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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000273.txt from 2005/08

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Ah, ligatures....Gold vs. Silver
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 13:21:22 -0400

Kevin Fay wrote:

> At the ClarinetFest in 2001, I played a pile of
> new Yamahas, some with silver-plated keys
> and others [with nickel-silver plating].
> Disturbingly, the two groups of horns were
> very consistent with each other, and felt
> different from those in the other group. [snip]
> After playing through the pile, I was able to
> tell which plating the clarinet had by blowing
> the instrument blindfolded and not touching
> the keys.

Kevin, with absolutely no criticism intended, this is an ideal example
of experimental bias because:

(1) A musician with a good ear can probably remember timbres from his
(or her) first pass through a pile of instruments and then re-identify
them blindfolded during a second run through the pile --- regardless of
what caused the differences in timbre.

(2) It *may* well have been that all the instruments with silver keys
were made on a particular machine or adjusted by a particular technician
afterwards, while the other instruments *may* all have been made or
adjusted by some other particular machine or technician. Thus you may
have recognized the machine or the technician, not the plating.

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