanced
reed to be most effective and comfortable. Crooked facing mouthpieces, all
of which require a certain minimal verticle embouchure closure to maintain
center and control of the sound reduce endurance with double lip
With a properly balanced reed, however, complete elimination of jaw closure
as a means of controling the reed, and replacing it with the lifting or
snugging of the mouthpiece/reed into the fixed opening created by droping
the jaw slightly, one can play for hours with no endurance problems or
cutting of lips.
When I switched to double lip in the second year of my master's work the
thing I found that was so amazing was the increased endurance I
had........contrary to the old canard that is bantered about concerning how
double lip wears you out quickly; this is certainly not true IF the
technique is done correctly with the correct equipment.

>John Mohler was also a double lip player and had amazing stamina. I
>played a band gig with him once (The Toledo Zoo Band) John was
>principal and I sat next to him. For these concerts, we had a 2.5 hr
>rehearsal Sunday afternoon, then a Sunday evening concert. As a
>symphony player, I found this rather strenuous, because in band music,
>the clarinets play almost non-stop. John played principal on the entire
>concert, soloed on the Weber Fantasia and Rondo and on a jazzy piece the
>name of which escapes me, and sounded wonderful and never missed a
>note! He also was able to double tongue quite effectively. I believe
>he had played in a military band earlier in his career.

Another amazing player was a Navy Band clarinetist named Al Ascersion ( I
apologize for the mis-spelling of his name), whom I met in the early 80's.
He could double tongue and circle breath better than any clarinetist I have
ever heard; never the slightest alteration in pitch, color or shape as he
circle breathed and his double tonguing quality was indistinguishable from
single tonguing, even when you stand right next to him and listen and the
sound was always lovely and sweet: a common feature with double lip.
He also played double-lip. and was a terrific technician. He used and
perfected these tonguing and breathing techniques to a much higher degree
than various players nowadays who do these "after a fashion", but who have
developed a reputation based upon these skills Ascersion called "tricks".
I see some posts on TMJ: It's sad to see how people are hurt by biting.
Correctly applied double-lip techniques with sanely made equipment would
make TMJ a thing totally of the past.
My take, anyway.
I wonder if you have seen my article on tone production on my web site:
Also, I wrote an extensive treatise on double lip for the clarinet magazine
in the early 90's, called French Embouchure: A Survey

>Prof. Kennen White
>179 School of Music
>Central Michigan University
>Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
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