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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000377.txt from 2001/05

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] Professor Wheeler's tongue
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 07:50:45 -0400

At 11:49 AM 05/14/2001 +0100, you wrote:
>So, I don't understand. I still don't know what the back of my tongue
>does as I change register, except to the extent I accept Wheeler. How
>can it be something we already knew, before reading Wheeler, or
>Wheeler-like investigations?

What we actually do know is that tongue placement/position affects which
register we are in. What we do not know is specifically, exactly what that
position is. Therefore, while the research indicates that specific tongue
position results in specific sounds, we can only experiment to find the
position that works for us. Therefore - once we find it, we lead others to
finding their own position that works for them. Thus - my original reason
for agreeing with Wheeler's statement regarding being able to teach it -
which you reported in a former posting.

>I know that people *said* lots of different things -- about airspeed and
>so on. But those things often contradicted each other, and might just
>have been playing metaphors.

Could be. But air speed is really a way of describing something that
occurs in the aural cavity, so air speed by itself isn't helpful.

> > By Wheeler 'being right', I meant both that the back of the tongue does
> that, and in that direction, as we change register; and that we have no
> direct experience of it doing so.

Some people can feel fairly precisely where their tongue is - in
relationship to their teeth, the roof of the mouth, etc. But it is true
that such a "feel" is proof that it is in the exact position that Wheeler
describes. It comes back to being aware that a position of tongue - front,
back, and middle - affect register. For me, in my teaching, that is what
is necessary - not an identification system for helping a student identify
what position they are in and what position they need to be in.

> > > It all depends on whether you believe his experimental results. It
> > > *doesn't* depend on your own experience.
> >
> > Unless it does.
>
>But, how can it depend on your own experience? Or do you have direct
>knowledge of what the back of your tongue does, as opposed to just
>having been told that it does that (presumably as a result of some
>investigation like Wheeler's)?

See statement directly above.............that was my meaning.

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
another's."
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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