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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001118.txt from 1999/04

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: [kl] playing with ears (Buffet Festival)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 18:26:17 -0400

Tony Pay noted:

<<<We know that playing in tune in a piece of music is not just a question
of playing in tune to our own tempered scale, but a question of responding
to a pitch atmosphere and a harmonic context.>>>

This is really the crux of the issue. In order to play in tune, you must be
prepared to adjust EVERY note for its context.

With that said, however, there is a place for electronic tuners (IMHO, of
course). A tuner doesn't tell you if you're in tune--it just gives you an
idea of your starting point. A clarinet that "stops the needle" would
presumably require smaller adjustments, assuming that the rest of the pig
pile tries to use tempered intonation as their starting point. The argument
is that an even-tempered clarinet will make the task easier.

Perhaps so--but IMHO, it's far more important to know your own instrument.
If you're looking for a new one, though, why not pick one that starts out a
little closer to the starting point?

Which leads to the next discussion. On Thursday nights, I play in a
not-very-good band with a bunch of my best friends/drinking buddies. One of
them (the conductor, as it happens), owns a small chain of music stores. In
our last rehearsal, he asked me to try a horn and tell him how I liked it.

It was a Buffet Festival. Wow. Gotta get a couple of these!

Now, I'm a Buffet guy from way back (I own a closet full of R-13s). I've
tried the new Leblancs and the even newer Selmer Signature--and found them
to be very "stop the needle" in tune--but didn't like the tone. To me, they
sounded "dead," "muffled" or "stuffy." I found myself working way too hard
to get the sound I wanted out of the horn.

The Festival responded like my R-13, but had very stable temperment--similar
to the needle-stopping that another listmate had with the Concerto. With
the Buffet tone! Not only that, the workmanship was absolutely flawless.
The pads were great, the adjustments first rate--I wouldn't even bother
running it by my trusty repair tech like I've done with all my other horns,
it was that good out of the box. (I wonder if Mr. Kloc had a hand in this?)
Now I'm really depressed, because it's gonna be a long time before my wife
lets me get one.

Tom (the store owner) told me that the Festival was only a little more money
than an R-13. If so, I'd pass on the Prestige and go straight for the


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