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Re: Concert Pitch (a second try)

From: Joseph Wakeling
Subject: Re: Concert Pitch (a second try)
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 19:35:44 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090319)

Paul Scott wrote:
> For woodwinds this description is not at all practical partly for the
> extension reason you mentioned below.  Not counting the B foot on a
> flute or the low A on many baritone saxes the only woodwind I know of
> that has a C for its full length is the flute.  Saxes and oboes start at
> Bb.  Clarinets in their lower register (no over-blowing or speaker key)
> start at written E or Eb.  A better might be a certain equivalent seven
> finger on each of these instruments except for bassoon which could be
> considered an F instrument (similar to an F recorder).

Where woodwind instruments are concerned the principal focus is ease of
fingering.  For example, on modern Boehm clarinets the written C major
scale is the only one that can be played across the whole basic compass
of the instrument (that is, lower and upper registers) without ever
having to simultaneously raise and lower fingers (unless you count
crossing the register break).

I think the same applies even to quite early, simple clarinets, with the
exception of the top C which is a forked fingering.  Indeed, on early
clarinets, which don't have a very sophisticated fingering system, the
number of keys that can be played in _at all_ with any reliability is
very small (which is why clarinets have so many transposing variants).

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