Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000414.txt from 2003/10

From: "Lelia Loban" <>
Subj: [kl] Hallowe'en Horrors (was: [kl] reeds for beginners?)
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 21:51:11 -0400

Nancy Buckman wrote,
> 27 beginning students at a time?!=20
>Randy, how you accomplish anything is miraculous. I definitely
>don't want your job. And how do you manage to corral 27
>clarinets and store them safely (no thievery here) for however
>long it takes to get to where you use the whole instrument?
>Do you ever mix Joey's with Johnny's?

Randy may not mix Joey's with Johnny's, but somebody's playing "parts is
parts" -- I see the resultsat the flea markets every fall. Right now is
"Bring out your dead!" season. Just this past Sunday at Georgetown, I
opened up five clarinet cases, none of them containing anything worth
buying. One case held the decrepit remains of *four* different clarinets:
a barrel from one, a bell from another, a top section from another, and a
bottom section from still another! The same thing happens this time every
year. The flea market Hallowe'en horrors seem to come from four main

First: Kid begs to join the band. Parents figure they can save some money
by digging out Great Auntie's clarinet. Band teacher recognizes that this
wreck (a student model to begin with and not improved by 40 years in a wet
basement) would cost more to repair than it's worth, sends Great Auntie's
clarinet straight back home and talks the parents into buying something
playable. The parents take the rejected clarinet around to the various
musical instrument dealers. None of them would lower themselves to resell
this piece of junk, but one of them takes it in trade for a few dollars as
a way of giving a discount that he would have given anyway if asked. Every
fall, the music shop dealer sells a job lot of instrument-shaped discards
to his buddy, the flea market picker. By late October or early November,
the wreckage makes its way down to the bottom-feeder markets.

Second: The instrument repair shop also keeps a closet full of spare
parts, but one day the owner can't get the closet door closed and decides
to clean the place up. He gets rid of his most beat-up instrument cases by
filling them up in any way that looks vaguely plausible with his worst
more-or-less intact sections of this and that, and adds those cases to the
job lot for the picker.

Third: In the fall, the band director gets permission from the office to
clean out the band room and phone the friendly flea market picker, or dump
the job lot on the local auction where the pickers hang out. Over the
years, the contents of the band room closet have migrated from one case to
another as band directors have cannibalized damaged instruments to repair
salvagable ones. That wreckage, too, ends up at the auction and then at the

Fourth, some unwitting parent buys Great Auntie's clarinet, or one of those
cases full of spare parts. The child's band teacher says, "Nope," and the
wreckage recycles yet again.

Of course, these days there's a fifth way. Dealer to picker: "I can't use
another one, but you can probably get rid of it on eBay."

Lelia Loban]
Web site (originals music scores as audio or print-out)

Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact