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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000815.txt from 2000/09

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Correlation: Tip opening and tongue speed
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 18:54:28 -0400

At 02:19 PM 9/25/2000 -0700, Clark W. Fobes wrote:
>...We know that the beating reed acturally never touches the tip rail
given a properly matched facing and reed strength. (If you play a very soft
reed on a standard 1.00mm facing the reed will collapse, touch the rail and
stop vibrating)
We actually do NOT know that. From the Klarinet Archives, Sun, 5 Apr 1998
04:59:20 -0400:

"The Reed's Mode of Vibration (McGinnis and Gallagher)

This is the end of the article.

1) During a large part of its cycle, the flow of air into the mouthpiece
is completely cut off by the reed This is more obvious visually.
The only source of light used in making the photographs was the mercury
arc of the stroboscope, which was placed to show particularly the slit
between the reed and mouthpiece.
This complete closure of the reed apertures is in disagreement with the
assumptions that the chink between the mouthpiece and the reed never
shuts completely.

It also conflicts with statements that the clarinet reed never entirely
shuts off the ingress of air into the mouthpiece while the instrument is

2) The motion of the reed during the complete cycle is of interest.
Consider that the chink is just on the point of closing.
With the aperture closed, the reed appears motionless to the eye for
about half the time of a complete cycle.
It then leaves the mouthpiece with relatively high velocity and reaches
its position of maximum displacement in a series of short spurts.
The time spent apparently motionless at maximum displacement is roughly
a quarter of the fundamental period
The tip of the reed now returns to the mouthpiece in another series of
short spurts, and the fundamental cycle is complete
Thus the actual motion of the reed occupies only about a quarter of the
entire period..."

Of course, if your theory results in an ability to visualize the process in
a way that results in good performing mouthpieces, it is hard to argue with
success. But other experiments also back the observation given here.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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