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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000398.txt from 2003/10

From: Richard Bush <>
Subj: Re: [kl] band directors
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 12:38:27 -0400

I'm finding this thread very interesting. I find all facets of music
very interesting.

Personally, I'm a jack of all trades, playing flute, clarinet, sax and
bassoon. I am a woodwind doubler who started out on clarinet and might,
if I'm lucky, die with the satisfaction of having learned to make
consistently good bassoon reeds.

I improvise, but I'm not the hottest cat in town. I play good 'legit'
clarinet but will never make the Utah Symphony. Bari sax is my
favorite instrument to improvise on.

I read well enough to get calls for professional pit work, but I know
my sight reading is nowhere as strong as I would like it to be and as
strong as it should be.

I also teach privately and love it. I have done this for forty-five
years. I repair instruments and have done that for thirty years.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. We can specialize or we can
become very broad and diverse in what we do. What I do pleases me
because I've managed to stay with what I love the


On Monday, October 13, 2003, at 10:18 AM, Noel Taylor wrote:

> Oh dear, I think as a self-confessed "functionally illiterate" player
> who
> mostly gets by playing by ear, I do have to make one or two points. It
> probably is very "one-dimensional" to not know enough sight reading and
> notation to follow a score, but that doesn't mean that the music an
> improviser can produce is necessarily always going to be
> 'one-dimensional'.
> Indeed, I could just as easily, in return, regard someone who can't
> improvise but is trained up to the eyeballs as musically limited. As it
> happens, I don't really think like that - although it is an enormous
> mystery
> to me how anyone can play an instrument with a high degree of skill
> and yet
> freeze completely once the dots aren't there to read. I just can't
> understand the process - and yet I've met so many people who say
> that's how
> they are and nothing can be done about it.
> As for players like myself being "stuck in their own little world" -
> it's
> true, all true... but it's still quite a vast world out there, even
> so. I
> also find the notion of notated jazz (without any passages of
> improvisation
> at all) - ever so slightly weird. In defence of Mathew's remark about a
> 'jazz sound' - this is such a common linguistic construct that I see no
> reason to quibble with it. Have you ever heard top opera singers
> trying to
> sing jazz...? What an embarrassment! They (I'm sure there are some
> honourable exceptions) sing all the notes correctly, but they get them
> all
> wrong. It don't mean a thing, etc...
> Noel Taylor
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Buckman, Nancy []
>> Sent: 13 October 2003 16:39
>> To:
>> Subject: RE: [kl] band directors
>> Matthew,
>> You don't need a special clarinet to make a jazz sound. Jazz
>> isn't a sound at all. It's a style. I use the same set-up
>> for my jazz ensemble playing that I use for my orchestral
>> playing. I will grant that it is easier to bend notes on a
>> mouthpiece that is more open at the tip. But with a minimum
>> of practice, it can be learned on any mouthpiece. Even you
>> could learn to play in the jazz style Matthew. I am no jazz
>> player and still can't improvise on my own, but I know the
>> style well enough, so that if the music is notated on paper,
>> I can play "in the style" and you wouldn't know otherwise,
>> that I am not fully literate as a jazz musician. There
>> As for those people who only play by ear, there is something
>> to be said for the fact that they do derive enjoyment of
>> music. But there is so much that they are missing....kind of
>> like the functionally illiterate. They can't notate anything
>> they create or read anything that anyone else creates. They
>> are stuck in their own little world, unless there is someone
>> to help them write or read music - so one-dimensional. And
>> when your ship band leader discusses chords and their
>> progression or wants to begin rehearsal at bar "whatever",
>> that clarinetist hasn't a clue about what is going on.
>> Nancy
>> Nancy E. Buckman, CPO, AFO, Technical Assistant
>> School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education
>> Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD 21012-1895 USA
>> Phone 410-777-2316 Fax 410-777-2233 E-mail
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> or
>> if you get the
>> For help: send an email to
>> to Klarinet is a service of
>> Woodwind.Org, Inc.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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