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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000446.txt from 2001/02

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] I've been quiet......
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 11:32:51 -0500

<><> I wrote:
If this can be proven true (careful measurements of the interior +
spectral graph), then what does it say about the material of the entire

<><> Mark=A0Charette wrote:
Of course it says absolutely nothing, but it may help you to form a
hypothesis and new set of experiments.

There would be some obvious experimental difficulties, such as
eliminating the human element by using one of the several 'mechanical
mouths' that exist today, and by playing open G so that there is no
variation in how the tone holes are covered.
But look at how many uncontrollable variables could be eliminated
if we tested only the exterior shape/material of a barrel rather than of
a complete instrument.

It would be _much_ easier to machine two barrels that are identical
inside, as opposed to machining two instruments that are identical
inside. The barrel interior could be a straight cylinder, which is
much easier to machine repetitively. There would be no variables
caused by tone holes.

The standard 'proof' that material/thickness does not make a
difference has never made any sense to me. The standard 'proof' is
that vibration sensors placed on the outside of the instrument detect
only minimal energy. If energy isn't escaping, then the tone must be
unaffected? IMO, this says nothing about what may be happening inside
the instrument.

I'll never have the opportunity to do such an experiment myself,
but the idea is certainly interesting. It's hard to imagine how, if
material/thickness makes a difference in barrels, it wouldn't do the
same in a complete instrument. I suppose you could argue that the
complete instrument is more massive, and/or somehow the increased mass
and self-correcting qualities of tone holes and 'non-straight-cylinder'
shape either overpower or compensate for material/thickness effects.

....and perhaps this experiment has been performed rigorously


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