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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000713.txt from 2002/06

From: Roger Shilcock <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Modern Basset Horn designs
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 08:37:50 -0400

It seems reasonable to think that Stadler decided to have it that way because
the effect of the bulbous shape on a genuine "bell note" was too drastic.
However, does anyone know whether clarinettes d'amour frequently
had this side hole, too? It may have been a perfectly ordinary feature
at the time.
Roger S.

In message < writes:
> Bill, I don't think that Joe Wakeling was asking about the issue on
> which you commented. He specifically citing a source saying that there
> were metal bells and flared wooded bells and which one is said to be in
> greater use in contemporary instruments. (And by the way, Stadler's
> basset horn bell is not accurately described as "spherical" but rather
> an "ellipseoid" or a three dimensional ellipse. It's the same idea
> behind an English horn bell which is certainly not a sphere.)
> I have played on basset horns with a metal bell and now have one with a
> wooden bell. I will also mention that Steve Trier of London once told
> me that, in his opinion, a metal bell on a basset horn reinforced all
> the overtones that one does not want, so he replaced his with a wooden
> bell and did the same for his bass clarinet.
> I suspect, but do not know, that contemporary instruments made by the
> big three use metal bells because they are easier to make and also to
> attach to the lower joint. My particular wooden bell is flared but
> Steve Fox put a bunch of holes (called lattice holes) around the
> circumference and pointed me to a technical paper that discussed the
> physics of the matter. I certainly recognize a distinct difference in
> the character of the low notes with my wooden bell, though the only note
> that it can affect is the low C, the others never getting the air column
> down that low.
> I tried on several occasions to get wooden bells made for my older
> Selmer basset horns but the cost was prohibitive so I never had one
> before.
> There is an issue that I don't understand relative to Stadler's
> ellipseoid bell because it does not seem to play a role in the low C.
> There is a hole at the top of that bell near the connection to the lower
> joint, and that is where the air comes out for a low C, so it never gets
> to the other end of the bell. In fact, if you close that hole (with
> your foot or your calf), you get a low B-natural on the instrument
> because the air comes about about 3-4 inches lower than it does for the
> low C.
> Hope this is helpful for Wakeling.
> Dan Leeson
> William Wright wrote:
> >
> > <><> Joseph Wakeling wrote:
> > I recently read in the "Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet" that there
> > are a couple of different bell designs favoured by modern players [of
> > basset horns]
> >
> > Joseph, everyone else on the list has heard this before, but I can't
> > resist:
> >
> > Stadler's basset horn had a spherical bell (probably). I had one built
> > for my Bb just out of curiosity. It does affect the sound (quiets the
> > highest partials, acts as a resonating chamber to increase loudness);
> > but it does these things most noticeably in the lowest notes. The
> > effect disappears completely at the top of the clarion register. So
> > I'm hoping that a modified barrel of some sort will bring the high end
> > of the instrument's sound a bit closer to the lower end.
> >
> > Tony Pay has warned me that this will destroy the 12ths tuning. It's
> > risky to argue with Tony because he has much experience in such things,
> > math and physics as well as music on period instruments.
> >
> > The craftsman has a special tool on order which is required for the
> > barrel, and eventually I'll learn the answer by actual experience.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Bill
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> ***************************
> ** Dan Leeson **
> ** **
> ***************************
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Le chair est triste, hélas! et j'ai lu tous les livres
----- Mallarmé ("Brise marine")


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