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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000169.txt from 2004/08

From: "dnleeson" <dnleeson@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Material influence on sound...one more time
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2004 10:23:43 -0400

Kelly Abraham writes:

"As far as the comment goes about the material not having an
affect on the sound vibrations on a clarinet would be very
different in the mater of metal, but for a different reason than
the vibrations of the body. Everyone who is a brass player or a
sax or flute player knows that silver, gold, platinum, brass and
bronze all have very different playing response due to the
affect of the airstream against the metal. The surface of the
interior of the horn does affect the airstream, so why wouldn't
the different woods have an affect on at least the airstream? I
imagine that a solid gold clarinet or basset hound <grin> would
have a very live and vibrant sound with more of the upper
partials present than on wood instruments (probably too much
so.)"

Posing hypotheses and asking rhetorical questions about different
circumstances (i.e., "so why wouldn't the different woods have an
affect [sic] on at least the airstream") does not constitute an
effective argument. In other words, the fact that one believes
something about the effect of material on an airstream [on a
brass instrument] does not mean that materials affect the
character of sound produced on a clarinet.

It is arguing by analogy; i.e., if thus-and-so produces this
effect under those circumstances, why should it not produces the
same effect under a different set of circumstances?

I don't know. It doesn't. And arguing that it should doesn't
help and it certainly does not clarify.

Maybe different materials DO produce different characters of
sound on clarinets. So many people believe that maybe it is
true.

If so, then establish some objective basis for this truth other
than by asserting "well it does on a trumpet, so it must be so on
a clarinet."

Finally this: I know next to nothing about sound production on
brass instruments. But I need a lot more than your assertion
that "everyone who is a brass player ... knows that silver, gold,
platinum, brass and bronze all have very different playing
responses," is true. When someone says, "Everyone knows..." your
first reaction should be to grab of and hold on to your wallet
because you are about to be sold something that is not
necessarily true and probably isn't.

Dan Leeson

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