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 Why a revelation?
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2006-01-17 04:39

Tom Puwalski wrote:

>> OK, I've been waiting, what did Campione write [about embouchure] that was a revelation [to you]???>>

It was the symmetry argument I described already in the other thread.

I found it striking that just one general principle: namely, that the bottom lip tends to follow the top lip, plus an anatomical fact: namely, that the upper lip has a more restricted coverage of the top teeth than the bottom lip has of the lower teeth -- demystifies the supposed superiority of the double-lip embouchure.

Briefly recapitulated, the argument is:

(1) maximum 'top wrap' being small, and the tendency for top wrap to equal bottom wrap, together give rise to about the right bottom wrap;

(2) the necessarily stretched position of the upper lip that small top wrap entails gives rise to a similarly stretched lower lip;

(3) the combination of (1) and (2) above gives a lower-lip/reed contact that is small in area and modulable by small flexions of the lower lip muscles, which is what is needed as a starting point for a control of reed vibration learnable by experience.

(4) None of this alters the fact that you can achieve exactly that lower lip configuration without covering your top teeth with your top lip.

I've explained that in my own words in the other thread; but you can read Campione's own description of how he came to see the combination of (1) and (2) as 'the' important reason why students of his beginning with double-lip embouchure tended to find the optimal configuration of their lower lip more easily and quickly. It's at the end of the article available on the web at: GBK pointed out.

The important point for me is that Campione was simply describing a statistical fact that for him, took 25 years to understand fully. He in no way insists that his students learn double-lip if it doesn't suit them, because as a single-lip player, he has always recognised that there is no inherent superiority in the method (see (4) above) -- and now, he has a plausible reason why the statistics are the way they are.

I find all this heartening, because I have a particularly short upper lip, and would have found double-lip almost impossible myself. And while the rational part of me understands quite clearly that it is nonsense to take the stance that single-lip embouchures are inferior, it irritates me that people have done so, particularly when they may discourage young players who have a similar physical makeup to my own.

A bonus is that there is probably a way to use Campione's analysis to construct a beginner's single-lip embouchure simply, as I described in the other thread.

So now, when someone asks what all the fuss is about double-lip, I can just say, "Oh, it's a consequence of shorter upper lip and symmetry. Shall I explain?-)"

(For the mathematically inclined -- but not if you're not -- this simple and, in retrospect, obvious realisation reminds me of the time a friend revisiting her school mathematics as a mature student asked me, why is it that the area of a triangle is a half length of base times height, whereas the volume of a tetrahedron is a third area of base times height? After thinking a moment, I was happy to be able to answer, "because the integral of x is 1/2 x squared, and the integral of x squared is 1/3 x cubed.")

By the way, I'd like to thank Carrie for being indirectly responsible for bringing Campione's argument to my attention, and to wish her the very best of luck with her English paper.


Post Edited (2006-01-17 05:46)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Why a revelation?  new
Tony Pay 2006-01-17 04:39 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Liquorice 2006-01-17 06:03 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Tony Pay 2006-01-17 09:04 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Paul Globus 2006-01-17 15:55 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Liquorice 2006-01-17 15:45 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Clarinetgirl06 2006-01-17 20:54 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Phurster 2006-01-18 01:03 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Tony Pay 2006-01-18 22:32 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
ned 2006-01-18 23:07 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Tom Puwalski 2006-01-19 00:45 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Tony Pay 2006-01-19 13:42 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
Phurster 2006-01-19 01:46 
 Re: Why a revelation?  new
hinotehud 2006-01-20 02:40 

 This thread is closed 
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