Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Previous Message  |  Next Message 
 About "standardization"
Author: McDonalds Eater 
Date:   2021-03-13 05:53

Quite a heavy topic that's been weighing on my mind for forever. I want to know your input.

Everything written here is a compilation of my experiences over the years.

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I feel like there's been an unwritten standardization in everything clarinet related: the sound, equipment, interpretation, etc.

Let's start with equipment. I'm sure this has happened to most of us: you are about to upgrade/get a new clarinet and the first brand that comes up in the conversation is Buffet. And then you spend the majority of the talk thinking about Buffet. Maybe occasionally other brands get mentioned there. Maybe some of you got told that Buffet was the only way to go. Maybe some of you got told that the other brands are bad simply because "they aren't Buffets." Pretty much same thing with Vandoren. At least this was my experience. I'm not saying Buffet and Vandoren are bad, or that I wouldn't play them ever, but other brands that make equally great or better products (that could potentially suit the player better) don't get mentioned as often because of standardization.

One of my friends at a summer festival told me a story about his teacher (who shall not be named but is pretty famous). He was telling me that his teacher would criticize Ricardo Morales for being a "disgrace" to the clarinet world, that his playing mechanics are "different and wrong," and that the way he plays will turn the clarinet world into a bad direction. Yet, Ricardo is THE most successful player in terms of winning auditions and his students have also been widely successful. I told my friend that he sounded like he's just straight up jealous, but he mentioned that his teacher would talk frequently about playing clarinet "the correct and only way." It's one thing to not like someone's playing--that's normal. But calling someone "bad" simply because their concept is different is just childish.

Then comes interpretation. I'm sure all of us in a masterclass have been told or heard to "play it this way" or "this is the only "correct" way to play this composer." Or maybe you get stopped every two bars because you're not playing the teacher's interpretation. That leaves me with this question: If there is a "correct" way of playing things, then how in the hell am I supposed to find my "inner voice" or my own interpretation?

Now, of course I think there are boundaries. I will never ever play the Mozart Concerto in the style of say, Stravinsky. Even if I was famous. That's just common sense and I'm sure everyone will agree on that. I also think it's great to serve the music and composer. But is there really only one way to do that?

I also wonder about competitions and auditions. Obviously a winner would be the one who plays the best. But what exactly makes someone the "best"? Is it the player who played the composers in the most "correct" way or is it the player who found their inner voice and interpretation in the pieces? For me, the latter.

I personally hate the fact that a lot teachers frame a "playing box" and that you can only play inside it. That was at least my case. More and more I would hate the fact that I couldn't play the way I wanted to, and instead was turning into a robot.

I like that more people are branching in all aspects. We're starting to see more clarinets played other than Buffet. Young talent from around the world are pushing the boundaries in musical interpretation. But in my opinion, there's still standardization.

My inspiration from writing this post was learning about the Philadelphia Orchestra oboe audition in 2019 and the uproar it caused in the oboe world. If you don't know about this, just ask any of your oboe friends and they will instantly know and tell you about it.

What do you think?

 Reply To Message  |  Avail. Forums  |  Flat View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Topics Author  Date
 About "standardization"  new
McDonalds Eater 2021-03-13 05:53 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
Fuzzy 2021-03-13 06:55 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
Matt74 2021-03-13 12:42 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
SecondTry 2021-03-13 19:19 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
kdk 2021-03-13 19:57 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
Paul Aviles 2021-03-13 20:33 
 Re: About "standardization"  new
brycon 2021-03-13 21:38 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org