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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000228.txt from 2004/08

From: "Christy Erickson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Saxophone Timbers?
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 12:10:25 -0400

Bear, I hate to say it but I think you'd have to sit down with the
performers of the piece and have them experiment with ligatures, reeds =
mouthpieces until they produce the sound you are looking for on those
saxophones. I don't know much about saxophone but I do know that there =
is a
difference between the classical and the jazz saxophone sound and =
produce these different tones with different mouthpieces and reeds. Any
saxophone players out there who care to comment?=20
It's my guess that most experienced saxophone players are naturally
going to use a jazz type sound or timbre when they see the title of your
piece and start playing so there may be no need to specify this. I =
most experienced players know the difference and will use the =
tone for the style of music they are playing. Reeds that are softer =
tend to
produce a more "bright, brassy" sound but again, the difficulty is that =
idea of harsh and brassy may differ from someone else's concept of that =
quality. =20


> Hello, Everyone.
> I am considering making an orchestrated version
> of my "Sonata No. 1 for Bb Trumpet and Piano"
> (Dec. 2000, 4 mvts., 17 min.). I plan to use an
> atypical scoring to be conducive to the Jazz, Blues
> and Ragtime Styles of the this work, namely to
> include these woodwinds:
> 1 Eb Sopranino Clarinet
> 2 Bb Soprano Clarinets
> 1 Bb Contra Bass Clarinet
> (with a Substitute Eb Contra Alto
> Clarinet Part available)
> 1 Bb Soprano Sax
> 1 Eb Alto Sax
> 1 Bb Tenor Sax
> 1 Eb Bari Sax
> It is easy for Brass Players to use a harsh
> "Brassy" Tone at times, which is also marked as
> "cuivre" in French, and "schmetternd" in German.
> I use it only once or twice in my Trumpet Sonata
> for the soloist, but think it would come in handy
> in those same passages for the Saxes, but NONE
> of my orchestration books mention anything
> about it. It makes for a wonderful snazzy, jazzy
> effect! I know I've heard Sax Players use a wide
> variety of timbres, but WHOM should I ask and
> WHAT do they call these timbres?
> Perhaps I should also ask how common it is
> to have Bb Contra Bass Clarinets go down to the
> Written Low C (sounding at the Lowest Bb on
> the Piano). (I may make a Contra Bassoon Part
> to replace it, if need be.)
> Bear Woodson
> Composer in Tucson, Arizona, USA

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