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 Clarinet Muting
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-11-18 03:09

Before everyone jumps to conclusion on this post and tells me it can't be done, let me define how i'm using the word mute. I am defining it as any foreign object introduced into the air flow.

That said, my question is has anybody played around with this and come up with anything that produces an interesting sound?

I've tried a couple things. A curled up piece of paper stuck into the barrel and mouthpiece. It makes the tone a bit fuzzy. Might be a good effect for slow emotional music.

Bisecting the air flow in the barrel by sticking a reed inside of it. Little or no effect.

AAA battery in the barrel (stopped from sliding down the bore by the register tube). Little effect in chalumeau, totally screws up air flow from register vent throwing entire instrument out of tune.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-11-18 03:20

String down the bore of a Bb clarinet:
Makes it an A clarinet (kind of)

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Albert 
Date:   1999-11-18 03:50

A dangling piece of string?

:]

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-11-18 12:02

Albert wrote:
-------------------------------
A dangling piece of string?

:]
--------
Yup. Tie a piece of twine or cord about the length of the clarinet to a piece of thread. Take the barrel/mouthpiece off, lay the thead over the top of the upper joint and let the cord dangle through the upper & lower joints. Put the barrel & mouthpiece on (the threads there so something can hold the cord up - the thread is thin enough that it doesn't interfere with putting the barrel on) and you'll find the tuning is about a half step lower because the bore is now narrower.

I wouldn't play a concert that way - but it is fun to try it out.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: William 
Date:   1999-11-18 15:29

Playing your clarinet by buzzing your lips into the top of the barrel (no mp, ala trumpet) makes an interesting effect in the lower register, if you can call it that. It's not very useful, but fun to do..... especially in those rare situations when a little humor is the only answer.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-11-18 16:42

Mouthpiece/lig/reed sans clarinet. Great duck calls if other hand is properly cupped below the mp.  ;)


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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Jessica 
Date:   1999-11-18 17:06

Playing a third line B with the bell stopped allows the clarinet to play like a bugle.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Don Poulsen 
Date:   1999-11-18 17:20

There is a P.D.Q. Bach piece that calls for woodwinds to remove and play their mouthpiece during one passage of one movement.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-11-18 18:33

There is another classical piece that requests the clarinetists to remove their bells and play their horns way up in the air. I forgot the name of the piece, but the mood was supposed to be loud and chaotic.


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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Mario 
Date:   1999-11-18 20:31

There is a Canadian based in Vancouver (Francois Houle) who is currently expanding the accoustics possibilities of the clarinet in an amazing fashion. I had the chance of seeing him last year at the Ottawa Jazz festival. He played a hour hour concert of duets with a like-minded piano. The music was at the very leading edge, avant-guarde to say the least, but amazingly musical and creative. The audience (by no means amateur of clarinet or avant-guarde music) was simply breathless.

During this concert, he muted his instrument many ways (inserting things, putting the clarinet in bags, etc.). He even played at some point with two clarinets at the same time, used it as a percussion instrument, actually strummed the piano strings with it, etc. It does sound a little bit weird as written on this post, but the overall effect and musicality was amazing.

I am trying to get him to appear at the Stockholm clarinet fest.

Listen to him and expand your horizons.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Mario 
Date:   1999-11-18 20:31

There is a Canadian based in Vancouver (Francois Houle) who is currently expanding the accoustics possibilities of the clarinet in an amazing fashion. I had the chance of seeing him last year at the Ottawa Jazz festival. He played a hour hour concert of duets with a like-minded piano. The music was at the very leading edge, avant-guarde to say the least, but amazingly musical and creative. The audience (by no means amateur of clarinet or avant-guarde music) was simply breathless.

During this concert, he muted his instrument many ways (inserting things, putting the clarinet in bags, etc.). He even played at some point with two clarinets at the same time, used it as a percussion instrument, actually strummed the piano strings with it, etc. It does sound a little bit weird as written on this post, but the overall effect and musicality was amazing.

I am trying to get him to appear at the Stockholm clarinet fest.

Listen to him and expand your horizons.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-11-18 23:59

How about sucking through the part of the mouthpiece that goes onto the barrel. Fun if your mouthpiece is clean...and as a friend of mine found out, disgusting if it's not.
Another one, a trumpet mouthpiece on the clarinet instead of the clarinet mouthpiece. What can I say, between rehearsals, I get bored...

