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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000026.txt from 2004/08

From: "Lelia Loban" <>
Subj: [kl] Material influence on more time
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 09:11:57 -0400

Dan Leeson wrote,
>You are right. It was Lelia Loban and I have
>put out a contract on her.

Your hit-person will have to get in line, behind Shadow-Cat's hit-Thing.
She's still miffed about all the clarinet-related activities lately, and
then came the yard full of noisy construction workers (due back any minute,
so I had better finish this e-mail and shut down the computer before they
start causing power failures again by using all their great big tools at

Just to clarify: Dan, I've never argued against your point about materials
making no difference. I don't have any expertise on that matter. Although
I did say I'd never heard a good rubber clarinet, I spelled out,

>The hard rubber clarinets I've seen and/or played
>on have also been student or economy models.
>They've all been notably bad instruments, but the
>worst problems had to do with intonation, more
>than tone quality. Moreover, the intonation problems
>were typical of low-end clarinets in general, regardless
>of materials.
>I have no clue whether the rubber construction material
>might have affected the quality, since I've never been able
> to find any rubber clarinet that a leading manufacturer
>claimed as a top-quality competitor against fine wooden
>clarinets from the same era.

I don't think those rubber clarinets were bad because they were rubber. I
think they were rubber because they were bad -- in other words, they
weren't meant to be fine-quality and making a clarinet out of rubber was
cheap. It would be interesting to see a manufacturer *try* to make the
finest possible clarinet out of rubber.

Rubber clarinets sometimes smell like old tires, btw: a non-musical
drawback, but a significant one for those of us who don't happen to like
the smell of old tires. The unmistakable smell of rubber in summer was
what made me realize, several years ago, that I'd inadvertently purchased a
wood-grained hard rubber clarinet when I thought I'd picked up a cheap
wooden one, at a poorly-lit indoor flea market.

Lelia Loban
Kerry and Edwards in 2004

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