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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000274.txt from 2005/07

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: Re: [kl] types of clarinets
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 23:27:36 -0400


> I see many references to "Albert system" or
> "Simple system" clarinets - what does that
> mean?

Over the centuries, the keywork of clarinets has evolved, and today
there is more than one keywork system in use. "Albert" and "simple"
are more or less the same thing, although each of them has variations.
Neither of them are as popular in the general population as "Boehm" is.

Basically there are two families of keywork for the clarinet: "Boehm"
and "Albert". If you were to walk into a music store today in the U.S.
and choose a clarinet off the shelf without further discussion, it most
likely would have Boehm keywork (or one of its variations). "Albert"
and "Oehler" and "simple" are often called "German" systems, but they
have been (and still are) used all over the world in jazz and Klezmer
and Turkish and Greek as well as in classical German performance.

Discussing which system is "best" is like arguing about which band of
beer tastes the best. But unless you have a reason to want Albert or
Oehler, the odds are that you'll end up with a Boehm system. I'm sure
that a few people on this list will explain why they prefer Albert or
Oehler instead of Boehm, however. I think it's fair to say that German
system clarinets will cost you more money, and the majority of teachers
that you're likely to meet (as a beginning or intermediate student)
won't be fluent with German fingering systems unless the teacher happens
to be a particular type of jazz or Turkish or Greek or German player.

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