Kontragirl

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Albert 
Date:   1999-11-19 03:29

Take the mouthpiece and stick it into your lower joint. It looks like an Eb if you squint, and play pretty well too!! It almost sound like an arcade game. Hehe. But, sometimes it doesn't fit. It depends on the brands. Have fun!

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: michael 
Date:   1999-11-19 11:45

This whole thread about what different things to do to the clarinet was a scream. LOL. It almost felt like heresy.
I may try the string down the clarinet like Mark suggested, but I'm afraid to play into a paper bag; my family may prefer that and insist I do it all the time. Michael



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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: mad dog 
Date:   1999-11-19 14:44

Fill the clarinet with chocolate pudding. This effectivly simulates the sound of a clarinet filled with vanilla pudding. However I've found that the altissimo has a slightly different tonal color, regardless of whether I use a Legere or Vandoren reed; a wood, plastic or Greenline clarinet; or even a regular or inverted ligature. Overall,a pretty effective mute, though.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting-Houle
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-11-19 20:43

I bought my first Houle record last week and was immediately into it. I got "Schizosphere". He uses electronics, harmonizers, etc. I can't wait to see him live.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting-Houle
Author: Willie 
Date:   1999-11-20 00:08

Hm.m.m, Do ya think if I hang a garden hose in my EEb it might come down to a BBb?

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: concordian10 
Date:   1999-11-20 06:55

My clarinet teacher had to play a low E flat during a piece, so he used a Barbie doll inserted up the bell to achieve the low tone. Seriously, he took the arms and head off and stuck the doll feet first into his horn. He demonstrated for me during my lesson and it certainly does work!

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 RE: Clarinet Muting-Houle
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-11-20 22:43

Willie wrote:
-------------------------------
Hm.m.m, Do ya think if I hang a garden hose in my EEb it might come down to a BBb?


Sounds like a plan to me! Contrabass!!

Kontragirl
P.S. Maybe a rope would work better.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Melanie 
Date:   1999-11-20 22:55

Lower clarinet mouthpieces make fun slide whistles if you take the mp and the neck off an alto, bass, or contra. Play a note and then stick your finger in the neck to change the pitch.

There is a piece called "Immer Kleiner" that involves taking the clarinet apart from the bottom up. The last note is played on just the mouthpiece, if I remember correctly. I can't wait to order this one!

I love all of these crazy playing ideas!

Melanie

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Ben L 
Date:   1999-11-23 07:11

Very interesting thoughts flying around here. That string phemomen has finaly explained to me why I sound flat (no I didn't get a string stuck up my clarinet for five years, but the effect on bore size correlates to my small bore instrument)

These muting ideas are good, but I'd love to see how a good old plunger mute would sound on clarinet. Anyone out there know how to make a valve/slide clarinet? :)

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Don Poulsen 
Date:   1999-11-23 14:48

The reason mutes such as those used by brass instruments, such as a plunger mute, have not been discussed here is because they would be, for the most part, ineffective. This is because the sound emanates from the tone holes, not the bell, for all but the lowest one or two notes on the instrument (for each register). As an experiment, stick a rag or something in your bell. For most notes, it will not make a difference. But if you try to play the lowest note, nothing will happen unless you blow hard enough to blow the rag out.

I am somewhat skeptical regarding a piece of string or twine changing the intonation of the horn. The effective length of the instrument controls the pitch. I can see, however, that a string might change the timbre of the instrument slightly.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Mark Charette, Webmaster 
Date:   1999-11-23 15:02

Don Poulsen wrote:
-------------------------------
I am somewhat skeptical regarding a piece of string or twine changing the intonation of the horn. The effective length of the instrument controls the pitch. I can see, however, that a string might change the timbre of the instrument slightly.
----------
Don,
Do the experiment!

The pitch changes because the bore diameter effectively is decreased. The formula for the 1st resonant freq. of an air column is:
O=4(L + 0.4D)
By effectively decreasing the diameter we decrease the freq.

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 RE: RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: Ben L 
Date:   1999-11-23 16:56

Don,
I'm perfectly aware of the reasons that clarinet can't be muted w/ standard methods. However, I'm quite interested in what you could do with a keyless clarinet. Of course an incredibly complex valve structure would be neccesary, but it's a fun thought isn't it.

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 RE: Clarinet Muting
Author: sylvan selig 
Date:   1999-12-22 06:32

Good Lord! What a howl!

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