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 Vibrato
Author: Keil 
Date:   1999-08-10 22:32

I tend to play with beautiful vibrato IMHO but i was wondering what do other clarinets do? i tend to use vibrato on slow solo passages!

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-10 23:47

Keil wrote:
-------------------------------
I tend to play with beautiful vibrato IMHO but i was wondering what do other clarinets do?
------
Keil in this case you'd use IMNSHO - In My Not-So-Humble opinion! (since you think you're vibrato is beatiful ...)
---------
i tend to use vibrato on slow solo passages!
---------
Vibrato is a contentious subject. You can easily do some research on this site and get some historical basis on the usage of vibrato. Go to the "study" section, and then to the Klarinet archives. That'll keep you busy for a few days!

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-08-11 02:13

Two things:
1)4 vibrato on one beat(MM=60) is ideal(this is not my own opinion but a standard.)
2)Start a vibrato by 'up' not 'down',namely impose a small pressure on the read to start. If you have this knowledge vibrato is an easy thing to do.
3)Almost all teachers say or write a sine curve fluctuating with the base tone as center.I think this is a sead of misunderstanding.The bottom of sine curve should be on the base tone.

To tell you the truth,I do not like intentional vibratos. I prefer natural vibratos.

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-11 02:18

Hiroshi wrote:
-------------------------------
To tell you the truth,I do not like intentional vibratos. I prefer natural vibratos.
-------
Hiroshi - what would a "natural vibrato" be??? All vibrato I know of is intentional.


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 RE: Vibrato
Author: angella 
Date:   1999-08-11 03:06

i'm not sure vibrato is a natural thing except with the voice- but, some people use it, some don't. some conductors do not allow it- some think it's a way to hide a not great tone, some use it to add intensity what they're playing. there are 2 kinds- jaw vibrato, used mainly by sax players or jazzers, and diaphragm vibrato- which is more of an "intensity" thing rather than a pitch thing, that is, more of a pitch variation using your jaw, which --i dont know, i really wouldn't do unless i was playing something like gershwin. my teacher does it sometimes... i guess it's personal opinion, and if you're in an ensemble... if you want to, and no one says anything, then i guess you're ok. there's an article by dr. paul drushler published by shall-u-mo about vibrato terminology, utilization and aesthetics- you should check that out. i believe it also appears in the clarinet magazine volume 3 no 1 november 1975-- you may be able to find that in the clarinet archives here. good luck

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: mandy 
Date:   1999-08-11 04:01

Hiroshi, you said you like natural vibrato, i think you were meaning when it doesn't sound forced, is that right?

personally i like vibrato. i know its supposed to be a big no, no with serious music on clarinet, but a trumpet player was the one who first introduced me to real music, and obviously he used vibrato. i used it during my District tryouts my senior yr. of HS and i placed 2nd of about 55 or 65. so i guess it didn't bother them. i too, like the vibrato that doesn't sound forced. good luck in your search.

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 RE: Vibrato - for Angela
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-08-11 04:13

Actually, there are four ways to do vibrato on clarinet, but I unfortunately can only think of three of them at the moment. I'll post again if I can remember the fourth.

1) lib vibrato
2) diaphragm vibrato
3) sliding fingers slightly on and off tone holes (though I think this method sounds awful and I know of nobody who performs with it).

As I said, there is one other, I forget what it was but I have a recollection of personally categorizing it as a variation of one of the others. Unfortunately I can't ask the person who told me about it because he is deceased.


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 RE: Vibrato - of a different color
Author: Jim Carabetta 
Date:   1999-08-11 11:19

I generally "color" long tones with a type of vibrato, although it may not undulate fast enough to qualify. The easiest way to describe it is to try to say "you" while playing - that comes pretty close to illustrating the motion of the tongue; it changes the pitch just noticably enough to add a touch of color. You'd be surprised at how quickly you can 'say "you"' to intensify the effect.


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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-11 12:02

mandy wrote:
<br>-------------------------------
<br>i know its supposed to be a big no, no with serious music on clarinet, but a trumpet player was the one who first introduced me to real music, and obviously he used vibrato.
<br>---------
<br>Vibrato is _not_ a big no no on serious music. It happens to be something that isn't heard often today, but it is historically correct for music composed during certain periods. Check the article in the Study" section on vibrato, Brahms, and Muhlfeld.
<br>
<br>You'll be surprised if you really start digging into the history of the clarinet - what you think is "traditional" may be a relatively new development. Like grenadilla being the "only" wood for a clarinet ...
<br>
<br>The clarinet has a very short history as a musical instrument, so "traditional" may only mean one generation ...
<br>

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Keil 
Date:   1999-08-11 13:38

my vibrato isn't intentional but natural

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-11 14:52

Keil wrote:
-------------------------------
my vibrato isn't intentional but natural
----------------
Then you've got a problem. It should be controllable. Is your air support lacking? Muscles too tense? Nerves?

