Klarinet Archive - Posting 000977.txt from 2002/06
From: Tony@-----.uk (Tony Pay)
Subj: Re: [kl] air vibrating in the instrument (was: Modern Basset Horn designs)
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 04:55:39 -0400
On Wed, 26 Jun 2002 22:16:09 -0400, dnietham@-----.edu said:
> on 6/20/2002 6:13 PM, Tony Pay wrote:
> > As I've said before here, to have a realistic picture you often
> > don't want to think of air going down the instrument. It's better
> > to imagine that the air *already in the instrument* is vibrating
> > together with the reed in a co-operative regime.
> I understand the physics of this description. But a metaphor that has
> worked for me with students on many levels of ability is the metaphor
> of "blowing all the way through the instrument." This seems to get the
> student to produce a more resonant sound.
Yes, and it was the first 'playing metaphor' I was ever told, by my very
Don't you find that you want to use different metaphors for different
students, though, depending on what their problem is? The fact that
they're incompatible, if taken literally, doesn't really matter.
> While that may not be a sound appropriate to every musical situation,
> it's an improvement over the dull, lifeless sound that precipitates
> the discussion in the first place. Is there a readily understandable
> metaphor that is closer to the physical truth?
I think I posted here about Gary Carr's therapeutic idea of 'feeling the
bow vibrate' on the double bass, and how you can 'feel the aircolumn
vibrate' through your (relaxed) fingers. That seems to help the sound,
too. Another one, again drawn from string playing, is to think of the
aircolumn like a cello string, and the reed like the bow.
I suppose I think it's best to come clean about all these things being
useful partial pictures that can lead us to a good physical experience
on the instrument -- or more accurately, a physical experience on the
instrument that is associated with a good resulting sound. The upshot
is that a student has *all* of them available, and can use whichever one
serves at the time. It's what I find I do myself.
Actually, I think it's true to say that even the physics can be looked
at in two different ways, each of which is useful for different
purposes. What's known as a 'frequency domain' analysis, concentrating
on how the sound can be regarded as the sum of the various harmonics, is
one thing; what's known as a 'time domain' analysis, looking at how a
pressure pulse travels down the instrument and is partially reflected
from the open tone-hole lattice, is another.
_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd Tony@-----.uk
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