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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000377.txt from 2005/04

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Tuners
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 19:38:50 -0400

Walter Grabner posted:

<<<I have come to the conclusion that having a tuner on the stand is a bad
idea. . .

. . However, I do not believe they can tell you the "correct" pitch to
play in a rehearsal or performance.>>>

I own several of the little gizmos. I think that it would take me a
quarter-hour to find one, though - I don't take them to rehearsal or

There are contexts, though, where it's perfectly appropriate to have one of
these on the stand at all times: when you're playing with electronic
instruments, mallet percussion or other instruments of equal temperament
that cannot be tuned, and especially if recording in that context.

Lots of commercial music is dubbed with synths; if you don't keep the pitch
constant from take to take the poor soul editing the tapes will have to work
much harder. (Note that they can play reindeer games with the pitch
electronically, but it's more work.) Film work is particularly grueling
this way.

We also used to keep them on the stands when playing musicals. Again, we
used several electronic and mallet instruments in the pit. If they play
first, you can always listen to them. If *you* play first, there's no way
they can match your pitch. Having the pitch cued visually helped a great
deal, esp. if the monitoring wasn't so hot. Also, many times the horn was
picked up cold (or intervals of speech left you not playing for minutes at a

I agree that they are absolutely no substitute for ears. They can be a very
useful supplemental tool, however, especially so in the proper contexts.


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