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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000849.txt from 1999/06

From: "Karen Harker" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] over the break
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 08:38:25 -0400

Most oboes (and saxes & flutes) use plateaued keys, so while the oboe, =
like the sax, has an octave key activated by the thumb, it is a *key*, not =
an open hole.

Being newly transferred from the oboe to the clarinet, I find this aspect =
of playing the clarinet most frustrating. One's fingers have to be =
perfectly aligned and the right shape and in the right spacing in order to =
play with any ease. What is the acoustical reason for the open holes =
versus the plateaued keys? =20

Karen R. Harker
UT Southwestern Medical Library
5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75235-9049

>>> "Dee D. Hays" <> 6/28/99 8:08:22 PM >>>
I'd like to throw in a few thoughts about this subject also. I believe =
the "break" or "bridge" from the clarinet chalumeau to clarinet clarion is =
unique problem to our instrument for the following reasons:

1. In going from the chalumeau note to its clarion partner, we rock the
thumb a little bit. A beginner or someone with small fingers may allow =
thumbhole to open a bit, which leads to a problem crossing the break. Sax
and flute do not have thumb holes so this particular problem cannot occur.
I don't recall right now whether the oboe has a thumb hole or not. If it
does, it is small compared to the clarinet so see item 2 below.

2. In going from notes in the chalumeau to unrelated notes in the =
there can be an additional problem. A beginner or person with small =
can be a little off in placement once more leading to a small leak. This
problem cannot occur on a sax since it has "plateau" style keywork nor can
it occur on the standard, basic flute since it too has the plateau style
keywork. Now the oboe does have open holes but they are much smaller than
on a clarinet so if you hit any part of the hole, it is covered. Clarinet
holes are just about as large as they can be without causing problems for
the average adult player. They do cause problems for children or adults
with small hands.

Dee Hays
Canton, SD

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