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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000536.txt from 1999/06

From: "Dan Leeson:>
Subj: Re: [kl] Larry combs
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 22:58:50 -0400

> From: MX%"klarinet@-----.78
> Subj: Re: [kl] Larry combs

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> I have been told by my teacher that there is nothing wrong with my horn. I
> got it when I was in 11th grade and when I got I did not get to pick it out.
> The local dealer for a music store brought it to my house. I have had work
> done on it by Brannen Woodwinds in Evanston. IL. (it is a Bb Buffet)
> I have very acidic hands and much of the lacquer has come off. I want
> something silver plated. The clarinet I will probably get is a Festival
> because I like the way they feel in my hands. I am happy with my festival A.
> No the clarinet is not bad but I want to get something else. There might be
> something better in lines of comfort and you have to admit not al clarinets
> sound alike even if they are the same brand. I will probably keep it. But I
> think that when buying a clarinet you have to look at intonation and all
> other things before buying it. I did not get to do that when I got this
> horn. I guess the only problem with it is that it is a little sharp or it
> could be me. But I have to use a 67mm barrel and I still pull out quite a
> bit. So that is my reasoning on getting a new clarinet. No it is not
> because a newer one would be shiny and neater looking, it is because I
> think I can find a better horn. Sorry I did not explain my reasoning in my
> other post!

I recognize that I have no authority to ask you these questions and if
you tell me that, I'll stop the grilling. However, you have not answered
my question. On one hand you say your teacher says that there is nothing
wrong with your instrument. The most critical thing you have said
against it is that you did not select it. You also said that you have
an acid condition and the plating is coming off. So get it replated. Get
it done in chrome and the acid condition will never affect it. You also
said that you were not sure if the instrument plays sharp. Don't you
think that you should know the answer to that question with absolute

The only real reason you have given for considering a new instrument is
that the one you want feels better in your hands, a statement with
no clear meaning. It only feels better because its newer. What else
could it have?

Finally you say that not all clarinets sound alike and that you think you
can get a better horn. Clarinets have no sound. You have a sound, and
you are not going to sound very different on a new horn or an old one.
The sound you make comes mostly from your body, your physical makup,
and this is impacted to some degree by your mouthpiece. The idea that
a new clarinet will make you sound different says to me that you are
not on top of what is responsible for making whatever sound you do make.

And you have not stated the exact quality of "betterness" that you think
you need in a new horn. To be thinking about spending all that money
with such an unclear idea of why you should be spending it leaves me
in as much doubt now as on your earlier note.

I still think that you are driven by social pressure but I now add
that part of what seems to be driving you is an unclear understanding
of you wanting something better but not knowing PRECISELY what
"better" is.

Since it is not my money that you will be spending, be my guest, but
I sense a real lack of what it is you need in an instrument that you
do not now have. And that generally leads to a disappointment when
the new horn is acquired because you don't know what problem you
have solved except the ephemeral "newness" issue.

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Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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