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 clarinet voicing
Author: eac 2017
Date:   2007-09-07 21:22

Thomas Ridenour wrote "When an accomplished clarinetist plays into the mouthpiece alone at his usual “voicing frequency,” he will probably play a somewhat flat concert C#. The flatness of this pitch will vary somewhat due to the individual mouthpiece and reed strength, typically between 15 and 40 cents below concert C#...Once a clarinetist can comfortably and consistently sustain the optimum voicing frequency of our somewhat flat C#, the mouthpiece should then be placed on the clarinet and blown into (or “voiced”) the same way.

If successful, the player will discover that the entire practical range of the clarinet, from low E to high G, can be playing in tune with no embouchure change. The sagging throat tones, flat high register and slack intervallic connections that characterize a poorly voiced clarinet tone should be largely corrected by maintaining the optimum voicing frequency of the C#."

I assume that he was referring to the Bb mouthpiece. Does anyone know what pitch other clarinet mouthpieces play?

Liz Leckey

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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: bahamutofskycon 
Date:   2007-09-08 01:04

Don McCathren gives the pitches of the mouthpieces alone in his "Playing and Teaching the Clarinet Family" pamphlet from around 1959 (I can't find an actual copyright date, just the date at the end of the preface). He writes:

Eb soprano - D (two lines and a space above the staff)
Bb soprano - C (two lines above)
Alto - Ab (one line above)
Bass - F (5th line of staff)
Contra Alto - Eb (4th space)
Contra Bass - C (3rd space)

This doesn't quite line up with Tom Ridenour's that you quote above though.

Steve Ballas

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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2007-09-08 11:44

Different "schools" have different lip pressure on the reed.

http://www.SkypeClarinetLessons.com


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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: nes 
Date:   2007-09-08 11:51

and different mouthpieces = different pitches

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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: William 
Date:   2007-09-08 15:04

It might be relevant to know that TR is a double lip player, And while he was working on my Concerto A at the LeBlanc factory in Kenosha (tuning and voicing some "iffy" notes), he made the following statement: "I don't know if it's my double lip embouchure, but I can play almost any clarinet in tune". He also advocates raising the back of ones tongue, "as if imitating a cat's hiss", to "focus and accelorate" the stream of air towards the tip of the mouthpiece. He says that this also helps "voice" the tone quality you play with. However, he didn't specifically mention anything about the "flat" C#.......

Although this is off the subject of this thread, one other curious thing that Tom did to my new Concertos was rounding the inner rims of all the finger chimmneys on both clarinets--even the metal thumb--saying this was an "old Bonade thing" and that it makes legato fingering between notes much smoother. He also said that it improves the tone qualities of those chimmney notes because rounding the rims smooths the "harshness" of airs waves emminating from them. Tom specualted that with years of normal use, these chimmney rims become naturally rounded and that is why older clarinets often sound mellower that new ones off the shelf. Seemed to work for my (then) new Concertos.

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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2007-09-09 03:26

William wrote:

>> It might be relevant to know that TR is a double lip player>>

It isn't relevant, though. Anything that a double lip player can do can be done by an suitably able single lip player.

>> He also advocates raising the back of ones tongue....[etc]>>

The fact that subtle variations of tongue positions are of supreme importance in clarinet playing is controversial ... but to an expert player, obvious.

To get some idea of it, whistle a tune... and realise that though your 'embouchure' is relatively constant, tiny variations of tongue position -- variations that you would find it very difficult to describe -- make enormous differences to the result.

>> Although this is off the subject of this thread, one other curious thing that Tom did to my new Concertos was rounding the inner rims of all the finger chimmneys on both clarinets -- even the metal thumb -- saying this was an "old Bonade thing" and that it makes legato fingering between notes much smoother.>>

He probably said 'Benade' rather than 'Bonade' -- cf "Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics" by Arthur Benade.

>> He also said that it improves the tone qualities of those chimmney notes because rounding the rims smooths the "harshness" of airs waves emminating from them.>>

What it in fact does is to minimise turbulence -- or, delay the onset of turbulence as the dynamic increases.

A suitable analogy is with an ordinary tap (faucet, do y'all call it?-)

As you progressively turn a tap on, the smooth 'cylinder' of water 'breaks up' at a certain point.

But if you delicately round off the sharp edges inside, you can delay the onset of this breakup to a much larger speed of water delivery.

Tony



Post Edited (2007-09-09 03:48)

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 Re: clarinet voicing
Author: William 
Date:   2007-09-09 03:47

Yes, TP, it most probably was Benade rather than Bonade--thanks for the correction.

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