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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000322.txt from 2001/07

From: "David C. Kumpf" <dkumpf@-----.com>
Subj: RE: [kl] Jumping on the Bandwagon - or jumping off....Mouthpieces and Ideals
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 00:13:30 -0400

Or perhaps, to whom is this addressed, Roger? The natural response, of
course, is "if the shoe fits, wear it." That seems pretty evasive - if you
have a problem with me, be direct about it.

For clarification of my own interest in this topic, I am not here to either

a) benefit from the work you and others have done by starting a mouthpiece
manufacturing operation, or
b) publishing a paper that "speculates" about the nature of issues regarding
mouthpieces, or gives measurements, et al.

My education is in electrical engineering/computer science. My professional
interests are in project management and information design. (See my website
if you want more details.) I do have what can best be described as a passing
interest in the process engineering problem (because I have encountered so
many related issues in health care administration, but that's another
story). I have a very good friend and associate who is an expert in that
field...and he has some very interesting stories to tell about why things
built within tolerance (as opposed to exactly on dimension) can yield
disastrous results.

I'm here to satisfy my own intellectual curiousity about the clarinet. I
want to learn more about what is really going on with the instrument and my
interface to it. I want to know how things can be made better. To that end,
I will make inquiries, raise speculation about certain issues, etc. If those
speculations are unfounded, fine; someone can correct me. That's part of the
learning process. (I'm assuming that this is what the forum is for; if it's
not, then I need to know that. But where else can one sit and have a chat
with several respected individuals in the field, unfortunately without the
added dimension of face-to-face interaction?)

My belief is that there seems to be a lot of variability in the results from
manufactured instruments, and I'd like to understand why it is so, and what
might be done to make it better. Perhaps someone will pay attention to the
discussion and want do something about it; more than likely not, but at
least I will know more about the instrument, and that satisfies me. If no
one wants to discuss it, they don't have to reply.

In my opinion, an accomplished player could take ten mouthpieces, reeds,
ligatures, and instruments (all of identical make/model in the same case)
into an anechoic chamber and get very repeatable results on a spectrum
analyzer.* That, of course, is quite different than saying whether the
results would sound good or bad musically. (Although we might be able to
definitely answer some questions about whether particular materials are
"good" or "bad" based on real data.) However, in my view, such control and
repeatability would at least eliminate part of the problems that people
encounter with the instrument. Then, the variation between different models
and makers of instruments, mouthpieces, ligatures, and reeds would allow
individuals to choose a setup that did work best for them...without
wondering as to whether they just got a lousy example of some particular
component. (And, perhaps, publishing test results from such analysis would
encourage manufacturers to evolve their design and manufacturing processes.)

As an aside, I do know a couple of plastics engineers. If one of the
mouthpiece makers on the list would be interested in having a dialogue with
them regarding materials, I am willing to see if they are interested. Again,
I'm not interested in being a mouthpiece manufacturer.

Well, that's my stand on the subject...independent of whether the original
message was directed at me. (If it wasn't, I look defensive, huh? Darned if
I do, darned if I don't...)

Dave Kumpf
mailto:dkumpf@-----.com
http://www.optimetra.com

* Well, OK, reeds might be out of the question...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Neil Leupold [mailto:leupold_1@-----.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:32 PM
> To: klarinet@-----.org
> Subject: Re: [kl] Jumping on the Bandwagon - or jumping
> off....Mouthpieces and Ideals
>
>
> Is this meant to be clever? What's your point?
>
> --- rgarrett@-----.edu wrote:
> > When I was a young boy, there was a boy named Pat (last name
> withheld) who
> > always took advantage of other people's work. The work could be as
> > insignificant as a discovery regarding a better way to complete
> a chore -
> > or worse - it could be as significant as taking credit for
> someone else's
> > ideas and honest reporting. Pat had a habit (like most good
> politicians!)
> > of making claims that were based on speculation - jumping on
> the bandwagon
> > when it suited his needs and backing off when the fire got too hot.
> >
> > Pat succeeded in politics - making it to the House of
> Representatives in
> > Oregon before someone exposed his motives and he was relegated
> to starting
> > over. Last I heard, he was defending himself on the east coast for
> > suspicion of inappropriate behavior in his political aspirations. Go
> > figure. The guy just didn't ever take a stand unless it benefited
> > himself. He progressed on the coattails of others. Look where
> it got him.
> >
> > When truth and ideas are overshadowed by an unquenched
> motivation to make a
> > profit - or, worse, to become important in other people's eyes,
> a person
> > has to stand back and ask themselves, what is the truth? What
> information
> > have I been given that will support that truth? What exactly is this
> > person's motivation for saying what they have said?
> >
> > 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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