Dismiss Notice
I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

Extended range Bb clarinet?

Discussion in 'ONLINE Videos' started by Groovekiller, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    In both cases, the description of the horn lists them as "professional" grade. Other than the unfortunate alto clarinetist with the French Guarde Republique, are there any such animals? Does the Marine Band carry an alto clarinetist? None of the Army bands when I was in did.

    (I suppose that, in a pinch, the military bands could use the alto clarinetist as a runner if they were ever cut off and surrounded. Hitler lived through his spell as a runner, so they might have a chance at surviving.)

    Notice too that they now offer the full series of Oehler horns to the "rest of the world". What a difference a decade makes...

    http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/winds/clarinets/germanclarinets/

    Damn'd clarinet fascists...I'm still ticked off about having to settle for the Amati...

    I now have a spouse-imposed limit of $1,000 per horn, unless a German bass clarinet shows up on eBay.de. No limits there other than the total amount of cash available in the discretionary spending account.
     
  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Too bad - about a year ago, I traded an Uebel-down-to-low-D bass for a Boehm System Kohlert. David converted it to a low-Db (by simply adding a key mechanism to an otherwise unused open vent) and his career has skyrocketed since.
    I'd guess there's the one or other band vault here with one of these smothering in the far right corner.
    I can try to summon the hardware genies in some of the friend bands if you want...but I already know the answer: "only if he takes the Alto as well". :emoji_rage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_IA8K7xK8g

    (notice the missing lyre holder? No more marching, Mr Sulu)

    BTW: Last time I was playing Darth Tone (my Alto) was last winter where I had to sub for a missing Sax. <coup-de-grâce>. I could've taken my Martin-Busine-Grassi thingy, but for the cultural advancement of the populace I chose Darth Tone. Variety is good. An Alto is even better. :cool:
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    I'll take the alto too !!
    I heard there's a high demand for them in the Houston area :p
     
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    I'm fairly certain that the last time I saw the Air Force band play they had an alto clarinet. That was awhile ago, tho. Their current roster doesn't have one listed.

    I Googled "famous alto clarinet players". Seems the question's been asked before, but no one has answered ....

    I also Googled "Where is Chuck Norris?". Interesting result.
     
  5. clarnibass

    clarnibass

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Jerusalem, Israel.
    Because it's longer? :)

    They have and they still do, I've tried an older Buffet (from 70s I guess) and also the current models from both. Yes, they are professional models in that they are made very well. I can't really comment re the whole "joke"(?) about alto clarinets being bad, etc. since I don't get it, sorry. I was disapointed with the Yamaha alto clarinet which I really hoped to like. I didn't like its tone that much comapred with Buffet or Selmer and the keys were very uncomfortable to me (unlike Yamaha bass which I liked). The location of the strap ring was especially awful. The Buffet was great and I liked it a lot in every way pretty much.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2010
  6. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    did someone ask for a picture of a 16 key bassett hound ?

    Basset Hound
     
  7. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Something's not right here

    In the first quote used above (that is to say, the text quoted by charnibass, not his comments above), a statement is attributed to me that I don't believe I made.

    Mind you, it's no big deal, but it is an indication that the "Quote" feature on this board isn't picking things up correctly.
     
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    Or that someone doesn't insert the QUOTE tags properly :p.
     
  9. clarnibass

    clarnibass

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Jerusalem, Israel.
    I see that now, it was a mistake, you can fix it for the correct name of the poster (I can't since it doesn't allow me to edit anymore, only for a short time).
     
  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    20 minutes. Y'know, I might just reset that to 24 hours.
     
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    Well, the "joke" part is that, although he hates alto clarinet -- doesn't see any reason for them to exist would be more correct -- he continues to get roped into discussions about alto clarinet.

    Note that Terry's never come out and said that various make and models of alto clarinet are "bad", just that there is really no use for the alto clarinet.

    I've mentioned this elsewhere: personally, if the choice I/my kids kid have is alto clarinet or nothing, I'd take the alto clarinet. That's just my opinion.

    Again, it's very true that there are only a couple alto clarinet solos in the entire classical music catalog and there are no famous alto clarinet players. However, I'm not trying to shoot down the alto clarinet player. My primary reason why is that most of them are playing in high school/community bands/church ensembles and any playing is better than no playing.
     
