Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000744.txt from 2000/07

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: [kl] The role of the reed
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 10:43:13 -0400

--- wrote:

>> No matter what school of playing you apply, it must be understood at all
>> times that only one thing is responsible for tone production: vibration
>> of the reed.

> Sorry, I don't "understand" this at all. If you mean making the sound,
> period, then you have a point. But I would say that the quality of sound is
> determined much more by the oral cavity and the tongue position, use of air,
> etc.


Did you read the whole post? Your seeming knee-jerk reaction to
the one sentence (above) suggests that you skipped the rest. For
many developing players, simply grasping the notion that the vi-
brating reed is entirely responsible for the production of sound
can have a profound impact on subsequent conceptualization, espe-
cially regarding what needs to happen in order to *optimize* that
vibrational capacity.

If the existence and dynamism of the Klarinet list illustrates no-
thing else, it drives home the point that musicianship is a think-
er's art, as much as it is one of the heart and soul. Yet it is so
easy to fall into the routine of thinking, "If I just practice more
frequenty over the course of a week/month/year, my playing will im-
prove. Put mouthpiece in mouth. Blow." In some cases, this turns
out to be quite true but, beyond a certain point, that player will
find himself running around in circles, chasing his tail as it were,
wondering why doing nothing differently inside his head doesn't re-
sult in something different happening to his music.

As for the roles of such things as the throat, tongue, oral cavity,
and air stream in affecting the *quality* of a player's tone, this
line of thought further enforces my original statement about the reed
itself. All of these factors serve one and only one purpose: to man-
ipulate the manner in which the reed vibrates -- which, in turn, alters
the quality of tone being produced. In and of themselves, these areas
are completely irrelevant. Only in the context of their impact on reed
vibration do they assume their proper place in the hierarchy of consid-
erations. Feel free to blow into a reedless mouthpiece with your finest
embouchure, perfect tongue contour, and the most focused air stream you
can muster. Until the reed is inserted back into the equation, all of
these other factors sum inexorably to zero every single time.


Do You Yahoo!?
Get Yahoo! Mail – Free email you can access from anywhere!

Unsubscribe from Klarinet, e-mail:
Subscribe to the Digest:
Additional commands:
Other problems:

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact