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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000524.txt from 2002/05

From: "Tim Roberts" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Metal clarinets
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 14:48:42 -0400

On Fri, 17 May 2002 20:29:05 -0700, "Kimber" <> wrote:
>....Since you seem so well informed, would you mind explaining
>why having a voice with perfect pitch is supposed to interfere with my
>playing?I participate in both band and choir, and, as I am sure you guessed,
>I have perfect pitch. The pro who told me this said that it would probably
>interfere with my clarinet playing, but in my mind I would think that it
>would enhance it, because you would know for sure if you played the wrong
>note or you weren't in tune. Please, explain it, and if not you, then
>someone else. I need to know! I will die of curiosity otherwise.

The problem is that bands and orchestras very rarely operate exactly in tune.
If you truly have perfect pitch, for example, and your perfect pitch aligns
at A440, then when your band tunes at A442 it will drive you nuts. In
general, a band does not tune to a tuner; it tunes to the one player that
provides the tuning note, usually an oboe or clarinet. Tuning will drift as
the band and the room warms up, and the players have to adapt.

(I'm the tuning standard for our community band; I have sometimes suggested
to our director that I alter my own tuning to force the players to tune to me
with their ears, rather than tuning to their tuner needles with their eyes.)

However, I suspect that such rigidly frequency-aligned perfect pitch is
extraordinarily rare. I, for one, have "relative pitch"; given one base
pitch, I am then able to identify other pitches relative to it. Some here
have argued that this is ubiquitous among musicians. With this ability,
adapting to a slight tuning change is not hard.

>P.S: Where can I buy a wooden clarinet other than the internet. I live in a
>small town in Washington, sooo......

The Internet is a great method for buying a clarinet, either new or used.

- Tim Roberts,
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.


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