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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000185.txt from 2005/07

From: "Vann Joe Turner" <>
Subj: [kl] Re: reed-up embouchure and tonguing
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 17:29:52 -0400

Hmmm? The only source of my knowledge of reed-up embouchure comes from Wm.
Stubbin's *The Art of Clarinetistry*, Ann Arbor Publishers, 1965, page 196,
on which he writes:

"The first clarinets were played with the reed turned upward and controlled
by the upper lip. The reed was not turned downward and controlled by the
lower lip in the position that it is now used until the turn of the
ninteenth century.

"With the reed in the position in which it was controlled by the upper lip,
articulation by using the tongue was impossible, and considered to be
undesirable. The clarinet was considered to be played as closely as possible
to the singing style of the human voice. It was recommended in fact, that
the tongue be held flat in the mouth, and the throat as relaxed and open as
possible in order to achieve this open, free, singing style. All phrasing
articulation, was accomplished by the breath and the 'hoo' aspiration as in
the phrasing for vocal production.

"Obviously, the limits of rapid articulation are very restrained under these
conditions, and players of the present will do well to consider the tempos
and the use of rapid articulation of our present style with respect to the
performance of early music for the clarinet. The Stamitz concerti and , in
fact, the Concerto by Mozart, may well have been performed for the first
time by players using the reed controlled by the upper lip. A rendition of
these compositions therefore, with fast tempos, and rapid staccato style is
certainly not in character with their composer's concept."

Now, I don't believe everything I see in print, but in learning a person
takes in instruction, and I'm taking in instruction. Then are you saying Mr.
Stubbins is wrong? He may be -- I'm trying to learn, and don't want to learn
erroneous material, only to replace it at a later time with correct


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