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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000478.txt from 2010/11

From: Jennifer Jones <>
Subj: Re: [kl] RES: Orchestral Pitch
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 10:57:43 -0500

On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 2:31 AM, Keith Bowen <> wrote:
> Jennifer
> 3 Hz difference is quite a lot in instrument design, when you play in the
> comfortable centre of each note.

That is good to know. I definitely felt the difference in my embouchure.

> You would tell it quite easily.

Alas, it is difficult for me to hear (unless two tones 3Hz apart are
played simultaneously).

> That sort
> of variation, however, can also be achieved by barrel length or pull out
> plus mid-joint pull out plus embouchure control (as you discovered) plus
> fingering variations or shading/half holing. E.g. if clarion G is sharp,
> bring RH1 down to hover above the tone hole but not touching it. You can =
> quarter tones this way also, by half-holing notes as on a recorder (tough=
> do when it's a hole closed by a key pad of course).

I shall play with the tone hole hovering. Not sure my technique is
that advanced now. Still recovering from the couple years off of the
clarinet. Thank you for reminding me of the technique.

> The above is the mechanism by which we play 'locally just intonation'.

That makes sense.


> Keith
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jennifer Jones []
> Sent: 28 November 2010 05:31
> To: The Klarinet Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [kl] RES: Orchestral Pitch
> On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 4:07 PM, Tony Pay <> wrote:
>> These threads from the BBoard might be of interest:
> This second thread, addresses tuning in general, rather than
> instrument design. =A0However, it fits with my thoughts on the
> difficulty of designing one wind instrument to center precisely 3 Hz
> from another wind instrument. =A0The particular part that fits with my
> sense of this difficulty, states that it is easier to be in tune if
> one can adjust the pitch of a given note, such as in wind instruments,
> as opposed to fixed pitch instruments like the piano or harpsichord.
> That a given note on the clarinet is variable by lipping up or down
> leads to the thought that a tight embouchure or high temperature would
> sharpen the clarinet overall, as opposed to low temperatures and a
> loose embouchure that flattens the clarinet's overall pitch.
> This, of course, is a very basic level that I am thinking at. =A0I can't
> say how accomplished instrument designers manipulate such tonal
> centering in wind instruments because I don't know enough about design
> of instruments such as clarinets. =A0I maintain that, if I were to
> discuss clarinets designed to center on 440 as opposed to 443 Hz, it
> could easily be analogous to being in my trance-like state, or what I
> understand to be cloud-cuckoo land. =A0Others who know more, may be
> quite well grounded in the technical realities of the instrument when
> discussing such distinctions.
> The pitch creep links sound interesting, but, alas, as Peter Gentry
> comments, I haven't developed the ear to distinguish the pitch at one
> end compared to the other.
> I got my tuner out to see if I could find a center to my clarinet.
> With the quick attempts I made, I am able to play the three octaves of
> A (concert pitch =3D clarinet B) in tune with either A=3D440 or A=3D443.
> This is with a Selmer CL210 size 3.5 vandoren reed. =A0My embouchure is
> definitely tighter with A=3D443. =A0I tried lipping each octave up or
> down. =A0High A (thumb forefinger and register key), I ranged from a 25
> cent sharp G# to a 25 cent sharp A. =A0Clarion A (all closed with
> speaker key open), I ranged from a 45 cent sharp G# to a 15 cent sharp
> A. =A0And with chalumeau A, I ranged from 30 cent flat to 25 cents
> sharp.
> In band when the tuner went around, I was frequently sharp, so it
> comes as no surprise to me that I am able to play A=3D443 through three
> octaves without much difficulty.
> -Jennifer
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