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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000472.txt from 2001/05

From: "Dee D. Hays" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] register names
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 00:27:34 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "William Wright" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] register names

> <><> Dee Hayes wrote:
> Throat *tones* are not a separate register but are a specific subset of
> the chalumeau.
> Point taken, my error, thank you.
> <><> the fundamental harmonic (also called 1st harmonic) of the
> tube length as determined by the length of open tube. So the chalumeau
> is from the lowest note to the Bb in the middle of the staff.
> I looked it up in Benade, and you are correct (as you already knew
> <grin>). Bb on the staff is still in the first mode.
> But it does bother me why opening the register key doesn't throw the
> A-key into a higher mode (and therefore into a different 'register').
> I suppose if I were to read (re-read) all of Benade carefully, the
> answer would be evident.
> Thanks,
> Bill

Well I'm not sure if I can explain it but will try. When you go from the
throat A to the throat Bb, you are simply continuing to shorten the sounding
tube in a stepwise fashion. Thus you do not create the node in the sound
wave that is required to jump to the next register. The embouchure is also
"set" for the lower register and the sound wave has a certain inertia to it
besides. It actually is possible, but difficult, to control it with the
embouchure and get that next register. Such a fingerings have been
discussed in the clarinet magazine from time to time I believe. It takes a
great deal of control and is not very stable.

On the other hand, say you are playing a low chalumeau F. When you press
the register key, the node needed to jump to the next register is easily
created, probably due to the length of tube that you are working with at
this point.

Think back to when you first started playing the clarion register. The
notes starting in the middle of the staff (C, D, E, F) were fairly easy to
sound. As you moved up in the clarion, the notes did not speak so easy with
the shorter length of tube. Many beginners have a lot of trouble with the C
that is two ledger lines above the staff for awhile.

So it is I think that it's probably a function of length of the sounding
tube to bore diameter that has a major influence on what (usually) happens
when you press that register key.

It is possible to get the throat tones to jump to the clarion and even the
altissimo but it takes a well practiced and developed embouchure to make it
happen and the player must make it happen as it's not the usual response in
this section of the clarinet.

Dee Hays

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