  12. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I guess it's a problem of repertoire. If the trend continues to go from harmony to big band, clarinets of any size will soon be extinct, replaced by trumpets and saxes, for their sheer volume (player and acousic wise). The first that was hit by this development was the Alto clarinet, closely followed by the A. (I'm not talking classical music, this niche still exists). Next will be the Eefer (we have flutes and piccolos for that, they're easier for the doubler anyway). Bass will only survive for its sheer spectrum, it can cover Bari sax up to soprano clarinet. The latter is being replaced my trumpets and cornets anyway, the audience wants bling and volume.

    If you think I'm exaggerating - transcriptions of newer popular tunes often only go down to low Bb or even just F (simply because they could recycled for Tenor sax players or small brass).
     
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Quite aside from the vapid (not my term, but that of those who should know) tone color of the alto is a bit of an insult to the overall concept of the melodic sound that one associates with the clarinet, bass clarinet, and (dare I say it) even the contra clarinets, there is the whole question of utility.

    I'm sure that there are thousands of other examples that someone can call up, but the only uses that I can recall for the alto clarinet in "art" music are in a couple of English works that date from the 1920's and 1930's. During that same period, there were (literally) thousands of uses for soprano clarinets, and many hundreds for the bass clarinet. If the alto were of such use, one would think that composers of that (and other) eras would have put parts in something other than Blaze of Glory - A Concert Band March.

    In discussing this issue with the bass clarinet player for the Saint Louis Symphony back in the 1960's, he too could not recall any time ever that he was tasked with playing an alto clarinet part in any of the music that they performed (and he had a career stretching over many, many years).

    I've been playing Broadway shows for just over forty years now, and have yet to see an alto clarinet part. Contra-alto, yes, and it is starting to creep back into the toolbox of the harmony clarinet player. But, never, not once, has there been a need for an alto.

    (In a way, it's a shame really, for my "all things for all players" bass clarinet stand (from a long defunct maker in Northern Indiana) has fittings to make it into an alto or tenor saxophone stand, and a bass or alto clarinet stand. Pretty nifty piece of engineering, and I'm glad that I took the trouble to pick up a full set of parts before the company went out of business.)

    Jazz? Well, the really good thing about jazz is that there are no real "rules" as such, and anyone can use any instrument that they like to work through changes. However, the alto clarinet is not even close to the iconic horns that one associates with the jazz genre. Sure, there are some who do it. But, they will continue to be exceptions to the general rule that jazz = tenor sax (when referring to woodwinds).

    In the end, there's call for them in high school concert band (and, I presume, college - I have never played in a college wind ensemble (as opposed to an orchestra) so I don't really know), maybe in military bands (although a posting above leaves the impression that the Air Force had them but has them no longer), and in community wind bands. Beyond that rather tight universe, nada.

    Alto clarinet players should take heart. They aren't yet in the position of Ab clarinets (another less-than charming member of the clarinet family). Someone on the Clarinet Board that I no longer frequent owned an Ab horn, but he had limited opportunity to air his skills. A move to Italy would open up a few more options - other than that, he's pretty much on his own.

    On the positive side, you can pick up a very high quality horn for next to nothing...

    And, I always like to point out that the very first money that I earned for playing music was for performing on the alto clarinet. True, it wasn't exactly at the professional level, and it predated my union membership by a few months, but still, it was a start.
     
  14. clarnibass

    clarnibass

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Jerusalem, Israel.
    It's just any one person, on another forum there's also a joke about alto clarinet, generally being sarcastic about them. I guess it just became this joke somehow, I don't know why, but it was just never really funny for me. Doesn't matter anyway.

    I guess my entire perspective is different since I'm not depeneded on any sort of repertoire or solos for any instrument. I could play an entire concert on alto clarinet if I wanted.
     
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    Provided the part doesn't go too low, of course. Too high? Well, that depends on your playing skill.

    The alto clarinet does stretch into the tenor saxophone range and the bass clarinet does extend into the baritone sax range. However, while I could argue that some bari sax pieces could be easily made into bass clarinet parts with little or no tonal problems an alto clarinet playing tenor sax parts would just be ... wrong. It doesn't have the right tone color.

    I'm a-gonna split some of this conversation into a separate thread. Un momento.
     
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
Our staff's websites:


Loading...