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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000039.txt from 1999/06

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Kaspar Mouthpieces
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 22:43:41 -0400

On Mon, 31 May 1999, Edwin V. Lacy wrote:
> Then, someone else wrote about one which sold for $710. Now, as I
> understand it, people are paying these prices for mouthpieces they have
> never tried? Just today on the flute list, advice is being dispensed to
> the effect that it is really dangerous to buy a headjoint for a flute
> unless one has at least a week to try it out.
> As far as I can see, these prices demonstrate effectively that money is
> more plentiful in the world than brains.

When I visited Richard Hawkins in Kenosha, WI a yea ago, he showed me
several Chedeville mouthpieces - including the one that he plays on and
uses as a model for his mouthpieces. He told me they are worth between
$800 and $1200 each (if I remember correctly). Kaspar made mouthpiece
from those blanks for quite a period of time - my guess is that it is the
blank people are after - then they take it to someone like E. Mattsen and
have it refaced.

I sold four Bettoney mouthpieces to a person this year - the mouthpieces
played like garbage, but this person did not hesitate to send me $75 for
each mouthpiece. As it turns out, these were all Chedeville blanks worth
5 times what he paid me.

Richard Hawkins played a recital this spring in our town and gave a master
class on our campus - as well as gave a mouthpiece session. Afterwards,
he dropped by (up to?) my office and noticed my 5 and 14 key clarinets -
and commented on the old old Selmer Eb clarinet mouthpiece I had in one of
the instruments. He asked how old it was, and I told him at least 35 or
40 years old. He told me there was a good chance it was a Chedeville Eb
blank. I examined the thing and can tell you that the material is unusual
- hard rubber but also very easy to work with, buff, and clean. Much
different material than today's mouthpieces.
Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director - Concert Band, Symphonic Winds & Titan Band
Advisor - Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University

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