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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000851.txt from 2000/07

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Carbonare's Selmer
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 14:38:49 -0400

On Sun, 23 Jul 2000, William Wright wrote:

> Despite all of the above, Antoine, it *is* true that physics ('the
> laws of nature') forces some compromises in the design of a clarinet.
> I'm sure you've heard it here on this list before, as well as
> elsewhere. If the fundamental note is in tune, the higher harmonics
> cannot be.

I think possibly what you mean to refer to here is the upper register
notes in relationship to the lower register ones. The discrepancy in
intonation is caused by the neccessity of placing the register key vent at
a compromise position for the various functions it must fulfill. However,
once you play an upper register note, if analyzed it will become apparent
that the note has become a fundamental of its own, with a harmonic
spectrum containing the same intervallic structure between the various
partials as any other note.

Wheter or not the harmonics are exact whole-number multiples of the
fundamental is something that acousticians discuss and disagree about
fairly regularly. Some say that the overtones are physical functions of
the frequency of the fundamental and therefore must be in tune, while
others claim to have demonstrated inharmonicity in the harmonic structure
of woodwind instruments. It would be helpful to us all if they could
settle that question.

Ed Lacy

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