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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000865.txt from 2004/10

From: "Patricia A. Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Mozart, Don Giovanni, and Tony Pay
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 19:47:46 -0400

dnleeson wrote:

>Well Patricia, I promise it will not wind up as a historical
>mystery novel, and contrary to your speculation, it is very much
>a musical issue. The keys that were permitted for clarinets were
>quite restricted and, at that juncture of Mozart's life (though
>not later) it was not legal to write in 4 flats. So he wrote in
>1 flat and added the accidentals in where needed. Though it may
>appear far fetched, this business of the impermissability of
>certain keys for clarinets is behind the history of the use of
>multiply-pitched clarinets, a phenomenon that only the clarinet
>family is stuck with. While other instruments also have a little
>bit of this problem, no one has it to the extent that the
>clarinet family does.
You know, I remember now being told this YEARS ago, probably in one of
those piano lessons that, for some reason, I managed to forget about.
*properly blushing and embarrassed*

>Horns may appear to have the same problem but they don't. They
>change keys (and horn pitches) for a different reason.
Horns: Never enough tubing - and no way to change all those crooks fast
enough? Crooks not long enough? *puzzled right now; probably forgotten
something else I should remember*
Does this use of multiply-pitched clarinets date back to their origin,
or no?

Patricia Smith

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