Vibrato needs to be controlled in frequency and amplitude if you desire to use it at all.

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-08-11 15:38

I use absolutely no vibrato. I have heard performers use it on occasion where I thought it really added to the expression of the music. Those times are rare though - parts of some slow passages and in the high register. I prefer the slow and narrow vibrato in those cases.

However, I do think a person can play clarinet with a lot of expression with no vibrato at all. I don't use it because I personally sound much better without it.

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-11 17:05

OK - here goes my 2c on vibrato. These are random thoughts in no particular order.

As has been mentioned above, there are several ways to create a vibrato
1) jaw
2) diaphram
3) throat (tye "you" method)
4) fingers
I submit another way:
5) reed pressure - but without changing the jaw
This last way can be controlled by changing the upward pressure of the right thumb - only effective for very light, slow vibrato

I personally use only the jaw and diaphram methods. I use the diaphram method for slow, light vibrato and the jaw for faster, heavier vibrato.

I disagree with Hiroshi's 4 beats per second vibrato speed concept. IMO, the speed should vary with the style of music.
BTW - my personal vibrato speed for *all* "legit" music (classical) is zero - I don't use it. However, I do employ vibratory quite liberally in jazz and pop music and quite often for show music (in the pit). Why? just a personal preference.

One should realize that adding vibrato by any means *will* effect the tone. I'm not sure why tone does not seem to effected by vibrato on flute, trumpet, oboe, etc. but here are the reasons tone is effected on clarinet:
1) any change in pressure on the reed from the "ideal" causes the tone to deviate - the reed cannot vibrate optimally and upper harmonics are stiffled. Increased pressure causes the tone to become thin and decreased pressure causes the tone to become muffled. My vibrato goes to the side of less pressure because I prefer a little more "airy" tone in jazz to a thinner one.
2) any change in breath support (needed for diaphram vibrato) causes the tone to deviate. Technically, one should always use as much breath support as possible. Using less breath support causes the tone to weaken, become softer, or become thin.
3) any change in the oral cavity (needed for throat vibrato) causes a change in tone. The speed and focus of the airstream is effected.

Now, when it comes to "legit" music, I don't use vibrato because I just don't think it sounds good. Richard Stolzman's vibrato, in particular, irritates my audio senses. (However, I think Jonathan Cohler's vibrato is beautiful.) I don't think *my* vibrato sounds good on legit music.

As I mentioned above, I do use vibrato in jazz and show music. I play quite a bit of jazz, both on clarinet and on
sax. But I'm accutely aware of the tonal problems incurred while producing a vibrato and I evaluate the tradeoffs before choosing a method (either jaw or diaphram) or deciding the depth and speed.

Many more thoughts on how to apply vibrato, but I'll refrain due to the length of this message - whew!


Oops - please mentally change all "diaphram" to "diaphragm" above, I just realized I consistently spelled it wrong!

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-08-11 17:28

I enjoyed your post, Kevin. What's your opinion of Gervase dePeyer's vibrato on his older recordings? Actually I'm interested in anyone's opinion.

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 RE: Vibrato - for Angela
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   1999-08-11 17:57

Rick2 wrote:
-------------------------------
[Vibrato can be produced by:]

3) sliding fingers slightly on and off tone holes (though I think this method sounds awful and I know of nobody who performs with it).


Rick -

At least one treatise from the renaissance speaks of playing "with quaking breath," which is a pretty good description of vibrato. By the baroque period, the most common form of vibrato was the "flattement" produced by waving the fingertip just above the hole, or by angling a finger while trilling so that a hole was only slightly covered, or by covering part or all of a hole further down the instrument. At least in the baroque era treatises, no one speaks with approval of a "quaking breath" vibrato.

Many old instrument players use the flattement exclusively, and at least some of them make it sound good. And of course the vibrato on stringed instruments is a variant.

I grew up listening to Reginald Kell, so I got used to hearing vibrato on clarinet, though I don't use it much myself (though I do use it on recorder).

Vibrato calls attention to itself, so it should always be used to add color to the important notes in phrases. In his earlier records, Richard Stoltzman did it backwards, using vibrato when he wanted to relax the intensity or make a note sweeter or less prominent. This spoiled a lot of his phrasing. In his later records, he has learned the difference and gets it right.

Avoiding vibrato is almost a religious thing for many teachers and traditional players. One of the usual reasons given is that the clarinet tone has a built-in "shimmer" because of the relative absence of the even harmonics. I think that's nonsense. If all the other wind instruments benefit from vibrato, the clarinet can too, and you only have to listen to Kell, de Peyer and Stoltzman to hear that it can be effectively and artistically used.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: listening - reply to ted
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-11 17:57

ted wrote:
-------------------------------
I enjoyed your post, Kevin. What's your opinion of Gervase dePeyer's vibrato on his older recordings? Actually I'm interested in anyone's opinion.

