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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000912.txt from 2003/06

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Left, Right or mixed handed?
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 18:03:59 -0400

At 09:50 AM 6/25/2003 -0400, George Kidder wrote:
>I believe that some of the very early clarinets were made so that they
>could be played either hand up, either by duplicating the lower pinky
>holes and plugging the unwanted one with wax, or by having this hole in a
>separate joint which could be rotated. The few keys were centered, so
>they could be played with either hand. This does not, of course, answer
>the question of why the choice was made to put the right hand on the lower
>joint when such things became standardized. Maybe (I have no data) by
>analogy with the flute, when the upper joint became asymmetrical and could
>be blown only with the body of the flute extending to the right, then
>(obviously) the right hand had to be the lower one.

Excellent point! That argument holds water even better than the one about
the right hand (usually stronger) being better able to support the weight
of the instrument. Except in P.D.Q Bach, I don't recall ever seeing any
left-handed transverse flutes.

Bill Hausmann

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!

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