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 Clarinet Sound Terminology
Author: McDonalds Eater 
Date:   2021-03-05 20:57

Hi everyone, I would like to open a discussion to talk about the terminology we use to describe clarinet sound. Often times we use various terms like "focus" and "ring" to describe sound; yet sometimes I don't really know what to listen for or how those terms sound in clarinet playing.

Here is a list of terms most commonly used to describe clarinet sound with MY definitions. I should note: these definitions are how I hear them and how I would interpret them. By no means am I saying that these are "the correct way" to define them or something. At the end of the day, everything is subjective.

- Dark: Lacking/Dampening overtones, especially the higher ones.

- Bright: Rich abundance of overtones, lows, mids, and highs.

- Focused: Centered, not spread sound. When someone says "focus the sound" I interpret that as making the sound clearer and more defined. I like think of this as a camera lens focusing the shot. The more focused, the more defined/clearer the picture.

- Ring: To be honest, I've never had a clue what this means or sounds like, so if someone can
define it for me or tell me a clarinet player that has a lot of ring, that would be great.

- Resonance: Pretty much same thing with ring. I've seen some people use this term in regards to overtones; others use this term for echo/reverberation. Can't put my finger on it in regards to what it sounds like or what it is.

- Centered: For me, interchangeable with focus.

- Depth: For this I also have no clue.

- Dense: A lot of core in the sound. Sounds heavy (but in a good way). For me, players with "big" sounds also have dense sounds.

- Rich: Has a strong core with lots of color. No airiness, stuffiness, or anything else getting in the way of clarinet sound. Crystal clear.

- Mellow: Smooth, silky, chocolatey sound.

- Dull/Hollow: Lacking color or core. Sounds dead.

- Big/Small: The size of the sound and how it takes up the space. This honestly depends on where the player is situated (whether that be a small conference room or a concert hall). I've heard players with massive sounds up close sound small in the concert hall. I've also heard players who sound "cute" up close but in the hall sound like they are floating above the orchestra/band or that their sound is coming from everywhere.

Feel free to add a term I didn't include or how you would describe certain terms. Also feel free to agree/disagree; no wrong answers here! At the end of the day we all perceive things differently; my version of dark might not be the same as your version of dark. Oh and if some of you can define the terms that I have no idea on, that would be great! :)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
McDonalds Eater 2021-03-05 20:57 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Ken Lagace 2021-03-05 22:35 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
kdk 2021-03-05 22:52 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Chris P 2021-03-06 00:06 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Hugues Fardao 2021-03-06 02:01 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Tom H 2021-03-06 02:19 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
kdk 2021-03-06 03:11 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Tom H 2021-03-06 09:05 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
kdk 2021-03-06 04:44 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Paul Aviles 2021-03-06 07:03 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
kdk 2021-03-06 07:38 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Matt74 2021-03-06 23:36 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Ed Palanker 2021-03-07 17:23 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
SecondTry 2021-03-07 20:12 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
EbClarinet 2021-03-08 18:32 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
seabreeze 2021-03-08 19:18 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
AndyW 2021-03-09 11:46 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Ken Lagace 2021-03-08 19:47 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Matt74 2021-03-09 00:12 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Paul Aviles 2021-03-09 01:51 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
kdk 2021-03-09 02:08 
 Re: Clarinet Sound Terminology  new
Fuzzy 2021-03-09 10:23 


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