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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000623.txt from 2004/10

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: Re: [kl] RE: klarinet Digest 22 Oct 2004 08:14:59 -0000 Issue 5597
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 10:02:29 -0400

At 01:58 PM 10/22/2004 +0100, Keith wrote:
> > From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
> > That is, attributing everything to the reed during an introductory
> > paragraph is truly short-changing the reader.... isn't it?
>Absolutely. But it isn't my book!

It is, of course, my book. Someday. Maybe.

This has been both a fascinating and educational experience.

To sum everything up:

Forest has suggested that I am dumbing down what I teach. Forest is a very
intelligent person and very fine clarinet player, so I have to take his
thoughts very seriously. It seems to me there is a very big difference
between making something dumb and something simple. Tony and I recently had
a conversation where we agreed that clarinet playing was as simple as
learning how to stop and start notes. This is true, this is simple, this is
not dumb. We both readily appreciate that, as I have said before, the devil
is in the details.

It does seem impossible to write a simple explanation of how the clarinet
produces a tone which would satisfy every scientist/clarinetist on this
list. I do not and will not strive for such an explanation. I will,
however, take all the feedback and try to make my explanation better.

What I will not do, however, is start talking about standing waves,
antipodes, et. all. As such, I suspect you will always be able to pick
holes in my simplification. But you can also pick holes in the idea that
the clarinet is just about starting and stopping notes.

For those of you concerned with my spreading misinformation to students I
would give you a quote to think about:

"Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but
sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone
should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did." -
Duke Ellington

This is not to excuse misinformation, but I would point out that at least I
am striving for a real explanation of what is really going on. At least I'm
trying to make it simple (not dumb). I don't think the current mousetrap
works and I'm trying to build a new one. It just doesn't happen overnight.
I appreciate any and all help, but no one is obligated to assist me.

For anyone who doubts we need a better mousetrap, please go to some local
band concerts in your area over the holiday season. Look for the clarinet
students who are playing on moldy and broken reeds (or no reeds). Realize
most of the clarinet players do not tongue. Consider most students do not
know there are various strengths of reeds or more than one brand. Look at
their terrible posture. Realize most of them have never heard the Mozart
Clarinet Concerto (even in the good programs!). It may be sacrilege to put
a beat to K622, but I think the real sacrilege is all the kids who never
*hear* K622. We don't even give them a chance and then we sit around
complaining about the MTV generation.

The good programs exist, but they are isolated. I suspect partly because
whenever people try to share their own success they are criticized into
silence. This is why I desire the criticism of the list, to protect me from
much harsher criticism later. What does not kill me, makes me stronger.

I had 7 band directors in 8 years of band in New Jersey and California
(mostly California) and I was the above student. The one thing I will not
apologize for is trying to come up with ways to prevent kids from growing
up with the musical ignorance I grew up with. Oh yeah, I went to a
performing arts high school.

Thank you for all your time!


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