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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000996.txt from 2003/06

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: Re: [kl] Left, Right or mixed handed?
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 17:58:12 -0400

On Thu, 26 Jun 2003 10:10:53 -0700, said:

> > Sue wrote:
> >
> > > but I disagree that left-handedness is a true handicap.
> >
> > Well, it depends on the surrounding environment, doesn't it?
> > Obviously there is per se nothing better or worse about having one
> > hand or the other dominant. But if you are put in a situation where
> > someone or something is forcing you to use your "weaker" hand
> > (whether for conducting, writing, yadda yadda yadda), then it
> > *becomes* a handicap. Not an "absolute" handicap like having a limb
> > crippled or having a mental disorder, but a handicap nonetheless.
> > -- Joe
> An inconvienience. ;-)
> Sue

I think it's a shame to spoil a genuine insight -- that all these words
require a context in order to have any real meaning -- just in order to
make a flip remark. Do you not see that if you choose another word, in
your case 'inconvenience', it remains true that what is an inconvenience
in one context may be a matter of life and death in another?

The whole point of Joe's post was to say that in some contexts it's
necessary to do things in a specific 'handed' way, and in other contexts
it isn't. If you want to be a fighter pilot, you clearly can't demand
an appropriately handed plane just because you're 'less efficient' in
the one provided. (...or 'handicapped', or 'disadvantaged', or
'inconvenienced'...) But if you're using a pen or a baton, it doesn't
matter which way round you do it, and it's foolish -- and may even be
cruel -- for a teacher to insist that someone does it 'their' way.

Playing the violin is a case that falls between the two -- and again,
the answer *depends on the context*. If you're going to be a world
class virtuoso, you just might be better off playing left-handed for the
edge that would give you over what you could achieve right-handed. But
if you're going to be an orchestral player, it might not be worth being the fact that it would be rather inconvenient to
create the conditions in which you could play left-handed in a section.
And there might be not so much difference in your playing anyway.

It *depends*, dammit!

_________ Tony Pay
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| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
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