---
Sorry, I can't say, ted. After almost 25 years of clarinet study, I have only recently been listening seriously to professional recorded artists! I have yet to listen to dePayer but I'll look for him on my next trip to Harmony House Classical (I'm like a kid in a candy store in that place!).

I cut my clarinet listening teeth on the likes of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Pete Fountain, and Woody Herman (see a pattern?). I've always been torn between classical and jazz. The classical literature always seemed more fun (and challenging) to play but the jazz was more fun to listen too! I have been collecting classical clarinet recordings lately but it seems the majority of recordings are dissapointing in some respect or another (I don't like the artist's tone or technique or style). I guess I just have strong opinions about such things. I will say that my favorite clarinetist (to listen to) at this moment is Sabine Meyer - she's done some wonderful work with Mozart.

Kevin Bowman


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 RE: listening - reply to ted
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-11 18:45



Kevin Bowman wrote:
-------------------------------
I have been collecting classical clarinet recordings lately but it seems the majority of recordings are dissapointing in some respect or another (I don't like the artist's tone or technique or style). I guess I just have strong opinions about such things. I will say that my favorite clarinetist (to listen to) at this moment is Sabine Meyer - she's done some wonderful work with Mozart.



I consider every recording i get benneficial. Even when it turns out to be a not so good recording. I just keep it to remind myself how NOT to do whatever it is they're doing..
However, here in Houston, finding recordings of clarinetists is hard, on vinyl OR CDs. There's no good recording store to speak of for CDs... and most of the places that sell vinyl usually have tons of flute and oboe stuff but virtually no clarinet records.

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 RE: listening - reply to Daniel
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-11 20:03

Daniel wrote:
-------------------------------
I consider every recording i get benneficial. Even when it turns out to be a not so good recording.
[clip]
There's no good recording store to speak of for CDs...
[clip]

---
I should have clarified that my point. I too find all recordings to be beneficial. It's always a pot-shot purchasing a recording of a piece I really want to hear by an unknown (to me) artist. And with the relatively small number of clarinet-related recordings available, sometimes I don't have the luxury of choosing the artist.

Since you're obviously connected to the Web, have you tried searching Amazon or CDNow for recordings (especially newer stuff)? I've replaced most of my vinyl collection with CD's now, though I do have a few prized LP's that are not available on CD - can't wait to get a CD recorder to make "backup" copies of those delicate antiques.

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: Vibrato- keil
Author: angella 
Date:   1999-08-11 20:44

i agree with mark- there should be no fluctuation in tone- sound, unless you're doing it on purpose, for a reason, as playing with vibrato or employing some other technique (possibly modern) for a piece of music. if you just blow out- *naturally* there is no wavering in the air stream... is there?

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 RE: Recording (CDW vs. MD) - replying to Kevin
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-11 23:07



Kevin Bowman wrote:
-------------------------------
Since you're obviously connected to the Web, have you tried searching Amazon or CDNow for recordings (especially newer stuff)? I've replaced most of my vinyl collection with CD's now, though I do have a few prized LP's that are not available on CD - can't wait to get a CD recorder to make "backup" copies of those delicate antiques.




Meing a college student, money is tight... and i can't really afford to spend the extra shipping rates on CD's that are already overpriced as it is. I look for vinyl before i resort to CD's now.

As for recording... Why not buy a MiniDic recorder deck? At the moment with recordable CD's, you can only record over it once.. if you mess up, you're out of luck... and with re-writable cd's, only certain cd players can read them.... With MiniDisc, you can record hundreds of time (the developers claim up to 1 million times).. and any MD recorder/player can read any MD... You get 74min59sec in Stereo, and double that in Mono. And you can mix and match and get any combination of time... very handy...

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 RE: Recording (CDW vs. MD) - replying to Kevin
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-11 23:16

Daniel wrote:
-------------------------------
At the moment with recordable CD's, you can only record over it once.. if you mess up, you're out of luck...
-------
However, at a buck a pop for the recordable CD it isn't too bad. I record everything as a wav file first anyway ...

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 RE: Natural and CD
Author: HIROSHI 
Date:   1999-08-12 01:53

Mark:I believe in the existence of natural vibrato.Some great woodwind players like Moyse(flute).His vibrato made me believe that.

As to CDs,they cut sounds above 20k Hz. There are machines to recover (Pioneer makes one of them) those ranges since we feel uncomfortable without those ranges of souds.

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 RE: Natural and CD
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-12 02:04

HIROSHI wrote:
-------------------------------
Mark:I believe in the existence of natural vibrato.Some great woodwind players like Moyse(flute).His vibrato made me believe that.
-------
I still have no clue as to your meaning. There is (to my knowledge) no such thing as a "natural" vibrato, even among singers. If you mean that some players seem to intuitively know how to use and control vibrato - it's possible.

