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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000407.txt from 2001/05

From: "Tony Wakefield" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Professor Wheeler's tongue
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 05:40:06 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Bush"

> While there have been many efforts to explore, even with x ray devices
> what actually happens within one's body when playing and articulating on
> a musical instrument, there is no definitive answer to these haunting
> questions. This thread has focused on the manipulative powers of the
> tongue to modulate tone, but little has been said about how and where
> the throat might be part of the equation.
> Much of what a wind player does to make his or her instrument respond is
> a complex mix of events happening before wind enters the instrument.
> This set up probably starts at the belly button, involves the vocal
> chord area of the throat, the soft pallet, the back of the tongue, the
> internal dimensions of the mouth as determined by the degree or drop of
> the jaw and then the vowel configuration or formation of the tongue. The
> embouchure is then the last controlling factor before the actual
> mechanism of reed and mouthpiece come into play.

Exactly what I have been trying to find the time and the words to utter.

But when all said and done, it could and probably would be madness to try to
include all of these body parts in an explanatory/teaching session to
someone who is having problems with note and tonal production. The tongue
is probably <THE> most important organ inside the mouth (lips are sort of
external), where woodwind playing is concerned, and therefore instruction on
<it`s> use and positioning, without further complications will be more
easily comprehensible?

I think instruction on the use of the belly button could be a little
dangerous to us older guys tho`. If the increasing number of young females
who show up at rehearsals showing the said defunct organ would give a
demonstration on it`s use as the source (pun very much intended) of sound,
it would make for a very interesting two hours don`t you think? It might
even increase the strength of the clarinet section - - - - -

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