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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000469.txt from 2005/08

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?sarah=20elbaz?=" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Tuning vs. Intonation
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 12:45:35 -0400

When I read all the interesting things that people write, I feel so bad about my English. Well maybe the reason is that I learnd English so late and as a child I spoke other languages.

My English problem is a very important lesson for me , because as a music teacher I know that students should learn the fundamentals of the musical language as early as possible. Now I take much younger students then I used to take in the past.

I agree that its not enough to tell the student to listen - you have to practice that from the begining until it becomes a habit- and then when they go to audition, they don't have to think about pitch - because its there!

Of course, It doesn't work with all students, because some are more talented and have a better ear and more dicipline.

-------Original Message-------
> From: Adam Michlin <>
> Subject: RE: [kl] Tuning vs. Intonation
> Sent: 27 Aug '05 14:46
> Again, I'm not a religious man but...
> Amen!
> If I had a quarter (inflation and all) for every conductor who said "Please
> people, it is so out of tune, please listen" (and that's the polite
> version) I really would be a rich man. Most students know that playing in
> tune is a "good thing", so to speak. Ask them what it means to play in tune
> and how they're supposed to know if they're in tune and you'll quite often
> get the "uh... my band director told me to do it" blank stare. After all,
> I've never met anyone who was deliberately *trying* to play out of tune
> (well, some jazz saxophone players.. but...).
> People rarely get fired for a "bad" tone (whatever that means), people
> regularly get fired (or, rather, not re-hired in the freelance world) for
> bad pitch.  Pitch can be a dicey situation amongst professionals. I'm
> reminded of the (perhaps apocryphal) story where I'm told Jean Morel
> (conductor of the Juilliard Orchestra for quite a while) asked the double
> bass section of the New York Philharmonic to sight sing their parts. As you
> can imagine, this did not go over well with said double bass players.
> Properly taught, sight singing is, in my experience, the easiest way to
> solve intonation problems (thank Guido!). Usually not much of a solution in
> professional situations, but the advantage there is you can always hope
> they'll hire someone else. If they can't afford someone with better
> intonation, well, you get what you pay for.
> Sight singing trains the ear, electronic tuners train the eye. I only use
> electronic tuners as a sanity check and even then I play the note and then
> look at the tuner. I've been tempted a few times to maim players  who
> "solve" intonation problems by playing their concert A or Bb, dancing the
> needle back and forth until seconds later they declare they are "in tune".
> As if the only note they had to tune of their instrument is the tuning A or
> Bb and as if playing in tune even on said note 4 seconds late was of any
> use whatsoever.
> And finally, I truly believe the difference between the good players and
> great players is that the good players impress you with how hard they make
> it look and the great players impress you with how easy they make it look.
> The great players make you walk away feeling like anyone could do that, at
> least until reality sets in at your next practice session!
>            -Adam
> At 10:12 AM 8/27/2005, Steve wrote:
> [...]
> >It is not enough to tell a player to "listen". One must know what to listen
> >for!
> [...]
> >After attending a rehearsal of Tchaik 6 with one of the top orchestras in
> >the world, I spoke with the Principal Clarinetist. This person completely
> >redefined my concept of what was possible on the instrument. When I said,
> >"You make it sound so natural", his reply was "You think I was born this
> >way? Hell, no! I had to fight to develop this skill just as much as any
> >other".
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
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-------Original Message-------

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