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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000351.txt from 2000/04

From: "Don Yungkurth" <>
Subj: [kl] Re: A Flat Clarinet
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 11:28:14 -0400 writes:

>Currently a play the B flat clarinet, but I want to learn the A flat. Do
>have to get different reeds, and are the fingerings different?

As others have written, fingerings are the same, but reeds are different.

Shouryu Nohe <> asked:

>(were Ab's ever made in Oehler or Albert?).

Yes indeed, I have an Albert system Ab - don't know about Oehler.

Dee D. Hays" <> added:

>Actually Vandoren does make an Ab reed. However, I wonder if the original
>poster doesn't really mean an A clarinet. It would be an easy mistake to

Vandoren does indeed make Ab reeds and I have a box of them as evidence.
The box has a block outline representation of a presumably Bb clarinet with
an "X" through it and another smaller, presumably Eb, clarinet, also with
the "X". Between these is a still smaller clarinet outlined with a
rectangle and without the "X" through it! These reeds measure 4.5 cm (less
than 2 inches) in length and about 1 cm in width (about 3/8 inch?). These
reeds were given to me by a clarinet playing friend who bought them by
mistake at a local music store and gave them to me, assuming they were for
an Eb. Why the store had them boggles the mind. The fact that I had the
proper clarinet for them also boggles the mind!

I should add a few comments, based on my limited Ab experience. First of
all, I can't play the Ab, even the less complicated Albert system, as my
fingers are too wide to fit the instrument. I have no problem with a
modern Boehm Eb soprano, but the Ab is _tiny_!

The reason I have the Ab was a matter of luck. A local music store, "The
House of Guitars", handles a variety of instruments and buys and sells used
as well as new. From time to time I make a point of looking around to see
what is in their cases. The Ab was just in the cabinet, unlabeled and
unpriced. I asked about it and they asked $75. I offered a flute in trade
and got the Ab for $25 and a beat up student flute!

Don Yungkurth (

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