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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000349.txt from 2005/07

Subj: RE: [kl] Re: New to the list...question on duet literature
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 06:06:15 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Ormondtoby Montoya []

After more thought, I wonder if one reason why single reeds didn't become
part of the traditional instrumentation is because the attack of a single
reed attack is not sufficiently 'percussive' (compared to what whistle and
flute attack can be) to be a lead instrument that fits with
step dancing? Pipes often stay more in the background. That is, a
single reed must accelerate from motionless before it achieves steady state
after the tongue is released.

I've heard that step dancing as seen today isn't how earlier eras danced;
but even without dancing, jigs and reels and so forth do tend to a 'harder'
and more percussive rhythms.


I would have thought the 'airiness' of those instruments, the feeling they
can give of effortlessly floating above the bodhran rhythm is an important
part of why they fit the music. I suppose the music evolved based on what
instruments were available at the time. The sound of that combination of
instruments now carries such a sense of a history of associations that it
would seem odd in other combinations. Having said that, I often amuse myself
on clarinet with smatterings of Irish music that I can recall, and some of
the tunes seem, to me, to work well with the tonal characteristics of the


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