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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000356.txt from 2005/04

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Tuners
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 18:06:42 -0400

I actually wrote a longer rant than yours about this earlier this afternoon
and then deleted it without sending it because I thought I might be getting
too far afield.

Before small electronic tuners became available, oboists (good ones, anyway)
considered it to be part of their job to adjust reeds to play a focused note
reliably at a specific pitch. They'd check it backstage against a fork, then
come out and play an A that was clear, focused and, even if it had come up
slightly from the heat on stage, close to the standard the orchestra
required. If it wasn't, the concertmaster made a very ugly face, and if that
happened too often, there was warfare and mayhem directed against the oboist
by the entire string section. Now, with the little Korgs on their music
stand, even otherwise good oboists I've played with come out with reeds that
seem to have no really native pitch at all and as they begin the tuning A
they immediately start lipping, occasionally up but mostly down, until the
needle hits the center line. What results is often a tone that's spread,
unsteady and hard to tune to. Then, as soon as they begin to play, the pitch
comes up to where it really wants to be when the tone is focused and
everyone complains that the orchestra's pitch is uncertain.

I have used a tuner on my stand (with a clip-on mic attached to my bell)
during rehearsals (never performances) when the orchestra pitch got so wild
and woolly that I couldn't by ear find any general consensus. After a while
of trying to be too rubber lipped, I have to give up and try to regain my
own sense of comfort - and maybe make some of the others come to me instead
of trying to find them. But in general I don't think anyone should ever come
to rely on a tuner instead of his/her ears.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:]
> Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 5:35 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [kl] Tuners
> One other rant on tuning....
> I am also VERY tired of those oboe players, who very carefully give a
> tuning
> note at A=440, then immediately thereafter, play at a pitch level
> of 442 or
> above. What earthly sense does this make?
> Walter Grabner
> World-class clarinet mouthpieces
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

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