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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000127.txt from 2003/10

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Tongue movements -- another go
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 15:58:56 -0400

This struck a huge bell for me. I've always sung it (for as far back as I
can remember, anyway) with exactly the same vowels, and I always thought it
a little odd in myself. In fact, I've tried (unsuccessfully) to sing it when
I'm teaching a student with a uniform vowel and found I can't keep it going
that way without a lot of concentration.

But, I'm not sure it has completely to do with unconscious tongue motions
I've learned to use when I play the beginning of the concerto. I find myself
singing pieces I've learned in some other connection - pieces I conduct with
my school orchestra, even songs to which I've forgotten the words - with the
same variety of vowels. My unconscious choice of vowel seems, at least on
very superficial consideration, to have more to do with the rhythmic
(agogic?) function of a note than anything else. In fact, I've at times had
to fight the urge to do some of these things when I'm actually playing.
Sometimes the tongue movements that form the vowels I sing actually cause a
note to lose focus or pitch when I do them on the clarinet because that
particular note needs something different.

Still, the question about string players' approach compared to wind players'
is an interesting one.

Karl Krelove

> A related something may be: when I sing, say, the opening of the Mozart
> concerto, I find that each note gets a different vowel. I go something
> like, 'Deeee, daaah, da deeya da da daaah [rest] Deee-yah, deee-yah,
> daaaaa-aaah' -- and that follows roughly what my tongue does when I
> play.
> I wonder if you got a collection of clarinettists to do this, and
> compared what they did with what a collection of violinists did with the
> same tune, whether significant differences would show up?
> Tony

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