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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000292.txt from 1999/06

From: "Ed Wojtowicz" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Testing mouthpieces
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 20:50:15 -0400

I believe that Roger is correct here. If you are playing with a colleague
and reach that moment when you trade and try each other's equipment you will
likely find that you still essentially sound like yourself. I believe that
we choose equipment that is comfortable and makes it easier to reach our
desired end, but basic sound is from our mental picture of what we are
aiming for. In drawing a picture, you must first have a mental image.
Playing is the same and our concept is formulated by listening and
developing that concept, until it is your own. As Miles Davis once said "It
takes a long time to sound like yourself."

>From: Roger Garrett <>
>Subject: [kl] Testing mouthpieces
>Date: Tue, Jun 1, 1999, 9:33 AM

> A recent posting suggested that mouthpieces that are hand made and crafted
> with a final test are therefore representative of that person's tone quality.
> I disagree.
> Each person has his own sound. This is a concept I teach at the
> university, and it is one that is physically assurred. That a person can
> match some of the characteristics of another's tone is more closely related
> to concepts of playing than equipment used. Equipment used can and often
> does contribute to a person's ability to imitate another's tone, but a
> person who simply buys the mouthpiece made by Richard Hawkins is not going
> to sound at all like Richard unless he hears Richard and imitates that
> sound. This is a very standard concept taught in music education, and it
> is a very standard and well-accepted theory for teaching music in any area
> - including keyboard, strings, etc. We only play like others through our
> imitation of their playing - not through our equipment.

> To assume that the mouthpiece made reflects the tone of the maker is a
> major stretch in my opinion. But, don't take my word for it - check it out
> for yourselves! Line 20 people up and have them play on the exact same
> mouthpiece and see if they sound the same. In fact, take 20 people from
> the top orchestras and do it - still won't sound the same.

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