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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000345.txt from 2001/04

From: HatNYC62@-----.com
Subj: [kl] Throat Bflat fingerings
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 14:06:16 -0400

I told myself I wasn't going to get involved in this, but nonetheless. . .

Why is the side bflat not a 'real' fingering? Basically, because you can't
depend on it. It is inacessable in about 80% of all passages where a throat
b-flat appears. In other words, you are coming from or heading to a fingering
which will not allow you to use the side bflat.

Therefore, whatever fingering for bflat you think 'sounds best,' you still
HAVE to learn to produce an excellent bflat with the standard fingering. If
you work at that until you are successful, you will no longer need the side
bflat, other than as a trill fingering.

When you use this side fingering, you are giving up access to all right hand
venting of the bflat, giving you a 'short tube' sound quality. At some
dynamics, this side bflat might be clearer and more pleasant, but at fff?

Thank you for your concern for my clarinet. I assure you nothing is wrong
with it.

I am not trying to win an argument here. I am giving you my professional
opinion. This is based not only on my own playing, but also on my teacher,
Robert Marcellus, who had the best sounding (and best in tune) throat
register I ever expect to hear (at all dynamic levels).

I understand that there are great players who love the side bflat fingering
(I am told that Ralph McLane used to use his right thumb to play it so he
could cross the break with the other fingers of his right hand). My advice is
to those who are still learning and thus have a decision to make. . .learn
how to produce a good bflat or complain about it forever.

David Hattner, NYC

Next topic, why the 'side' throat fsharp is also a trill fingering.

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