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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001014.txt from 2003/06

From: ormondtoby@-----.net (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Left, Right or mixed handed?
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 18:58:17 -0400

This discussion lacks a clear "black or white" answer. Yet some of us
want to create one. This issue is a spectrum of different shades of
gray that (imo) should be judged in terms of actual performance.

If there are left-handed conductors who can elicit a great performance
(in the opinion of musicians and audience - and there are many such
conductors), then a teacher who *insists* on right-handed must be judged
'Wrong' with a capital "W" --- just as a teacher who insists on a
certain mouthpiece or embouchure is 'Wrong'.

I see no harm in encouraging a student to try a technique or setup that
works best for most people. Example: flat chin and O-shaped embouchure
usually works best, But once the 'normal' way has been tried and
truly doesn't work for a particular student, then to insist on it is
Wrong - particularly if something else does work for the student.

Re: handicap vs. disadvantage: Once again, this is a spectrum of
grays.

All of us are better suited for certain activities and worse suited for
other activities and probably not 'absolutely the best in the world' at
anything. Is not being a virtuoso a 'handicap'? At the other end of
the spectrum, is being unable to even pick up a clarinet a "handicap"?
Somewhere between these two extremes lies a fuzzy and context-sensitive
(shifting) borderline.

The recent conversation here has included borderline situations to which
some of us have attempted to apply the emotions and ethics from more
extreme examples. This is a normal human behavior - to vigorously
defend borderline cases because a person fears that his or her case may
be described in terms of somethng more extreme.

Where "art" is concerned, there are too many context-sensitive issues
for the Label-It-With-An-Extreme-Example strategy to be acceptable
(imo).

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