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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000184.txt from 2005/08

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Vibrato, color, vibration (was Stolzman & Copland Concerto)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 20:45:41 -0400


You make your point well, although it might be simpler to say that vibrato
is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. It is unfortunate that
many clarinetists are quick to condemn a player for using vibrato rather
than for how they use vibrato.

I have to take slight issue with your re-definition of the word
"vibration". Vibrating the sound, using the dictionary definition, is a
redundant statement since the sound is already vibrating. Scientifically,
you may want to consider the term "timbre modulation" although that sounds
a bit too pretentious to me. Perhaps varying or changing the timbre of the
sound? Flute players love to talk about coloring the sound, as another
alternative. Vague, as flute players are wont to be, but certainly less
confusing than "vibration".

I could have sworn string players have a fancy Italian term for variation
of intensity in the sound as opposed to variation of pitch in the sound
(vibrato), but all my string references are coming up empty. Maybe someone
else on the list can help, unless I'm mistaken.


At 07:30 PM 8/11/2005, Bryan Crumpler wrote:
>The point of using the term "vibration" was to eliminate the link to the
>sound aspect and to get readers to focus on the technique and the physical
>act of vibrating the airflow or diaphram or firmness of the embouchure.
>Vibrating the sound is actually a good thing. But I don't mean going into
>convulsions like a Shoot-Me-Up Elmo doll or like the vibrator on your
>phone or an electronic dildo for the kinky. It's just that when we talk
>about vibrato, people like it to link more to the "sound" and/or the sound
>of another instrumentalist we've heard before. But unless we're all
>hearing the same vibrato sound in our heads when we read emails, it makes
>this topic very difficult to discuss. That's the only reason I was talking
>about it in terms of an actual "vibration".

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