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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000243.txt from 2004/12

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: Re: [kl] "Strange doublings"
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 03:04:09 -0500

Jay Webler (who taught both percussion and clarinet) used to question
whether a drum is a 'musical' instrument because it lacks (except for
timpani) a definable pitch. Sometimes he jested that he tuned his drum
to "A thud".

But isn't percussion the earliest musical instrument in history, and
doesn't percussion speak at a more 'primitive' level to our sense of
sound than pitched instruments do?

Hence while playing both wind & percussion is (grammatically speaking) a
form of doubling, I don't think that it fits into the same category as
doubling on two pitched instruments.

It happens that I attended a performance tonight of Christmas carols and
church music that were arranged in Latin style for bongos, tambourines,
two acoustic guitars, and flute. The flute player, who was *fully*
competent on flute and tremendously exciting to hear, was also the lead
bongo player. His flute rhythms were noticeably complex and varied,
often non-duple and/or syncopated, and he almost never played full

I'm convinced that this fellow was operating at a different level of
'musical thought' than doublers on pitched instruments do.


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