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 RE: Natural and CD
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-12 03:05



Mark Charette wrote:
-------------------------------

I still have no clue as to your meaning. There is (to my knowledge) no such thing as a "natural" vibrato, even among singers. If you mean that some players seem to intuitively know how to use and control vibrato - it's possible.

_------------------

I studied voice for a number of years (both classical and popular) and in fact one has to suppress vibrato, it is very natural and free. There are some ethnic styles that repress vibrato. You can control it and even match it to other singers. I certainly have heard it used by singers to cover intonation problems, and string players too. I cannot imagine violin without vibrato, and many believe the faster the note the faster the vibrato.

Classical clarinetists are not using it this season. The vibrato I've heard on clarinet (Klezmer mostly) would sound just awful on classical music, because the tone and the pitch both vary as if the embouchere was lost and found. Perhaps this is why it is not used much?



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 RE: Recording (CDW vs. MD) - replying to Kevin
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-12 04:17

I believe Kevin was talking about the Kenwood and Pioneer recording CD player.. not using a CD burner on a computer...

I like being able to fit 2 hours 29 minutes and 58 seconds in Mono.. and being able to record mono and stereo on the same disc and fit more than just the 74 minutes... I believe with writable CDs you can only fit the 74 minutes whether it's mono or stereo.

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-08-12 05:36

Hiroshi- WE've had that discussion before about CD's cutting out high frequency components. Once again, it depends on the amount of oversampling. You can't hear those tones anyway, and I personally am not uncomfortable not listening to what i can't hear.


Kevin - Yes, the throat vibrato (also known as the billy goat vibrato) is the one I couldnt think of.

Ken - I forgot all about that technique. I recall trying that a long time ago. Not at all easy.

Ginny - Maybe the distortion of the tone and pitch are why I think clarinet vibrato sounds better as you climb the scale. I don't like it a bit below middle C. It might even make the notes approaching super C tolerable.

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 RE: Recording (CDW vs. MD) - replying to Kevin
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-12 14:30

Daniel wrote:
-------------------------------
I believe Kevin was talking about the Kenwood and Pioneer recording CD player.. not using a CD burner on a computer...
----

Yes - I was talking about one of the high-end stand-alone burners. A friend of mine just got the Marantz single bay rack-mount job, pretty nice for recording ADAT mixdowns or copying from 2-track DAT. I would really like to get one of the 2-bay models to make duplicating CD easier (my own recordings, of course). I don't think the time factor copying LPs to CD would be of concern, would it? What's the playing time of an LP? Even if I could only get a single side on a CD, I'd still be preserving my vinyl collection and have the convenience of listening to them in my car.

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: Recording (CDW vs. MD) - replying to Kevin
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-12 18:07

12" LPs can fit about 24 minutes per side. 10" LPs fit somewhere around 26 minutes total.
For listening to MDs in my car, i bought this nifty little gizmo that you can plus into the MD Walkman. You plug it in the headphone jack.. then plug the unit into the lighter... and there's a small box that you select the voltage and the radio wavelength (FM) and you can broadcast the MD player over your car radio... you just have to spend a few minutes hunting for an empty spot on the dial. Never had any problems with interferance except when traveling... and i was usually able to find another blank station .2 or so units over to either direction...

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 RE: Vibrato
Author: Don 
Date:   1999-08-12 18:13

Back to the subject at hand. When considering the ultimate perfection of vibrato control, is there anything close to Mr. Acker Bilk's 1962 recording of "Stranger on the Shore."

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 RE: Vibrato - Acker Bilk
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-12 20:23

Don wrote:
-------------------------------
Back to the subject at hand. When considering the ultimate perfection of vibrato control, is there anything close to Mr. Acker Bilk's 1962 recording of "Stranger on the Shore."
----

I wonder what his setup was? Though his vibrato is a bit too "heavy" for my taste, he did manage to get an excellently controlled vibrato with seemingly little distortion of the tone. Come to think of it, his tone was a bit reedy wasn't it? I'd appreciate any information anybody has on this "one hit wonder".

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: Vibrato - Acker Bilk
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-08-13 04:14

My understanding is that he taught himself to play clarinet in prison. I suspect he uses relatively soft reeds. I use a relatively soft reed and get a tone that can sound similar at times, especially in the low half of the chalumeau register. Also, his vibrato isn;t limited to "Stranger on the Shore." That's his signature. He plays everything with an excessive (IMHO) vibrato. He did some nice elevator music, didn't he?

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 RE: Vibrato - Acker Bilk
Author: charles bergere 
Date:   1999-08-13 17:16

If you like Acker's vibrato, listen to any recording of Sidney Bechet who I believe had the most intense vibrato among the clarinetists of jazz

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